The California Youth Symphony, 124 members strong, will perform in concert Sunday afternoon at the Mondavi Center. It was founded in 1952 as the state's first independent youth orchestra. Courtesy photo


California Youth Symphony to give free concert at Mondavi

By From page A9 | November 08, 2011


What: California Youth Symphony, featuring cello soloist Eunice Kim

When: 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis

Tickets: Free, but tickets are needed; (530) 754-2787, www.mondaviarts.org

The 124-member California Youth Symphony will present a free concert featuring all-American works at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis.

The concert is part of the annual Festival of New American Music, which is based primarily at Sacramento State University.

Music on the program will include Aaron Copland’s ballet suite Billy the Kid, the world premiere of Stephen Blumberg’s piece “Subterranean River,” English composer William Walton’s cello concerto with soloist Eunice Kim and Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite drawn from his music for the 1950s film “On the Waterfront.”

The performance is free to attend, but tickets will be issued by the Mondavi Center’s ticket office in order to prevent going over the capacity of the hall. Tickets are available in advance through the Mondavi Center’s ticket office by calling (530) 754-2787, at www.mondaviarts.org or by visiting the ticket office in person during normal business hours, noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The California Youth Symphony was founded in 1952 as the state’s first independent youth orchestra. In 1963, it became the first American youth orchestra to tour overseas when it accepted an invitation to visit Japan.

Over the following years, 15 additional tours have earned the symphony’s universal praise. However, its greatest accomplishments and its most intense focus has always been in the San Francisco Peninsula/South Bay area.

Conductor and composer Leo Eylar has led the California Youth Symphony since 1991. After graduating from high school in 1976, Eylar attended Northwestern University and the University of Southern California, where he received his music degree, summa cum laude.

His violin teachers included Glenn Dicterow — currently concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic — and Samual Magad, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, where he met his wife, violinist Katherine Kyme. She has appeared in Davis with the American Bach Soloists on occasion.

The Festival of New American Music began in 1978 and has been held annually during the first two weeks of November each year since. The festival’s schedule features 50 to 60 events annually, designed to create a strong interaction among performers, composers and audiences.

The 2011 Festival of New American Music runs through Nov. 13. All events are listed at www.csus.edu/music/fenam. The festival is curated by artistic director Keith Bohm and co-director Stephen Blumberg.

Cellist Eunice Kim, 15, began her studies at the age of 5 and is a student of Sieun Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division. In 2009, Kim won the Instrumental Award at the Mondavi Young Artists Competition in Davis and had a master class with the renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Mondavi Center.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or (530) 747-8055.

Jeff Hudson

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