Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

YOSA and Beethoven Team Up for a Great Race

March 21, 2013

Race Start LineIt’s not quite like singing for your supper, but it’s pretty close.

YOSA presents its second annual Beethoven 5K/10K Walk and Run on Saturday, April 13.  It’s an important fundraising event for our organization and we need your help to make it a success. We’re the only race in San Antonio with an orchestra at the finish line!

Beethoven 5K/10K Event Information:

We need all our fans, musicians, parents and supporters to spread the word about this event.

How Can you Support the Beethoven 5K?Finish LIne Finale

Sponsorship is a great way to support our event. We have sponsorships starting at $250 and going all the way through to $10,000.  Do you know a person or company who can sponsor our event?  Share the sponsorship details with them here.

Another way you support our event is registering for the fun. We are very grateful to our partner Fleet Feet Sports for their support for the second year in a row.  This year, we’ve added a great promotional partner with Yelp San Antonio.  They will be promoting our race online and in person on race day. Watch for details about checking in on race day and the cool stuff Yelp will be giving away to participants. You can find YOSA on Yelp, too!

Finally, you can support the race virtually by purchasing a “Breakfast with Beethoven” package for just $35.  This gets you a tee shirt, mug and beverage mix on race day and you don’t even need to run!  This is a great way for relatives of YOSA students to show their support for our organization.

Race SuccessSo what are you waiting for? Take a moment and see where you can share this story so our April 13 race is a sell-out!


Brahms Reimagined

February 2, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013 7:30 p.m.
Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium

Tickets available from Ticketmaster.


As a featured partner in the San Antonio Symphony’s 2013 Brahms Festival, the YOSA Philharmonic will collaborate with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio  for a program of Brahms, transcribed and reimagined. Here are some notes on the program, written by YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.

Sheng: Black Swan

Born in Shanghai, Bright Sheng (born 1955) studied piano with his mother from age four before attending the Shanghai Conservatory. In 1982, he immigrated to the United States, becoming a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. He subsequently acquired another champion in Gerard Schwarz, who invited Sheng to serve as composer-in-residence at the Seattle Symphony from 1992 to 1994. Commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, Black Swan is a 2006 transcription for orchestra of a solo piano piece by Johannes Brahms, the Intermezzo in A major, Op. 118, No. 2. This song-like intermezzo, completed in 1893, conveys a feeling of serenity and deep tenderness, offset by the autumnal tone that pervades its central episode.

Brahms: Choral Works

In 1858, Brahms became the conductor of a women’s choir in his hometown of Hamburg. Struck by the relative paucity of appropriate repertoire, he wrote his first published choral work, a poignant Ave Maria with organ accompaniment. Less than a year later, he arranged the organ part for orchestra, adding some lovely woodwind lines. For the same women’s chorus, Brahms wrote four songs with the unusual accompaniment of harp and two horns in 1860. The Lied von Shakespeare, a melancholy song of unrequited love from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, is the second of this set. In the summer of 1886, while vacationing in Thun, Switzerland, Brahms wrote an especially beautiful set of five songs for low voice and piano, inspired by his fondness for a young contralto named Hermine Spies. Brahms loved the melody of the first song, Wie Melodien zieht es mir, so much that he reused it in his Second Violin Sonata. More recently, California organist and conductor Brad Slocum arranged this song for chorus. Much lighter in character, Neckereien is an 1863 setting of a Moravian folk poem. Brahms’s original version for a quartet of solo voices transfers well to a larger chorus.

Brahms-Parlow: Hungarian Dances No. 5 & 6

Brahms was barely 20 years old when he accompanied the showy violinist Eduard Reményi on an 1853 concert tour around central Europe and fell in love with the propulsive Hungarian gypsy-style numbers that were Reményi’s specialty. For years afterwards, Brahms entertained party guests with piano improvisations on Hungarian gypsy melodies; by 1869, he finally gave in to his friends’ urging that he write some down and publish them. The Hungarian Dances (originally for piano four-hands) turned out to be a goldmine for Brahms and his publisher. After Brahms orchestrated three of the dances, his publisher commissioned other musicians (like the military bandmaster, Albert Parlow) to make orchestral arrangements of the remaining 18.

Brahms-Schoenberg: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor

Brahms also displayed his love of Hungarian gypsy music in the finale of his great G minor Piano Quartet. (A piano quartet, by the way, is not four pianos, but an ensemble of violin, viola, cello, and piano.) Completed in 1861, the quartet was premiered with Clara Schumann at the piano; Clara was the great love of Brahms’s life, the widow of his recently deceased friend and mentor, Robert Schumann. The music is passionate and expansive, with tremendous expressive range, one of the great masterpieces of romantic chamber music. Later, in the late 1930s, the Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg was living in Los Angeles, where the music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic was German conductor Otto Klemperer. After Schoenberg proposed that he might orchestrate the G minor Piano Quartet to create a large-scale symphonic work, Klemperer introduced the new orchestration in 1937. Schoenberg claimed that he intended to “remain strictly in the style of Brahms and not to go farther than he himself would have gone if he lived today,” but many listeners raise an eyebrow at the occasional appearance of xylophone or muted brass, moments that pull the music squarely into the 20th century.

Time for Symphony in a Stocking

December 3, 2012

No, we’re not jamming all our performers into socks this holiday season. What we ARE doing is combining the best delights of the holiday season and raising money for our musicians at the same time.

YOSA violinist Wolfie Draving performed last week at Rackspace to preview Symphony in a Stocking during Rackers lunch hour

YOSA violinist Wolfie Draving performed last week at Rackspace to preview Symphony in a Stocking during Rackers lunch hour

And we just made your holiday shopping simpler. Symphony in a Stocking is a traditional stocking filled with treats for the season together with a “best of” YOSA CD and other memorabilia.

