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Orchestra Offers Vital Training and Mentorship to Next Generation of
Outstanding Classical Musicians on Threshold of Professional Careers

Inaugural 2015-16 Season Opens with
Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor, “Resurrection”
Sunday, October 11, 2015, 7 PM, at UCLA’s Royce Hall

Los Angeles has gained an exciting addition to its classical music scene with the formation of the Young Artists Symphony Orchestra (YASO) led by Artistic Director Alexander Treger, noted conductor, music educator and former Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  The new orchestra, whose mission is to champion, train, mentor and inspire the next generation of outstanding young musicians for professional careers in classical music, launches its inaugural 2015-16 season with four concerts at UCLA’s Royce Hall, the orchestra’s home venue, including an opening night celebratory concert featuring Mahler’s seminal Symphony No. 2 in C minor, “Resurrection,” hailed as “one of the musical touchstones of our time” (The New York Times), on Sunday, October 11, 2015, 7 pm.

“I am extremely proud to serve as the Artistic Director of this remarkable new orchestra,” says Treger.  “I am passionate about working with exceptional young musicians on the threshold of their professional careers, and Young Artists Symphony Orchestra will serve a vital role in training the next generation of artists while enriching the community with a series of compelling live concerts presented free to the public at Royce Hall.”

Treger, whose conducting has been hailed as “vivid” (The New York Times), “uplifting” (Musical America) and “expertly finessed” (Examiner), previously served as Music Director of the American Youth Symphony for 17 years.  He has been recognized as a “gifted teacher” (Lancer Radio) and applauded for leading “exciting, exuberant performances…that allow the spirited excitement of the players to shine through” (Out West Arts).

“We are very excited to have developed a dedicated team and established a strong infrastructure that has enabled the Young Artists Symphony Orchestra to come to fruition and will foster its success in the years to come,” states YASO Chair Ellen Whittier.  “It is truly extraordinary to have an artist of the caliber of Maestro Treger serve as Artistic Director.  He is a stellar conductor, violinist and teacher who brings to the Young Artists Symphony Orchestra a wealth of professional experience and leadership.  We are deeply honored to have him at the orchestra’s artistic helm.”

The orchestra, comprised of dedicated young artists ages 15 to 26 and drawn from a variety of schools and conservatories around the Southland, adheres to the high standards and protocols of professional orchestras, providing the orchestra members with the same type of experiences they will encounter as professional artists.  YASO members, who received a generous stipend for their services, are selected through a rigorous audition process.  They perform key works that are an essential part of the core orchestral repertoire and are held to extremely rigorous standards since many of its members will be auditioning directly into professional ensembles.

“Our artists have honed their instrumental skills for years,” states Treger.  “But it is also essential for them to have practical experience in an orchestral setting.  Our goal is to prepare YASO musicians in a focused and supportive environment for the challenges and rigors of ensemble performance of the highest echelon.”

In addition to the inaugural concert on October 11, Young Artists Symphony Orchestra 2015-16 season includes performances on Sunday, December 6, 2015, Sunday, February 28, 2016, and Saturday, April 23, 2016, with such featured repertoire as Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 in d minor, Lutoslawski’s Little Suite, Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll , and John Adams’ The Chairman Dances.

In addition to Whittier, YASO board members include Ethan Brown, the founder of Brown, Neri & Smith LLP, a boutique law firm focused on business litigation, and Amjad Khan, a partner at the law firm.   The YASO advisory committee includes esteemed cellist Ronald Leonard and internationally recognized pianist Norman Krieger.  Henry Shin is Associate Conductor.

Young Artists Symphony Orchestra is sponsored by the Whittier Educational Foundation, established in 2000 by Ron and Ellen Whittier to support the training and development of young people, leading them to successful professional careers.

