Reserve now for Spring Concerts!

View our season brochure en Español

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ICON with Steve Vai, 2pm 3/11/17  |  Gala Concert 4/22/17   |   Members Priority 5/14/17

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Saturday, March 11, 2017, 2pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall

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ICON

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Carlos Izcaray, conductor
Steve Vai, electric guitar

Esa-Pekka Salonen: Gambit
Steve Vai: Original Compositions for Electric Guitar and Orchestra
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Tickets: $15-46

Reserve Now

What happens when you join what Jim Svejda of KUSC hails as “one of the finest youth symphonies on earth” with one of Guitar World’s “Greatest Guitarist of All Time?” See for yourself when AYS partners with three-time Grammy Award winner and former Frank Zappa bandmate Steve Vai to deliver a concert you won’t soon forget, pairing Stravinsky’s iconic Rite of Spring with works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vai himself!

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Saturday, April 22, 2017
6pm Concert
7:30pm Gala Dinner
Royce Hall

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GALA Concert  6pm

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Carlos Izcaray, conductor
Rachel Ostler, violin

Mozart: Overture from The Marriage of Figaro
Korngold: Violin Concerto, Op. 35, D major
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

Tickets: Free

Reserve Now

We commemorate our annual gala with a joyous celebration of classic masterworks and rising talent. Concerto Competition winner Rachel Ostler joins the orchestra for Korngold’s virtuosic Violin Concerto, in an evening also featuring the spirited Overture from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, and Rachmaninoff’s beloved Symphonic Dances.

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GALA Dinner 7:30pm

AYS friends, fans and orchestra members join together on a beautiful, spring evening under the stars in support of the continued success of the American Youth Symphony.

We invite you to share in our biggest fundraiser of the year and help gift these extraordinary concerts to your community!

Individual Dinner & Concert Packages start at $500. Tables for ten start at $5,000

Reserve Dinner & Concert Packages Now

gala-2017-schedule

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Mother’s Day
*Sunday, May 14, 2017, 3pm
*Ann & Jerry Moss Theater at the
Herb Alpert Education Village at New Roads School

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Members Priority

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Carlos Izcaray, conductorDancer transparent
Rameau: Overture to Zaïs, and Dardanus Suite
Copland: Appalachian Spring

Tickets: Free
Reservations Now Open for Members
General Reservations Open: 4.26.17

We end this season with a concert to thank our donors for all they do in support of AYS. In a concert unlike anything we have done before, a chamber ensemble of AYS musicians will play the full ballet version of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, in collaboration with a local modern ballet troupe. This performance also includes works by visionary French baroque composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. Celabrate Mother’s day with an afternoon of music from the American Youth Symphony!

*The date, time, and location of this event have been updated from our original schedule

New Music Director & Resident Conductor

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The American Youth Symphony is thrilled to announce the appointment of Maestro Carlos Izcaray as Music Director; only the third conductor to hold that title in the organization’s distinguished 52-year history.

Maestro Izcaray, Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, was selected from a vast field of highly qualified candidates from around the world, by a search committee that included such luminaries as Composer and Conductor David Newman; Los Angeles Philharmonic COO, Chad Smith; NY Philharmonic VP of Artistic Planning, Edward Yim; and Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music, Robert Cutietta; as well as a host of AYS Board Members, alumni, and industry leaders.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Carlos Izcaray become our new Music Director.  AYS musicians and audiences will greatly benefit from his artistry, enthusiasm, and experience. We all look forward to the future of this exciting partnership.” – Kevin Dretzka, Chairman of the Board of AYS

Considered one of the leading conductors of his generation, Maestro Izcaray has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe as a guest conductor, and has worked tirelessly to support the next generation of musicians by partnering with the world’s top talents and leading music education institutions, including El Sistema in his native Venezuela, Cambridge University Music Society, London Schools Symphony Orchestra, and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. Throughout his career, Izcaray has shown special interest and prowess in tackling some of the most complex scores in the symphonic repertoire, while also championing the historically informed approach to works from past eras.

