BYSO Summer Camps 2019

July and August were busy months for young BYSO musicians. In late August, BYSO held its annual two-week
summer camp at New England Music Camp in Sidney, Maine, for members of BYS, REP and JRO. Students took
part in intensive rehearsals with BYSO conductors and artistic staff, while creating friendships with fellow
orchestra members. During their time in Maine, students also had the opportunity to participate in swimming,
kayaking, soccer, talent shows, karaoke, and more. It’s a great way to start the season. In July, students in BYSO’s
Intensive Community Program (ICP) participated in summer music camps at Noble and Greenough School.

Current and past BYSO graduating seniors have shared their favorite memories from their time at BYSO, and many of them have said that camp is one of their favorite memories. We asked, “Tell us about some of your favorite BYSO experiences”:

“BYSO camp is always one of the highlights of the year. As a place to focus solely on music-making and spending time with friends, it’s a great way to start the year. From sectionals in the morning to activities at night, those memories will always be a highlight of my experience at BYSO.” -Jeffrey Zhu, ’18

“BYSO camp and playing Symphonic Metamorphosis.” -Maria Tu, ’18

“Camp every summer with friends.” -Lailoo Perriello, ’18

“My first time going to camp…actually every time going to camp!” -Anna Kerber, ’18

“BYSO camp was always a highlight of my summer, since I got the chance to hang out with my friends and enjoy playing music.” -David Kennan, ’18

“I really cherish the friends and memories I’ve made at BYSO camp for the past 4 years that I’ve attended; I can’t think of a specific moment, but I just really enjoyed all of camp and no matter what memory I recall it is always a happy one.” -Amanda Xu, ’18

“I will always remember one rehearsal we had with John at camp during my very first year in BYSO. We were rehearsing Smetana’s Moldau in the bowl at sunset and the music was lacking something. John knew this, so he put his baton down and asked us if we’d ever just sat, alone, with no distractions, and watched the sun rise. I hadn’t. He told us that he’d actually just done this the day before and described the way it made him feel, how it looked and felt too perfect to be real. He described the emotions he had, how it was both a sad and happy moment for him, and told us that we had to channel that kind of energy into our music, the kind of energy you’d get from watching the sun rise, alone. He reminded us of the important job we had, to paint a complete picture for our audience. I don’t know why, but this gave me goosebumps. For all of us, the music suddenly meant more than just notes on a page; it had a purpose. Another moment I’ll always remember happened this summer at camp. During the Q&A with Fed, Fed had spoken about how we shouldn’t blame the great composers of the past, whether it’s Mozart, Bach, Stravinsky, Debussy etc., for the problems of today and we shouldn’t devalue the art of classical music by simply labeling it as “elitist.” In our final rehearsal at camp, Fed resumed this discussion and told us that he hoped we’d graduate from BYSO not only as good musicians, but also as good, decent people who use music as a tool to connect and better the world around them. This lesson is something I’ll carry with me wherever I go.” -Kimia Tabatabaei, ’18

“My favorite BYSO experience was getting to know and make friends at BYSO camp. My friends at BYSO are the kindest and most supportive friends I could have ever asked for and I am so grateful I had this year to create music with them.” -Rachael Chen, ’18

“Meeting lifelong friends at summer camp.” -Alexander Feltner Harrison, ’18

“I debated whether or not to audition for BYSO for an incredibly long time for the sole reason that I might feel inadequate or alone. Beginning the season with a mandatory camp with strangers just seemed to make it worse. But, immediately, I felt so welcome and so appreciated. For three summers, BYSO and its community somehow made endlessly long hours of rehearsal so enjoyable.” -Sun-Jung Yum, ’19

“I’ve made some of my best friends during BYSO camp.” -Chen Chen Huang, ’19

“I really enjoyed experiencing camp and making new friends there. I met a few folks I never would have imagined meeting anywhere else, and I want to keep those friendships alive for as long as possible.” -Olivia Ceterski, ’19

“Summer in Maine has been one of my favorite things about BYSO! Making new friends and learning awesome music is always a highlight.” -Cyan Jean, ’19

“BYSO camp for sure!! I remember my first ever BYSO camp so vividly. I was so excited by how everyone there loved classical music and loved the pieces we were playing—it was my first time being in that kind of environment. It was one of those experiences that solidified why I wanted to go into music.” -Grace Helmke, ’19

“Camp! Got to really work with and connect with byso campers (not just from BYS), and I also got to talk/interact with the conductors outside of rehearsal.” -Christopher Lee, ’19

“One of my favorite experiences has to be the annual summer camp; it’s so beyond inspiring to be surrounded by so many people who care so deeply about music and performance, and it has always pushed me to be better myself.” -Yingzi (Cherry) Xiang, ’19

Photos by Michael J. Lutch 

For more camp photos click here!