For information on Young Artists Symphony Orchestra, including its audition details and concert schedule, please visit YASOLA.org or call (310) 593-9890.
ALEXANDER TREGER, noted violinist, accomplished conductor, and gifted educator, has been appointed Artistic Director of the newly-formed Young Artists Symphony Orchestra.  Treger previously served as Music Director of the American Youth Symphony for 17 years, as the successor to Mehli Mehta, who founded the orchestra in 1964.  He also serves as the Music Director/Conductor of the Crossroads Chamber Orchestra, where he has developed a youth orchestra of the highest caliber for more than 20 years.  Treger joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1974 and was appointed Concertmaster in 1985, a position he held for 25 years.  During his time with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Treger won high praise for his numerous solo performances with the orchestra at the Music Center and the Hollywood Bowl, which have included concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bartók, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev, under the direction of Zubin Mehta, Carlo Maria Giulini, Simon Rattle, Pierre Boulez, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  A musician of many interests and talents, he continually devotes more of his time to conducting. He guest-conducted the Turku Philharmonic in Finland and stepped in at the last minute to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic, replacing the indisposed Franz Welser-Möst.  He has also appeared as guest conductor with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, the New World Symphony, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, and the Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra.  Treger began his musical training at the age of five in his native Russia, where he studied violin and piano.   By the age of thirteen, he had won numerous music competitions in his country, and was later chosen by the renowned violinist David Oistrakh to study at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory.  He describes the six years he spent at the Conservatory being mentored by Mr. Oistrakh as “among the most influential on my development as a musician.”  While a student there, he also took a great interest in conducting.  After graduating, Treger became a member of the Moscow Radio Symphony and, subsequently, left Russia to become the Concertmaster/Soloist of the Israel Chamber Orchestra.  He has also appeared as soloist with a number of major U.S. orchestras, including the San Francisco, Denver, Dallas, and Houston Symphonies.  An avid chamber performer, he has collaborated in concerts with such well-known artists as Radu Lupu, Yefim Bronfman, André Previn, Bernard Greenhouse, and Emanuel Ax.  An inspiring teacher who enjoys working with promising young musicians, Treger has given numerous master classes around the world and held the position of Professor of Violin at UCLA for two decades, from 1977 to 1997.  In 2013, he was appointed an Artist in Residence at Pepperdine University, and since 2014, Treger has served as a Visiting Artist at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.
Steadily building a reputation as one of the most versatile conductors of his generation, HENRY SHIN is the associate conductor of the Young Artist Symphony Orchestra.  A strong proponent of bringing music to underserved youth in Los Angeles, he also serves as the music director and conductor of the nationally-acclaimed Harmony Project Orchestras, Hollywood.  In addition, Shin serves as the assistant conductor of the Elizabeth Mandel Music Institute (EMMI) Chamber Orchestra at the Crossroads School in Santa Monica.  Prior to his arrival in Los Angeles, Shin served as assistant conductor of the San Francisco Civic Symphony and with the University Symphony Orchestra at UC Berkeley.  For nearly 10 years, he served as music director and conductor of the UC Berkeley Summer Symphony.  He has also been music director of the San Francisco Arts Education Project’s Event Players, a premiere children’s musical theater troupe, leading sold-out performances of Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma!, and On the Town.  In 2009, Shin gained international recognition when he was a prizewinner at the prestigious International Competition for Young Conductors in Besançon, France, whose notable alumni include Seiji Ozawa and Osmo Vänskä.  Shin studied conducting with David Milnes, John Barnett, Carl St.Clair, and Neal Stulberg, among others. He has also worked alongside Kurt Masur, James Conlon, Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, Daniel Lewis, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.  In 2006, he received the Alfred Hertz Memorial Traveling Fellowship, allowing him to be a conducting apprentice at the Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany.  Shin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley, a Masters degree in conducting from the USC Flora L. Thornton School of Music, and is currently completing his doctoral studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
The mission of the YOUNG ARTISTS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is to champion, train, mentor, and inspire the next generation of outstanding young musicians for professional careers in symphony orchestras and ensembles around the world.  It provides exceptional musical training to gifted young artists by distinguished conductor and educator Alexander Treger.  Drawing on the most rigorous and artistic principles, YASO emulates a professional orchestra in its structure and operation, holding annual auditions and providing a stipend to its members.  YASO will present the most compelling musical repertoire in a series of free live concerts for the public at beautiful Royce Hall.
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