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News: Conductor

Invitation to the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at Symphony Hall

Posted: 2013-11-08 12:50:00

Dear Friends,


I warmly invite everyone in the Boston area to share in the excitement of the up-coming concert of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at Symphony Hall on Friday, November 15th, 8:00 p.m.

It’s the kind of program that will turn anybody into a passionate lover of classical music from a standing start. Verdi’s Forza del Destino Overture, as played by these kids, is an off-the-charts thrill. Breathtaking virtuosity, deep passion, terror and triumph all rolled into 7 ½ minutes of some of the most exciting music ever written.

Michael Gandolfi, a world-renowned composer living and teaching in Boston, has written a delightful, beautiful, arresting piece of music that the members of the orchestra adore. Its gorgeous sounding use of all of the orchestral instruments provides a vivid description of a fabulous garden in Scotland called The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Ten minutes of fresh new spine-tingling sounds will make every pair of ears perk up in Symphony Hall’s perfect acoustic. Michael loves the way the orchestra is playing the piece and we love his music.

Then Christopher O’Riley, the fabulously debonair host of the Radio program From The Top, will play Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. One of the most amazing things about his performance is that he brings an idiomatic jazz style, which Ravel clearly had in mind and is often missed. This is a rare opportunity to hear Chris play an exquisite concerto that contains one of the single most beautiful and touching slow movements ever written.

That is just the first half of the concert! The second half is the shattering and deeply moving 5th Symphony of Shostakovich. There are a handful of classical pieces that are virtually guaranteed to stir the soul of everyone - young and old - by their sheer power and intensity. Shostakovich 5th is one of those pieces. The BPYO players play this piece as if their life depended on it – it’s a red-hot, white-knuckled, edge-of-the-chair performance that makes a listener feel as though they have been grabbed by the throat and held in a vice grip for 45 minutes. No one emerges from this experience unchanged.
Those who heard last year’s performances of Ein Heldenleben or Mahler 2nd played by these remarkable young artists, before their triumphant tour of Holland, will want to be present for this rich smorgasbord of great music played with total love by a bunch of kids, 12 to 21, who sound like a world class orchestra.

After the orchestra’s first concert in the Netherlands there were nine music reviews the following day in the leading Dutch newspaper. Only two received the rare and coveted Five Star rating: Bruce Springsteen and the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra!
Don’t miss the first concert of their second season. These amazing musicians leave you loving life all the more!

Symphony Hall Friday, November 15th at 8 p.m. For tickets Call 617 236 0999 or go on

Very Best Wishes,

Benjamin Zander



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