Senior Awards 2022

Each year, we award the Robert Hardt Memorial Award and the Philip J. Smith Award to seniors in the graduating class. Read about the awards and this year’s recipients below!

The Robert Hardt Memorial Award

The Robert Hardt Memorial Award for outstanding musical achievement is awarded every year to an outstanding BYSO senior who displays talent, character, responsibility, significant contribution to the organization, and who plans to pursue a career in music. The award comes with a cash prize.

Robert J. Hardt was a dedicated member of BYSO for four years. He played timpani under conductor Walter Eisenberg and planned to study music after graduation. He was accepted to the Eastman School of Music, Juilliard, and the New England Conservatory. Robert never made it to college that fall because he was stricken by a heart attack during a hockey game. Robert died the morning of BYSO’s 15th anniversary concert. That night, his teacher Tom Gauger performed his part. Robert was committed to music. He participated in his high school band and orchestra, All-State Orchestra, All-Eastern Orchestra, and had been invited for two years to play in the National American Youth performance in Washington, D.C. He performed in the Youth Artist Program at Tanglewood and was a member of the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble. His friends remember him with smiles, recalling his modesty and love of life. In memory of Robert, his family set up an award to recognize a graduating senior who will carry on Robert’s passion for life and music. In a friend’s yearbook, Robert Hardt wrote, “Don’t ever forget BYSO.” We continue to remember his dedication to music and his true spirit for BYSO.

The Philip J. Smith Award

The Philip J. Smith Award honors a BYSO senior who fosters the ideals of Mr. Smith. These include musical excellence, leadership, participation in various BYSO orchestras and ensembles, length of membership in BYSO, a significant musical and personal contribution to BYSO, and a devotion to creating a supportive and positive atmosphere within the BYSO community. The recipient of the Smith Award need not pursue a career in music. Philip J. Smith served on the BYSO Board of Directors for 20 years, witnessing the appointment of five music directors and traveling on three international tours. Mr. Smith served as president of the board from 1988-1991 and from 1996-2000.

BYSO PROUDLY AWARDS:

The Robert Hardt Memorial Award
Ethan Chaves, Violin ● Lau Yeung Wong, Tuba

The Philip J. Smith Award
Noanddi Manigat, bass • Sava Thurber, violin

Ethan Chaves
Violin

Ethan Chaves is a 12th grade student from Charlton, MA. He studies violin at Juilliard Pre-College with Joel Smirnoff and Naoko Tanaka, and studies
composition with Eric Ewazen and John Harbison. Ethan is currently in his 11th season with BYSO and 8th with BYS. He is a proud member of the BYS student committee and honors chamber group. He has received
numerous awards for his violin playing, including 1st place in the 2022 UMass Young Artist Awards, Finalist for Classical Music in National YoungArts, Winner of the BYS Concerto Competition, 3rd Prize in the Boston
Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition, and 1st Prize in the Stasia B. Hovenesia Prize of the Music Guild of Music Worcester. In 2019, he received the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award with an appearance on NPR’s From The Top. He has been a participant of masterclasses with artists such as Julia Fischer, Anne Akiko-Meyers, Kirill Troussov, Mark Kaplan, Elmar Oliveira, and Itamar Zorman. During the summer, Ethan has attended a variety of festivals and camps, including the Heifetz Institute, Curtis Summerfest, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Holy Cross Chamber Music Festival. For the summer of 2022 he will be a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. Ethan has also received acclaim for his work in composition, being named an “emerging composer” by Tribeca New Music. He was also named a finalist in the National Young Composers Challenge and the 2022 New Music on the Bluff festival. His works have been read and performed at venues including the Juilliard School, Loyola Marymount University, and National Sawdust by performers and ensembles including the New York Youth Symphony, Juilliard Pre College Symphony, Kenichiro Aiso, Jessica Meyer, and Thomas Kraines. This fall, Ethan will begin his studies at Harvard University and New England Conservatory through their dual degree program.