“I’m incredibly honored and excited to become the next Music Director of the American Youth Symphony, an ensemble with a deep history and a bright future in the great city of Los Angeles. AYS is without a doubt one of a handful of elite training orchestras in the United States, hence I cherish the opportunity to contribute in the development of the next generation of top professional musicians.” – Carlos Izcaray

Born into an artistic family in Caracas, Maestro Izcaray was enrolled in Venezuela’s public system of youth orchestras at age three, and began studying conducting with his father when he was a teenager. He is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Academy, New World School of the Arts, and Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He was named a distinguished fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, and won top prizes at the Aspen Music Festival, and Toscanini International Conducting Competition, in 2007 and 2008.

In addition to his work on the podium, Maestro Izcaray is also a celebrated cellist, accomplished composer, and avid human rights activist. His musical tastes range from Mozart and Shostakovich to Miles Davis and Radiohead, and he has even been known to share his musical talents outside of the concert hall as a Deep House DJ. He is a dual citizen of Spain and Venezuela, and is currently based in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife Yolanda, and their three children Sofia, Alicia and Sebastian. He is now looking forward to coming to LA on a regular basis, and beginning what he believes is the start of a great relationship with this amazingly vibrant city.

“We are eager to introduce our community to Maestro Izcaray’s inspiring approach to both musical pedagogy and programming. Maestro Izcaray is one of the greatest examples in this art form of conductors who skillfully embrace its rich history and traditions in equal measure with an innovative embrace of its future.” – Varina Bleil, Executive Director of AYS

LA Phil - Orchestra Member Portraits Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging
LA Phil – Orchestra Member Portraits
Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

AYS has also hired a Resident Conductor, Maestro Juan Felipe Molano. Maestro Molano was appointed conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA in 2014, and previously held that position with the Colombian Youth Philharmonic and Batuta Colombian System of Youth Orchestras (El Sistema – Colombia). He served as Music Director of the Yucatan Symphony Orchestra for five years, conducting an eclectic symphonic repertoire, operas and contemporary works, and collaborating with artists such as Placido Domingo, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Joseph De Pasquale, and Ryu Goto, among many others. He has also conducted top orchestras throughout Europe, the United States, Asia, and South and Central America, including Los Angeles Philharmonic, Slovak Radio Symphony and Youth Orchestra of Americas. He has a deep passion for education; he has worked as a university professor for the last 15 years in Colombia, Mexico and now the US, and is committed to inspiring orchestras and enriching audiences from the podium. Maestro Molano lives in Los Angeles with his wife Cristina, and daughters Isabella and Valeria.

Maestros Izcaray and Molano are looking forward to working together to uphold the exemplary educational and performance tradition of the American Youth Symphony.

AYS was founded in 1964 by Maestro Mehli Mehta, who held the podium until he retired in 1998, at age 90. He then passed the baton to Maestro Alexander Treger, who led the orchestra through its 50th Anniversary Season in 2014/15.

Heralded by KUSC’s Jim Svejda as “the finest youth symphony on earth,” the mission of AYS is to inspire the future of classical music. The orchestra provides paid fellowships to 100 musicians in high school through doctoral music programs who represent extraordinary talent from all over the world; and presents concerts for free as a gift to the community – part of a long-standing commitment to eliminating all barriers to experiencing the remarkable beauty, power and inspiration of classical masterworks.

