Ensemble’s European tour includes performances in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg with 75 students from 37 different schools
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will make its first international tour in June 2012, a European Tour that includes concerts in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. The tour takes place from June 13-21, 2012.
The Youth Orchestra’s concerts will be performed in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum in Prague (June 15); the Minoritenkirche, a historic, Gothic church in the heart of Vienna (June 18); and the Grosser Saal of the Mozarteum in Salzburg (June 20). The tour repertoire includes Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8, Elgar’s Enigma Variations, and Wagner’s “Prelude and Love-Death” from Tristan and Isolde.
The Youth Orchestra will be conducted by Music Director James Feddeck, who is also assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra. With the Youth Orchestra, he has presented concerts in Severance Hall and throughout Northeast Ohio.
In addition to performing three concerts during the tour, activities for the Youth Orchestra members include guided sightseeing tours of Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. Among places to be visited are Karlštejn Castle, Terezin Concentration Camp, the Old Town, Prague Castle, and Wenceslas Square in or near Prague; the Musikverein, the inner historic city, and the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery, where numerous famous composers are buried, including Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and Johann Strauss Jr.) in Vienna; and Mozart’s birthplace, the Hohensalzburg Fortress (one of the largest, fully-preserved medieval castles in Europe), and many of the original Sound of Music locations in Salzburg.
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will be performing a tour send-off concert in Cleveland on Saturday, June 9, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. at Severance Hall. The performance will be broadcast live on WCLV (104.9 FM). Tickets for this concert are priced at $12 and $20 (box seats).
The 2012 European Tour performances mark the Youth Orchestra’s fourth tour in its 26-year history. In June of 1998, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra was one of five youth orchestras chosen from around the nation to participate in a National Youth Orchestra Festival at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. In March 2001, the Youth Orchestra made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the Hall’s Family Concert Series, and also performed at Penn State University’s Eisenhower Auditorium. In June 2009, the Youth Orchestra performed four concerts in Boston and neighboring cities.
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra tour is made possible in part through the generosity of the Vinney family. In April 2011 the Jules and Ruth Vinney Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Touring Fund was established to help cover costs of Youth Orchestra tours and to provide scholarships to eligible Youth Orchestra members.
Jules and Ruth Vinney were long-time supporters of The Cleveland Orchestra. A gift from the Jules and Ruth Vinney Philanthropic Fund, advised by their children Les Vinney, Margo Vinney, and Karen Jacobs, established this generous Touring Fund. As young adults, Jules Vinney was a violinist who performed with The Cleveland Orchestra in the 1930s, and Ruth Vinney was a school teacher. The creation of this endowment fund is a fitting tribute to their life-long interests in music and education, and will provide perpetual support for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s touring program.
CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The 2011-12 season marks the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s 26th year and the third season under the direction of James Feddeck. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is one of northern Ohio’s premier musical destinations for aspiring student musicians. Since its inaugural concert in 1987, the Youth Orchestra has performed more than 130 concerts and provided a musical home to over 1,200 talented young instrumentalists.
Founded by Jahja Ling, then resident conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) provides serious young music students of middle- and high-school age with a pre-professional orchestral training experience in a full symphony orchestra. Cleveland Orchestra musicians coach the 100 members of the group, and a member of the Orchestra’s conducting staff serves as music director. Youth Orchestra members also have opportunities to work with internationally renowned guest artists and conductors, which have included Pierre Boulez, Andrew Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Yo-Yo Ma, Kurt Masur, Gil Shaham, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst.
As one of the best youth orchestras in the country, and one of just a few affiliated with a top-tier orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra has garnered a number of prestigious accolades. In 1998, the Youth Orchestra was selected to participate in the second National Youth Orchestra Festival sponsored by the League of American Orchestras. In March 2001, the Youth Orchestra appeared on the Family Concert Series at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and, in June 2009, the Youth Orchestra traveled to Boston for a series of four performances. In June 2012, the Youth Orchestra makes its first international tour, with concerts in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg.
In recent years, several Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra students have been featured on the nationally syndicated radio series From the Top, and several others have won full-time positions in major orchestras, including four in The Cleveland Orchestra.
Members of the Youth Orchestra range in age from 12 to 18 and are chosen through competitive auditions held each spring. They come from more than 40 communities in more than a dozen counties throughout Northern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania to rehearse together each week in Severance Hall. The Youth Orchestra season runs from September through May and includes a three-concert subscription series in Severance Hall, radio broadcasts of Youth Orchestra concerts on Cleveland’s classical music station WCLV (104.9 FM), and a variety of community concerts by both the full orchestra and chamber groups of Youth Orchestra members.
The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra is supported by grants from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and Surdna Foundation, and by gifts from many other generous donors. Endowment support is provided by The George Gund Foundation, The Estate of Jules and Ruth Vinney, and Christine Gitlin Miles.