Lau Yeung Wong
Tuba

Lau Yeung Wong began playing the tuba at age 9 with Andrew Knight, then studied with Jerome Stover. He joined BYSO at age 12 where he has played with JRO, REP and BYS, and has been a student of Jobey Wilson since age 14. Lau has also played with the NEC’s Junior and Senior Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensembles, as well as the NEC’s Youth Symphony and the Rivers Youth Orchestras. Moreover, he performed with Bentley University’s pep band and Boston College’s wind ensemble. In February of 2020, he traveled to France with the Senior MYWE and had multiple performances with Sr. MYWE, including a brass quintet performance. He performed at the All-Eastern National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Orchestra in 2021, and four MMEA ALL-State Festivals as the principal tubist. He was selected to perform at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) ALL-National Honor Ensembles, but unfortunately was unable to attend due to Covid cancellations. In June of 2021, he received the Leslie Holmes Young Artists Award and the Leslie Holmes Band Award. In March of 2022, Lau placed third in the high school division of the 2021-2022 Phoenix Brass Collective International Young Artist Competition for Brass and Percussion, with his performance of Concerto in one movement by Alexej K. Lebedev. In May of 2022, Laureceived the Philip Turner Music Award. One of Lau’s favorite musical experiences so far would be the Opera performances with BYS. After graduation, Lau will be attending The Juilliard School, where he will major in tuba performance. He is looking forward to studying tuba with Alan Baer, as well as attending Low Brass Classes led by Joe Alessi from the New York Philharmonic. 

Noanddi Manigat
Bass

Noanddi Manigat, a bassist and recent graduate from The Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, started playing with ICP in 2010. Being a member of ICP has granted him numerous musical experiences, such as performing in Boston’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations, playing chamber music on WCVB CityLine, performing in Symphony Hall, traveling to Los Angeles, artist residency at the Walnut Hill school, and teaching younger ICP students during summer camp. In 2019, he joined the Boston Youth Symphony (BYS), and his quartet was selected for the BYS Honors Chamber program. He especially enjoyed performing in Bartok’s Wooden Prince Suite and preparing for Mahler’s 6th Symphony. In the Fall of 2019, Noanddi joined the Boston BEAM (Bridge to Equity & Achievement in Music) program. Beyond music, Noanddi is interested in science. He hopes to pursue a dual degree in engineering and music at Skidmore College in the fall.

Sava Thurber
Violin

Sava Thurber was born in Exeter, NH, in 2004 and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy (PEA) in 2022. He started learning violin at age three with PEA faculty member, Louise Kandle, and joined the studio of Ms. Eva Gruesser, first violin of the Lark Quartet, in 2014. In the last year, Sava has also been studying with Mr. Daniel Chong, first violin of the Parker Quartet.

In high school, Sava was concertmaster of PEA’s Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, he won the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra’s concerto competition and his Accenti Trio was a semi-finalist in the international Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

For the past ten seasons, Sava has enjoyed playing with all the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) ensembles that feature strings. In 2018, Sava and his brother, Dacha, were co-winners of the Boston Youth Symphony’s (BYS) concerto competition. That same year, Sava traveled with BYS to Leipzig, Germany, where they performed at the world-famous BachFest. Other memorable BYSO experiences included performing in five operas, playing both violin and viola in chamber groups, being mentored by all the wonderful BYSO conductors and violin coaches, attending the annual BYSO camp, and enjoying his many BYSO friendships.

In 2017, Sava and Dacha started a music program at a school and orphanage in Haiti, with instruments they purchased with their busking proceeds. Two years later, the boys performed for Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and donated musical instruments and sports gear to Serbian orphans.

At the start of the pandemic, Sava started a YouTube/Instagram livestream for quarantined families, co-hosted with Dacha. Their 2 DA BEAT show quickly became a hit, thanks to Sava’s unique combination of music, history, wise cracks, and musical theory. 2 DA BEAT raised thousands of dollars for BYSO, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the NAACP.

Sava also enjoys Rubik’s puzzles and track and field. In 2021, he was the javelin state champion and attended the 2022 National Championship with his 4x400m relay team. He grew up spending summers at Camp Belknap and has served on the leadership since 2020. After a gap year, Sava will matriculate at Harvard University.

