Benjamin Zander to receive the Youth Orchestra of the Americas 10th anniversary award
Posted: 2012-05-29 13:16:00
At the 10th Anniversary Celebration of YOA Orchestra of the Americas on May 30th in Washington DC, Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and the newly launched Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, will be the recipient of YOA’s 10th Anniversary Award. Known worldwide for his passionate teaching and conducting, and his electrifying performances, Zander is being honored not only for his inspirational leadership with YOA over the last ten years, but for his invaluable contribution to the youth symphony movement across the Americas . The award will be presented by Chilean Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Felipe Bulnes.
Later in the summer Maestro Zander will conduct two YOA concerts in La Serena and Valparaíso, Chile; lead a 10-day workshop for La Serena’s Youth Orchestra "Jorge Peña Hen;" and conduct and present an intensive workshop for the National Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic.
Benjamin Zander last performed in Chile in 1993 and 1995 with the New England Conservatory Youth Philharmonic Orchestra in triumphant tours of the country’s major concert halls. Following his lifelong purpose to bring classical music to the uninitiated, he performed in rural venues where the majority of the listeners flocked to hear a symphony orchestra for the first time in their lives. US Ambassador to Chile, Curtis Warren Kammen, stated that the initial visit of the NEC YPO “did more for US-Chile relations than anything else during my tenure.” The two tours were lauded by musical and political leaders as supremely important for rebuilding Chile’s music education and youth orchestra infrastructure that had been nearly destroyed during the reign of Augusto Pinochet.
YOA Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto states: “I have shared duties with Ben Zander for two YOA tours, and now greatly look forward to doing so again in Chile. He is someone who has more enthusiasm, love and energy in his music making making than anyone else I know. I feel honored to work alongside Maestro Zander, and congratulate him for an award, which is a reflection of a whole life of great music making!”
Zander is nearing completion of a cycle of Mahler symphonies, each with accompanying explanation disk, performed with London's famed Philharmonia Orchestra. These recordings, under Telarc’s label, have received with characteristic attention and critical acclaim. Their latest recording of Bruckner’s 5th Symphony was nominated for a 2010 Grammy. Mahler’s 2nd Symphony is due to be released later this year.
Mr. Zander is one of the most sought after speakers in the world. He gave an opening Keynote address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where on another occasion he was awarded the Crystal award for "outstanding contributions in the arts and international relations". In 2002 he was awarded the "Caring Citizen of the Humanities" Award by the International Council for Caring Communities at the United Nations. In honor of his 70th birthday, and 44 years of teaching, he was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the New England Conservatory.
YOA is a world-class symphony orchestra of gifted young musicians, up to the age of 30, representing more than 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere. YOA’s mission is to bring together energetic, talented musicians to pursue excellence and celebrate cultural diversity as a catalyst for social change. In ten years, YOA has become internationally recognized by bringing renowned artists— from Yo-Yo Ma to Paquito D’Rivera, from Plácido Domingo to Philip Glass— into the lives of young musicians and diverse audiences.
Free and open auditions are held annually in January via YouTube to ensure that any deserving and eligible musician can apply. Following adjudication by prestigious faculty, all musicians in the new orchestra participate on full-scholarship, to achieve the greatest equality and diversity possible. The season centerpiece is a July-August Residence and Concert Tour held each year in different regions of the world. Musicians, faculty, conductors, guest artists, and staff gather for a 2-week Residence of daily master classes, individual instruction, sectionals and full-orchestra rehearsals to prepare diverse and challenging repertoire to take on a month-long Tour.
Special invitations and educational exchange bring together YOA musicians throughout the year. Programs range from chamber recitals to full-orchestra concerts. YOA musicians also serve as teaching artists in partner programs with conservatories and orchestras around the world. YOA has performed more than 200 concerts since its 2002 Inaugural Tour in settings that range from the most prestigious concert halls of Europe and the Americas to outdoor venues not often associated with symphonic music. YOA has reached over 8 million people through live performances, television and radio broadcasts, CD recordings, print media, and documentary films.
The impact of YOA stretches far beyond its programs. Participants return to their native countries to share experiences and gained knowledge with their communities. YOA connects musicians to institutions of higher learning and professional job opportunities. YOA is a model for music education programs in Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, the United States, and Uruguay.