Maestro Izcaray and AYS Musicians - Photo by Philip Holahan

News & Press

2016/17 SEASON

Press Release: AYS Joins Forces with Electric Guitar Icon Steve Vai

Music Respawn! Jason Graves & Austin Wintory In A Game Changer Concert
Press Relase: American Youth Symphony to Perform Free Concert Featuring Songs from Notable PlayStation Games

Press Release: Historic Million Dollar Gift from Peter Mandell and Sarah Coade Mandell

BMI: Back to the Future with American Youth Symphony
Film Music Society: Back to the Future Live-to-Picture
LAist: You’re Going Back to the Future
Daily Bruin: 
Youth Symphony to Perform Live ‘Back to the Future’ Score at Royce Hall
Press Release: Back to the Future Concert

Press Release: Season Opening Concert
Press Release: Announcing the 2016/17 Season

2015/16 SEASON

AYS Musicians Perform at Gala Honoring John Williams:
Variety: 
John Williams Honored by Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford at AFI Gala 
Billboard: 
Steven Spielberg, George Lucas & Kobe Bryant Laud Composer John Williams At Emotional AFI Toast
LA Times: ‘E.T.,’ ‘Jaws,’ ‘Star Wars’ composer John Williams honored at American Film Institute
Deadline: John Williams’ AFI Gala Had The Ultimate Hollywood Soundtrack
The Wrap: 11 Things We Learned at AFI Tribute to John Williams
June 10, 2016
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Press Release:
American Youth Symphony Names New Music Director and Resident Conductor
En Español:
La American Youth Symphony Nombra Nuevo Director Musical Y Director Residente.

Press Release: AYS Receives NEA Grant for “Vivaldi to Video Games” Concert

David Newman Honored by BMI:
Hollywood Reporter | April 12, 2016
Broadway World | April 28, 2016
Film Music Society | May 13, 2016
Yahoo News | May 12, 2016

AYS and National Children’s Chorus Rise to Heaven Earth Mankind
Rick Schultz, LA Times | March 15, 2016

K-Mozart Arts Reports: Heaven Earth Mankind
Nick Tyler interviews David Alan Miller and Coleman Itzkoff

Press Release: AYS and Nation Children’s Chorus in LA Premiere

Press Release: Famed Violinist Joins AYS to Perform a Work Written for him by Philip Glass

Press Release: Free Family Music Adventure Concert

Press Release: AYS Guest Conductors Spring 2016

AYS Launches 51st Season with Michael Giacchino’s Exhilarating Score
for Star Trek Into Darkness Played Live to Picture

American Youth Symphony Beams Up!
Paula Parisi, Max the Trax | August 28, 2015

Star Trek Into Darkness Gets Symphonic
Daily Concepts Blog | September 9, 2015

2014/15 SEASON

April 2015: KUSC reporter Tim Grieving sat down with AYS Executive Director, Varina Bleil, and Principal Timpanist, Steven Logan, to discuss the orchestra’s unique blend of professionalism and youthfulness.
Check it out! 

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Donation In Memory of Henri Lazarof Allows American Youth Symphony To Name Music Director Chair
Beverly Hills Courier | May 2014

Press Release: AYS VITALITY Concert with Sarah Chang

Press Release: AYS 50th Anniversary Celebration Gala

Press Release: AYS and Valentina Lisitsa at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Press Release: Music Director Alexander Treger to conclude AYS Tenure at the end of the 2014-15 Season

2013/14 SEASON
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AYS Receives Major Gift to Name Music Director Chair
Press Release | May 1, 2014

AYS delivers an ebullient finish to the 49th season
Examiner.com | April 15, 2014

Young Guns
Out West Arts | April 27, 2014

Interview with Nigel Armstrong
Violinist.com | April 10, 2014

Springtime in Paris with Valentina Lisitsa
Culture Spot LA

The Elfman Project II
Broadway World | November 1, 2013

Concerto for Piano and YouTube
New York Times | Oct 11, 2013

American Youth Symphony fine-tunes new pieces for season opening
The Daily Bruin | October 3, 2013

New Season opens October 6 at Royce Hall
Press Release

Elfman BubbleTHE ELFMAN PROJECT

American Youth Symphony Explores the work of Composer Danny Elfman
The Hollywood Reporter | May 1, 2012