BYSO Graduating Class of 2022- List of Colleges

Here is a list of the colleges that our BYSO class of 2022 will be attending in the Fall! We are so proud of all our talented seniors and so grateful for everything they have contributed to BYSO, and we know they will continue to thrive and make a difference no matter what their next chapter holds. Congratulations, class of 2022

Congratulations to you all!
Nate Aistrup, Boston University
Halden Aistrup, Cleveland Institute of Music
Ian Aistrup, Boston University
Kate Arkin, Georgetown University
Sam Bean, Williams College
Alisa Belotti, Tohoku University
Matteas Berg, Boston University
Ella Berger, UMass
Sarah Bo, Wake Forest University
Margot Brady, University of Virginia
Arden Caldicott, Williams College
Mina Chae, Harvard University
Jonathan Chalumeau, Babson College
Isla Chasin, Oberlin College
Megan Chau, Boston College
Ethan Chaves, Harvard University / New England
Conservatory
William Chen, Boston University
Tabitha Chen-Fiske, Harvard University
Michael Cheng, Yale University
Grace Choi, Syracuse University
Alexander Erlich-Herzog, Curtis Institute of Music
Phoebe Estell, Boston University
Sean Fay, New York University
Isha Gopal, New York University
Alex Gouthro, Bowdoin College
Aluna Herrera, Northwestern University
Ames Hwang, Williams College
Austin Jacobson, Brown University
Nadya Keeney, UC San Diego
Gaeun Lee, Yale University
Kenneth Lee, Purdue University
Chris Li, Harvard University
Alex Li, Harvard University
Joshua Lim, Cornell University
Robert Liu, University of Michigan
Olivia Ma, Boston University
Elia Matrician, Wesleyan University
Amanda Medina, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology
Raphael Mok, Boston University
Hugh Park, Brandeis University
Rahul Prasad, Harvard University
Emma Reddy, University of Maryland
Gabriel de los Reyes, Boston Conservatory
Emily Rimkus, Cleveland Institute of Music
Cordelia Rozmiarek, University of Rochester
Erica Sahin, Brown University
Aaditya Saini, UMass Amherst
Carson Saponaro, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Karthik Seetharaman, Stanford University
Rachel Shi, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Miriam Siegel, Georgetown University
Jacob Simon, North Carolina State University
Sam Stevens, UMass Amherst
Nia Suresh, Northwestern University
Artha Tavshikar, University of Illinois
Sava Thurber, Harvard College
Ethan Walsh, Columbia University
Henry Wasserman, Washington University in St. Louis
Lau Yeung Wong, The Juilliard School
Jocelyn Wu, UC Irvine
Alex Yin, Harvard University
Sofia Zhao, Stanford University
Hannah Zupancic, Brown University

2021-2022 Season Appreciation

As we celebrate the end of BYSO’s 64th season, we would like to take a moment to appreciate all of the wonderful people who have helped make this season so great! Thank you to all of you for the work you’ve done this season, and for helping us continue to be adaptable, adjust to any changes that come our way, and carry out our mission. You truly are the best!

COACHES

Robb Aistrup
Fred Aldrich
Nick Auer
Steve Banzaert
Bob Barnes
Kathleen Berger
Mark Berger
Anna Bradford
Ben Carson
Wylliam Cheng
Arnor Chu
Alessandro Cirafici
James Cooke
Tony D’Amico
Brian Diehl
Charles Dimmick
Miriam Eckelhoefer
Joan Ellersick
Nathaniel Farny
Nick Finch
Liz Foulser
Ben Fox
Noriko Futagami

Neil Godwin
Adam Goldberg
Judy Grant
John Holland
Joe Holt
Phil Hyman
Rachel Juzsczak
Krysten Keches
Marina Krickler
Rainice Lai
Steve Laven
Sangwon Lee
Jackie Ludwig
Huiying Ma
Cynthia Mathiesen
Charles Morris
Zoe Murphy
Ryan Noe
Liv Oster
Charles Overton
Rob Patterson
Bryan Ping
Alix Raspe Gray

Madison Richards
Bill Rounds
Marla Rubinson
Alex Russell
Narek Sahakian
Angelica Samonte
Brent Selby
Richard Shaughnessy
Geoff Shamu
Adrian Slywotzky
Ryan Snyder
Susie Telsey
Danilo Thurber
Janet Underhill
Zeb Upton
Pete Walsh
Michael Weinfield-Zell
Leigh Wilson
Randy Zigler
Yonah Zur

ARTISTIC STAFF/CONDUCTORS

Federico Cortese, Music Director; Conductor of Boston Youth Symphony
Adrian Slywotzky, Artistic Consultant
Joseph Bozich, Artistic Advisor and Conductor
Mark Miller, Conductor of Repertory Orchestra
John Holland, Conductor of Junior Repertory Orchestra
Janet Underhill, Conductor of Preparatory Winds; Assistant Director of Intensive Community Program
Marta Zurad, Conductor of Young People’s String Orchestra, Petit Ensemble, Intensive Community Program
Nicole Cariglia, Artistic Director of Intensive Community Program
Miriam Eckelhoefer, Director of the Chamber Music Program

