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A Message from Ben Zander

Posted: 2012-11-08 11:55:00


Out of all the concerts I have conducted in my lifetime, I can say with certainty that I have never looked forward to any concert with more excitement and pride than the upcoming debut concert of the brand new Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. A team of treasured colleagues and I have created an orchestra committed to “SHAPING FUTURE LEADERS THROUGH MUSIC.” 118 extraordinarily talented young musicians, aged from 12 to 21, have been working together since September and I can hardly believe the superlative level of artistic excellence and joyful exuberance that they demonstrate at every rehearsal. The passion of their commitment to this new enterprise is simply staggering.

So it is with scarcely containable excitement that I urge you, your family, and your friends to attend the concert in Symphony Hall at 3 p.m. on November 25th – the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We will begin with the Egmont Overture, Beethoven’s glorious paean to the unquenchable human spirit. Then I will hand over the baton to the wonderful young conductor Rafael Payare, winner of this year’s prestigious Malko Conducting Competition and a musician who grew up in Venezuela’s remarkable El Sistema program. He will conduct the renowned cellist Alisa Weilerstein in Elgar’s deeply moving cello Concerto. Alisa has played this work with many of the greatest orchestras in the world and has recently made an acclaimed recording of it with Daniel Barenboim. Cello devotees are going to be coming from far and wide to hear this performance!

After intermission we will perform Strauss’s mighty Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life). This tour-de-force tests the mettle of any orchestra – in the 1960’s and 70’s it was Herbert von Karajan’s favorite tour piece to show audiences around the world just what the Berlin Philharmonic was able to do. I cannot wait to show you what the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra can do! I look forward to seeing you at the concert on November 25th.

Warmest wishes


Benjamin Zander
Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Faculty Emeritus, New England Conservatory


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