The National Youth Orchestra (NYO) of the United States of America gave a performance in the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center, part of an eight-city coast-to-coast tour led by renowned conductor David Robertson.
The 120 members of the orchestra captured the spirit and essence of America, its character, its wholesomeness, and its spirit of adventure as they performed Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story and Benjamin Britten’s “Violin Concerto” with violinist Gil Shaham.
The program also featured the California premiere of “Radial Play” by American composer Samuel Carl Adams, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for NYO-USA, and Ravel’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.”
Two encores capped a stellar evening, excerpts from George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and “America the Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward.
The orchestra pushed the frontiers of musical boundaries, reaching for and achieving new heights and exposing the audience to broader horizons.
Members of the orchestra introduced several of the selections, providing insight into the music as well as personal vignettes. And the orchestra’s wardrobe featured red pants and Stars and Stripes converse shoes! The conductor had the same footwear.
NYO is proof-positive that symphonic music has a future. The orchestra displayed world-class musicianship in their spirited performance.
Members of the orchestra, ages 16-19, come from 35 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. They have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country, chosen following a comprehensive audition process.
For information about the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center, go to gmc.sonoma.edu.
To learn more about the National Youth Orchestra, go to carnegiehall.org/nyousa.