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

Catherine Weiskel, Executive Director
Gabriel Cobas, General Manager
Martha Robinson, Director of Development
Erin Keegan Ianni, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Jo-Ann Branco, Director of Finance
Kathryn Rudolph, Director of Operations and Community Programs
David Abraham, Associate Director of Operations
David Angelo, Operations Manager
Nickolette Cartales, Community Programs Associate
Paul Seitz, Operations Associate
Kara Newcombe, Marketing and Finance Manager
Molly Grannell, Associate Director of Individual Giving
Kendra Walton, Institutional Giving Officer
Joanna Wendel, Institutional Giving Associate
Shannon Canavin, Development Manager, Events
Caitlin Thompson, Development Associate
Katie McInerney, Executive Assistant

BOARD

Officers
Margaret Chen, President
Cecilia O’Keefe, Vice President
Jean-Marc Berteaux, Treasurer
Ben Brady, Secretary

Directors
Robert Beaser ’72
Kenneth Bello
Michael Berk
Eran Egozy ’89
Anthony Fogg
Jennifer Lynn
Gregory Melchor-Barz, ex officio
Senthil Muthiah
John Navien
Femi Obi
David Odeh
Michael Patti
Sarah Schaffer Raux
Tom Ruby
Jordan Stone
Catherine Weiskel, ex officio
Andy West
Stephen Wagner ’08, ex officio
Dr. Harvey Young, ex officio

BYSO Council
Hugo Arellano-Santoyo
Natalie Baker
Anne Chai
Abe Dewing ’87
Sol Jin ’07
David Jones ’85
Alexandra Morgan-Welch ’10
Adrienne Rosenblatt ’08
Ashwanth Samuel
Stephen Wagner ’08, Chair

Advisory Board
Munir Alam
John Avallon
Alison Tschopp Bomberg
Peter Bonney ’95
Cecilia Chao
Ken Chow
Peter Coffin
David Druley
David Jones ’85
Young Lee
Mahmood Malihi
Melissa McMorrow
Anne Morris
Jasmine Richards
Robert Skinner
LeVerne Stephens

Honorary Members
Gabriella Beranek
John W. Coffey, III
Pamela Humphrey
Philip J. Smith

Presidents Emeriti
Tom Draper
Joe Grimaldi
George Keches
Philip J. Smith
Eduardo Tobon
John Wall
David Welch

GRADUATING SENIORS

Congratulations to you all!
Nate Aistrup, Boston University
Halden Aistrup, Cleveland Institute of Music
Ian Aistrup, Boston University
Kate Arkin, Georgetown University
Sam Bean, Williams College
Alisa Belotti, Tohoku University
Matteas Berg, Boston University
Ella Berger, UMass
Sarah Bo, Wake Forest University
Margot Brady, University of Virginia
Arden Caldicott, Williams College
Mina Chae, Harvard University
Jonathan Chalumeau, Babson College
Isla Chasin, Oberlin College
Megan Chau, Boston College
Ethan Chaves, Harvard University / New England
Conservatory
William Chen, Boston University
Tabitha Chen-Fiske, Harvard University
Michael Cheng, Yale University
Grace Choi, Syracuse University
Alexander Erlich-Herzog, Curtis Institute of Music
Phoebe Estell, Boston University
Sean Fay, New York University
Isha Gopal, New York University
Alex Gouthro, Bowdoin College
Aluna Herrera, Northwestern University
Ames Hwang, Williams College
Austin Jacobson, Brown University
Nadya Keeney, UC San Diego
Gaeun Lee, Yale University
Kenneth Lee, Purdue University
Chris Li, Harvard University
Alex Li, Harvard University
Joshua Lim, Cornell University
Robert Liu, University of Michigan
Olivia Ma, Boston University
Elia Matrician, Wesleyan University
Amanda Medina, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology
Raphael Mok, Boston University
Hugh Park, Brandeis University
Rahul Prasad, Harvard University
Emma Reddy, University of Maryland
Gabriel de los Reyes, Boston Conservatory
Emily Rimkus, Cleveland Institute of Music
Cordelia Rozmiarek, University of Rochester
Erica Sahin, Brown University
Aaditya Saini, UMass Amherst
Carson Saponaro, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Karthik Seetharaman, Stanford University
Rachel Shi, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Miriam Siegel, Georgetown University
Jacob Simon, North Carolina State University
Sam Stevens, UMass Amherst
Nia Suresh, Northwestern University
Artha Tavshikar, University of Illinois
Sava Thurber, Harvard College
Ethan Walsh, Columbia University
Henry Wasserman, Washington University in St. Louis
Lau Yeung Wong, The Juilliard School
Jocelyn Wu, UC Irvine
Alex Yin, Harvard University
Sofia Zhao, Stanford University
Hannah Zupancic, Brown University