They are yours for just $75 each –$40 is tax deductible as a donation to the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.

Give the gift of music, food and beverage and we’ll continue to keep the music coming for the more than 1,500 musicians we serve each year.

Here’s how to get yours:

IN PERSON: We’ll be selling the stockings at the Historic Maverick Carter Home on Tuesday Dec.  4 from 4 to 8 p.m. If you stop by, you’ll enjoy live music by our musicians and see our YOSA Christmas tree all decked out with ornaments from our community supporters.

BY PHONE: We can take your order by phone during business hours by calling: (210) 737-0097.

These gifts will sell out early, so don’t wait to order yours.  Every stocking purchase helps keep the music alive with hundreds of young musicians this year from all over San Antonio.

Here’s wishing you great holiday music from the team at Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.

Freudigman Makes Conducting Debut

November 8, 2012
Ken Freudigman, director of the YOSA Symphony

Ken Freudigman, director of the YOSA Symphony

Kenneth Freudigman, principal cello of the San Antonio Symphony, will debut as director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) Symphony on Sunday at Roosevelt High School as part of YOSA’s City Series.

Freudigman’s first concert will include pieces from Rossini, Holst and Sibelius and he will guest conduct the Sinfonettia Strings in Beethoven, Mozart, Bernofsky, and Jackson.

He is well known in the San Antonio music scene, having co-founded Camerata San Antonio as well as serving as its artistic director. He is also an adjunct professor of cello at UTSA and is the former Education Director of the Cactus Pear Music Festival.

Freudigman studied cello at Interlochen Center for the Arts and Eastman School of Music. He began his orchestral and chamber music career with the Rochester Philharmonic and as a founding member of the Esterhazy Chamber Ensemble. In 1992, he joined the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Grand Rapids, Charleston, and Virginia Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Sarasota Opera and the Mexico City Philharmonic.

He has been working with the 90 young musicians in the Symphony since August and is enjoying it.

“I am looking forward to passing on my passion for music to the next generation. I feel it’s important for professionals to be mentors to young musicians and to pass on the years of training and experience and tradition that we received from our mentors,” says Freudigman. “In many ways, this is an oral tradition that has been handed down from teacher to student for hundreds of years.”

The program, which will be presented this Sunday, November 11 at Roosevelt High School at 5 p.m., was intended to challenge the students.

“There are three works on this program and they’re all about team-building. This program was designed not only for the musical enjoyment of the students, they’re learning ensemble skills within their related sections and throughout the entire orchestra,” Freudigman says. “They’re learning how to listen to each other, fit their parts together and adjust to one another.”

On the program this Sunday are:  The Overture to the Barber of Seville by Giacchino Rossini in an arrangement by Merle J. Isaac; St. Paul Suite by Gustave Holst and Finlandia by Jean Sibelius.

Even though he’s only been working with this group of teenagers for three months, they have made quite an impression on Freudigman.

“What would have surprised me is if these kids hadn’t stepped up. I had very high expectations and believed fully that they would step up to the challenge of performing this very challenging program.”

The City Series concert is free and open to the public and will be held in the Roosevelt High School auditorium at 5110 Walzem Road at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 11.

On Stoltzman, Composers and a Passion for Music

October 30, 2012

Richard Stoltzman playing his clarinetYOSA’s Gold Series Concert, “Stoltzman’s America,” is a unique chance to sample the breadth and depth of American music, including sounds of jazz, Broadway, and classical music. No one is more qualified to preview the first concert of the season than Music Director Troy Peters. Here are his thoughts on the November 5 concert at the Majestic Theatre.

“The first half of the program focuses on two of our most beloved composers: Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin, including music from the classic musicals Porgy and Bess, Candide, and West Side Story,” says Peters.  “The second half features two Pulitzer Prize winning composers, Jennifer Higdon and Howard Hanson. Higdon and Hanson are both romantic, expressive composers, whose music is full of beautiful melodies and inspiring crescendos.”

“The real magic, though, comes from seeing San Antonio’s best young musicians bring this music to life,” says Peters. “There’s nothing like the energy that rolls off the stage when young musicians are sharing their newly discovered passion for a great piece of music.”

Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman is such a dynamic performer that the Boston Globe hailed him as “the most exciting clarinetist in the world” and the San Francisco Chronicle called him “a national treasure.”

“Stoltzman moves seamlessly between classical and jazz styles, and our audience will hear him improvising and embellishing on familiar tunes by Bernstein and Gershwin,” says Peters. “He is one of the most charismatic and engaging performers I have ever seen play live, so I know our audience is in for a treat.”

Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral has a personal connection for Peters.

“Jennifer Higdon is not only one of the most widely hailed composers of her generation, but also an old friend of mine. Jennifer and I went to college together at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music in the late 1980s, and later we were co-directors of a concert series called Perpetuum Mobile,” says Peters.

“After catching up with Jennifer over coffee in Philadelphia last week, I was able to bring back new insights into her beautiful orchestral work, blue cathedral,” according to Peters. “This piece is a sensation, by the way, having performed by more than 400 orchestras over the last dozen years. Jennifer memorialized her younger brother in this beautiful music, a radiant vision of heaven.”

No music lover will want to miss this exciting performance.

Tickets to the November 5 concert at the Majestic Theatre are on sale now at Ticketmaster.

Tune in to Classical Spotlight on Texas Public Radio’s KPAC on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. to hear John Clare interview Richard Stoltzman.