David Newman and AYS embark on a three-year exploration of Danny Elfman’s music
Film Score Monthly | May 2012

American Youth Symphony Salutes Danny Elfman
Film Music Society | April 18, 2012

Record Numbers Pack Royce Hall for Symposium and Concert
Film Music Society | May 9, 2012

American Youth Symphony Presents Danny Elfman Project
Broadcast Music, Inc. | April 17, 2012

10 Questions with David Newman
Broadcast Music, Inc | April 27, 2012


PAST SEASONS

Daníel Bjarnason wins Iceland’s Composer of the Year for “The isle is full of noises” — a work co-commissioned by AYS and the LACC
Press Release | February 26, 2013

Concert features American Youth Symphony, renowned pianist
The Daily Bruin | November 16, 2012

Co-Concertmaster Mayumi Kanagawa makes an impressive debut at Disney Hall
LA Times | April 24, 2012

Disney Hall Concert Review: What happens when the musical cream rises to the top
San Gabriel Valley Tribune | March 5, 2012

AYS co-commissions a new work by Danìel Bjarnason
Glendale News-Press | March 2, 2012 AYS

LA Phil Presents: AYS and LACC
Press Release

AWARDED TOP SCORE

AYS receives the highest score of all 2011/12 LA County Arts Commission Grant applicants.
LA Times | July 5, 2011

THE GOLDSMITH PROJECT GRAND FINALE

David Newman conducts the final concert of the Goldsmith Project
Film Score Monthly | March 17, 2011

Every piece performed during the concert, fron the hair-raising Twilight Zone: The Movie overture to the indelible action cue “Roxie Loses” from Basic Instinct… showcased Goldsmith’s brilliance as well as the utmost importance of having film music performed live.”

Cheering crowds fill Royce Hall to celebrate Goldsmith’s lasting legacy
Marilee Bradford reviews the climax of the Goldsmith Project.
Film Music Society | March 16, 2011

David Newman discusses The Goldsmith Project
Jerry Goldsmith Online | March 8, 2011

It’s amazing what you can accomplish with terrific players and a large amount of rehearsal. You really hear the music for what it is.”

Concert Videos

2015/16 Season

November 17, 2015 | Royce Hall

Emmanuel Villaume, conductor
Andrew von Oeyen, piano

Ravel: Menuet antique
Lazarof: Poema
Gershwin: Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra
Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major
Debussy: La mer

Videography by Visionmixer Productions

Check out our Pre-Concert Podcast with Andrew von Oeyen

AYS Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

VITALITY Concert with Sarah Chang
May 22, 2015
Ann & Jerry Moss Theater
At the Herb Alpert Educational Village
At New Roads School

David Newman, conductor
Sarah Chang, violin

VitaliChaconne

Video Installation by Jake Michaels
Concert Videography by Visionmixer Productions

Celebration Concert, April 26, 2015 | Royce Hall

Alexander Treger, conductor
Glenn Dicterow, violin
Karen Dreyfus, viola

Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

Videography by Visionmixer Production

Check out our Pre-Concert Podcast with Glenn Dicterow and Karen Dreyfus

Legacy Concert, February 8, 2015 | Royce Hall

Alexander Treger, conductor
Michael Sachs, trumpet

Berlioz: Le Corsaire Overture
Eino Tamberg: Concerto for Trumpet No. 1
Saint-Saëns: Organ Symphony

Videography by Visionmixer Production

Check out our Pre-Concert Podcast with Michael Sachs

Imagination Concert, November 23, 2014 | Royce Hall

Part 2: The Elfman Project III

David Newman, conductor

Videography by Visionmixer Production

Passion Concert, October 12, 2014 | Royce Hall

Alexander Treger, conductor

Henri Lazarof Cello Concerto No. 4
Allan Steele, cello

Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Videography by Visionmixer Production

Celebrating 50 years

From the Archives

John Williams conducts as AYS plays the theme from E.T.