A huge thank you to ALL of our parents and students for your kind help and excellent hard work this season! We appreciate each and every one of you!

Tribute to Althea Wright
1950-2021

Fourteen years ago, Althea Wright’s passion to touch and mentor youth historically underrepresented in the study of classical music led her to the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO).  She loved the fact that BYSO offered a wonderful introduction to classical music, providing an inclusive environment for all children from the City of Boston; allowing them to participate with professional musicians to create music. Throughout her journey with BYSO, she was a major subscriber to all the concerts, attended every gala and steadfastly lent her financial support while recruiting others to attend concerts and support BYSO’s mission

As she got to know the organization, she especially fell in love with the Intensive Community Program (ICP), a rigorous instrument training program serving African American, Latinx, Caribbean and other students of color. She identified with ICP’s mission and saw herself in these inner-city children.  Her conviction was that in order for them to achieve their life’s aspirations without limitations; it was important to broaden their perspectives through exposure to events and activities outside of their everyday lives. Her support of BYSO aligned with her goal of mentoring young people to help them achieve success.

As was her nature, the BYSO children became her extended family.  The impact she had on their lives would otherwise not be available if it were not for her sheer will and commitment to impart the BYSO opportunity and experience. During the last year of her life, she worked tirelessly as an Advisory Board Member to advance BYSO’s mission and expansion plans.  Though we will greatly miss her physical presence, her support of BYSO’s mission and the ICP will continue. In addition to her family and friends, who honored her wishes by gifting memorial donations to BYSO; each year, as per her directive, her sister will make a donation to the annual gala.  Every time her BYSO “sons” and “daughters” perform, her memory will be forever honored.

BYSO’s 64th Season Concerto Competition Winners

The winners of this year’s virtual concerto competition are…
Boston Youth Symphony
Winner: Alexander Erlich-Herzog, Clarinet. Mozart, Clarinet Concerto in A Major.

Repertory Orchestra
Winners:
Eileen Ho, Violin. Bruch, Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, mvt. 1
Abigail Shin, Violin. Saint-Saëns, Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, mvt. 1

Congratulations to everyone that participated! Read more about our talented concerto competition winners, Alexander, Eileen, and Abigail below:

Alexander Erlich-Herzog is a 12th-grade homeschool student residing in Concord, Massachusetts. He started playing the piano at the age of five and the clarinet when he was ten. While spending a year in Portugal in 2017-2018, he began studying clarinet with Nuno Silva (Principal Clarinetist of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra, and Professor of Clarinet at the National Superior Orchestra Academy of Lisbon) and piano with Artur Pizarro and Paulo Oliveira of the same academy. He studies composition with Davide Ianni of NEC. Alexander has been a member of the Boston Youth Symphony under Federico Cortese since the fall of 2018 and also plays with the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and, occasionally, the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. He has twice placed as a finalist in the Silverstein Global Clarinet Competition (becoming a Silverstein Next Generation Artist and winning a Shining Talent award) and placed third at the 2021 Verão Clássico Festival and Academy in Lisbon, before winning the BYS Concerto Competition. He has participated in many masterclasses in both the United States and Europe. Besides his musical activities, Alexander is also an accomplished chess player, who traveled the world extensively, and who speaks multiple languages. 

Abigail Shin is a sophomore at Newton South High School in Newton, MA.  She has been a member of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) since 2019. This is her first year in REP, where she is currently a concertmaster. Prior to BYSO, she was a member of the New England Conservatory (NEC) Prep Orchestras.  Abby began her music career playing piano at age 4, studying with Yu Ya Huang, and switched to the violin at age 10. She is currently a student of Kyoko Horowitz, a member of the violin faculty at NEC and founder of the Boston Music Institute (BMI). Abby’s former instructors include Yeolim Nam, Yuna Kim, and Emil Altschuler. She has also participated in the 2020 MMEA All-State Music Festival Orchestra, 2020 MMEA Eastern Senior Festival Orchestra, 2018 and 2019 MMEA Eastern Junior Festival Orchestras, and performed for her local church services and school showcases.  In addition to playing violin, Abby loves competing on her high school debate team and has debated in a range of tournaments in the local to national circuit.

