I received an email on Friday from the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (formerly known as GBYSO) announcing a partnership with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Saturday, September 22, was opening night at the BSO, and their Chairman, Ted Kelly, formally announced the partnership during the gala season opening night dinner. And BYSO cellists joined BSO cellists, members of the Boston Cello Quartet, in a performance during the dinner
The announcement states that “the two organizations will develop new training programs and offer joint performance opportunities for young musicians, audiences, and the wider community, while exploring innovative ways to continue to foster the future of classical music.”
The partnership will include special coaching and master classes by BSO and visiting artists, and a mentor/godparent program involving BSO and BYSO musicians. Previously the BSO had sponsored performances by the youth orchestra during its Family Concerts series. (When I was a member of GBYSO, more years ago than I care to mention, we did an annual side-by-side concert with the BSO at Symphony Hall, performing one piece on their Young People’s Concerts.)
According to BYSO Executive Director Catherine Weiskel,
“I can only imagine the incredible opportunities that this new collaboration with the BSO will bring to the talented young musicians of BYSO and our loyal audience of music lovers who support all our programs and ensembles… There is nothing like the energy created when young aspiring musicians gain access to the great musicians they consider their finest role models.
The two organizations are already planning a production of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute,’ conceived for younger audiences, for the 2013-14 season which will involve a number of BSO musicians as coaches and performers. The BSO plans to organize `side-by-side’ performances, either for a large ensemble of players or instrumental sections, and will begin to include youth orchestra musicians in pre-concert activities around the BSO Family Concerts. Finally, BYSO members will receive a “BSO/BYSO Family Card” that will provide access to select concerts, rehearsals, and special events throughout the year.
Other collaborations may include the creation of a BYSO alumni ensemble for educational performances at Tanglewood, and performances by BYSO musicians in the BSO’s Community Chamber Music series.
The current Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra has grown considerably from its beginnings in 1958 under the baton of Marvin Rabin. Serving 500 students from 120 communities, it now has three full orchestras, two string training orchestras, a preparatory wind ensemble, six chamber orchestras, a chamber music program, and the Intensive Community Program, a nationally recognized string training program for under-represented youth from inner-city communities.