Eileen Ho is a 9th grade student at Lexington High School. She has played the violin since the age of four, and is currently studying under Marla Rubinson at the Lexington Music School at the Munroe Center for the Arts. She joined BYSO in 2017 and has enjoyed playing and performing over the years.  Eileen also plays chamber music at the Lexington Chamber Music Center, and regularly performs in outreach concerts for local retirement homes and nursing facilities. Outside of music, Eileen is passionate about art and science. This year, she competed in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to earn multiple gold keys and the Best of Category Award for Massachusetts. In 2021, she represented Lexington’s Diamond Middle School in the Massachusetts State Science Olympiad Competition, and went on to compete at the National Science Olympiad Tournament.

Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf By Sergei Prokofiev
BYSO is delighted to present a special video presentation of Prokofiev’s classic tale. This video celebrates the dedication and perseverance of our students and artistic staff who worked hard to present this timeless production.

We hope you enjoy this wonderful introduction to the instruments of the orchestra and this charming story!

Welcome!

We are excited to welcome the following new staff members to the BYSO family – Nickolette Cartales, David Angelo, and Joanna Wendel.

Nickolette Cartales, Community Programs Associate

 Nickolette Cartales began learning viola at age 5, which lead her to graduate from Ithaca College with a bachelor’s degree in music, as well as a degree in Spanish Literature and Language. She believes that music brings people together and creates profound connections and communities. Furthermore, Nickolette is a strong advocate for youth orchestral and chamber music programs because of the discipline and communication skills they brought her as a student, along with the experience of sharing music with others. 

While obtaining her Master of Music degree at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, she was a teaching assistant at Conservatory Lab Charter School, Boston String Academy, and Longy’s Sistema Side-by-Side Program. Since then, she has worked in administrative roles, most notably at the Heifetz International Music Institute this summer as the Faculty and Festival Assistant in Virginia. In her spare time, Nickolette enjoys reading, bike riding, and playing duets with her sister. 

David Angelo, Operations Associate

David Angelo is a clarinetist and teacher based in the Boston area for the past 9 years. He studied at the Boston Conservatory where he went on to earn a Master’s degree in Contemporary Music Performance. As a fierce advocate for new music David has taken part in the world premieres of around 100 solo, chamber, and large ensemble works. Some performance highlights include premiering a concerto with the Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble and touring the US with Ambient Orchestra, performing an arrangement of David Bowie’s final album Blackstar. David has played with many local Boston groups including the Du Bois Orchestra, New England Film Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Sound Icon, MIT Wind Ensemble, Boston Opera Collaborative, and MassOpera. David has recently completed certification to be an Alexander Technique teacher. Before joining BYSO he served as a founding organizer and Ensemble and Event Manager for Chimera New Music, Assistant Production Manager for the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Artistic Associate for Boston New Music Initiative, and the Assistant Performance Librarian at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He also teaches a private studio of clarinet, saxophone, and piano students. 

Joanna Wendel, Institutional Giving Associate

Joanna is the newest member of the development team at BYSO. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history and previously held curatorial roles at the MFA Boston and the Harvard Art Museums. Joanna started playing the violin at age 7 and is an alumna of Young People’s Symphony Orchestra in Berkeley, CA and Princeton University Sinfonia. She is excited to bring her passion for arts education to BYSO.

In Memoriam: Edward Berkeley

It is with the deepest of sadness that BYSO acknowledges the sudden passing of Ed Berkeley, our beloved opera Stage Director.  On July 19 Ed died just before the opening of a production of “The Magic Flute” that he staged at the Aspen Music Festival.  
https://www.aspentimes.com/news/aspen-music-festival-opera-director-edward-berkeley-dies/

“Ed has been a crucial partner in our opera program at BYSO for nearly a decade. He was the most generous and supportive of colleagues. His productions of the operas were creative, crystal clear and extraordinarily communicative. His demeanors in and out of rehearsals were calm and kind. He was admired and respected by all singers and musicians. His expertise and knowledge were a constant help to me in planning and executing this very important part of our season. Last year he played a crucial role in many of BYS’s important video projects. His generosity in preparing them was matched only by the outstanding results. I cannot begin to express my gratitude and my sadness. I will miss him terribly and so will the entire BYSO opera team.” Federico Cortese, BYSO Music Director

BYSO: A Year Through Video

Despite the limitations of social distancing created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra musicians have persevered and worked hard to make music in a virtual format. A few videos of these special remote performances are featured below. We hope you enjoy!


BYSO (Virtually) Presents Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”
At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras’ students spread JOY by making music from their homes.
BYSO Presents Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
This video was put together using separate recordings filmed by students of the Boston Youth Symphony with their own cellphones, in their homes.
BYSO Intensive Community Program 2020 Holiday Concert
A special holiday celebration featuring “Air” from Suite No. 3 by J.S. Bach;
“Carol of the Bells” Traditional, arranged by Janet Underhill;
“Trepak” from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, arranged by Sandra Dackow

BYSO Repertory Orchestra Presents “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson
This version of “Sleigh Ride” was performed by students from the Repertory Orchestra in December 2020

A Testament of Hope – A Celebration of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
This 14th annual collaboration between the Museum of African American History and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras represents a unique partnership of history and music that highlights the words of Dr. King and the musicians of BYSO’s Intensive Community Program Orchestra. MAAH and BYSO recognize the universal role of music in the African American experience and its impact across race and ethnicity to advance the message of freedom and hope, past, present, and future.

We hope you have enjoyed celebrating this year of music-making with us across virtual platforms!

BYSO’s 63rd Season Concerto Competition Winners

The winners of this year’s virtual concerto competition are…
Boston Youth Symphony
Winner: Sean Jang, violin, Sarasate – Carmen Fantasy
Repertory Orchestra
Winner: Alette Williams, violin, Mendelssohn-Violin Concerto, Movement 1

Boston Youth Symphony Honorable Mention:
Emily DeNucci, flute. Ibert, Flute Concerto

Repertory Orchestra Honorable Mention:
Sofia Zhao, flute, Chaminade – Flute Concertino
Honorable Mention: Karthik Seetharaman, cello, Shostakovich – Cello Concierto No. 1, Movement 1

Congratulations to everyone that participated! Read more about our talented concerto competition winners, Sean and Alette, below:

Sean Jang, violin
Boston Youth Symphony Concerto Competition Winner

From the age of five, Sean Jang was recognized as a protégé violinist with a technical facility and musical talent. As a soloist and section leader, he has been leading violin and viola sections for Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul’s School (SPS) in Concord, NH, Singapore American School, Singapore National Youth Orchestra, International School of Geneva, Switzerland, Conservatory of Geneva, United Nations Orchestra, San Diego Suzuki Orchestra, Temecula Ensemble, Seoul Ensemble, Duo SI, and JANG Trio. Sean’s musical achievements include 2020 Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner, 2020 Lake Region Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition Scholarship 2nd place Winner, 2020 Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner of Audience Choice, 2020 American Protege International Concerto Competition at Carnegie Hall first place winner, 2019 Taiwan International Competition first prize, 2018 Singapore Music Teacher’s Competition gold medal, 2015-2016 Swiss National Youth Music Competition for solo and chamber division winner, Concertmaster in 2018 International School Honor Orchestra, 2020 All-State Music Festival Orchestra, and World premier solo duet ‘Duet of Duet’ dedicated to Sean JANG by Kirt Mosier. Recently he has mesmerized audiences with his outstanding performances at SPS and with Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. He has studied with Dan Dery, Igor Yuzefovich, Min Lee, Yin Ke, and Zoia Bolovsky to pursue his musical career. Sean is currently a sophomore at St. Paul’s School (SPS) in Concord, NH/International School of Geneva. He is preparing for International Competitions and concerts in Geneva, Switzerland and in Boston, MA, USA.

Alette Williams, violin
Repertory Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner

Alette Williams is a 6th grade homeschool student residing in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her parents and her 5 siblings. She is currently studying violin under Dan Flonta of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Drawn to the violin at age three, it quickly became a passion and she hasn’t put it down since. Former instructors who have poured into her growth include Carol Sykes, Nikki Engstrom, and Jenna Potts. Last year she had the exciting and inspiring opportunity to have a lesson with former concertmaster of BSO, Malcolm Lowe. Alette is a self-motivated learner, always seeking to pursue excellence in all she does. She has been performing with BYSO since 2nd grade. Besides playing the violin, she is also a competitive team gymnast. She has a heart for people and for animals. Alette hopes to someday own a farm and pursue a career as either a soloist or as a member of an orchestra.