2019/20 Season

2019/20 Season

a celebration of nature



A Note from the Maestro: “I am thrilled to return for my fourth season with AYS and continue working with the new and returning orchestra members. The 2019/20 season presents our musicians with a broad variety of symphonic programming, to challenge and expand their personal repertoires. This year the program explores an appreciation of nature through centuries of classical music. Considering the deep talent of our orchestra, I look forward to tackling these challenging pieces together and sharing this exciting program with the community.”

Maestro Carlos Izcaray is one of the leading conductors of his generation. He serves as Music Director for the American Youth Symphony and Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Izcaray shows special interest and prowess in undertaking the most complex works in classical canon, while also championing innovative programming and celebrating new voices. Praised by the international press, Izcaray has won top prizes at prestigious festivals and competitions around the world.



COVID-19 Update: April 20, 2020

Due to the effects of COVID-19, AYS is following the recommendations of public health agencies, and we have cancelled our spring 2020 concerts. 

We presented our virtual gala on Thursday, May 7th at 4pm PST/7pm ET. 

Updates and notices about AYS programming will be available here, sent via email and posted on social media.

The gala is a critically important fundraiser for AYS, and online activities are being developed to ensure the continued financial stability of the organization. AYS has a strong 55-year history of providing training and music throughout the community, and will continue through this difficult time to persevere and provide vibrant arts programming for decades to come.
Previous AYS concerts can be enjoyed on SoundCloud and YouTube
While this is a difficult and unpredictable time for all, the American Youth Symphony must put the safety and health of its patrons, artists, staff, visitors, and supporters before anything else.

Opening Night Concert

Sunday, October 20, 7pm

UCLA's Royce Hall

Carlos Izcaray, Conductor
Gallia Kastner, Violin

JEAN SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: “Pastoral” Symphony

The American Youth Symphony kicks off its 2019/20 concert season with an exhilarating program that celebrates the ever-inspiring awe of the natural world. Music Director Carlos Izcaray leads the orchestra into its 55th season, opening with Grammy-winning composer Joan Tower’s Sequoia. Gallia Kastner, AYS Concertmaster and winner of the 2019 Concerto Competition, will shine with Sibelius’ beloved Violin Concerto. The evening culminates with the quintessential ode to nature’s wonder, Beethoven’s breathtaking “Pastoral” Symphony.

Sundays Live

Sunday, November 3, 6:00pm

St. James Episcopal Church

Tickets: FREE

No Reservations Necessary

AYS Principals String Quartet

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART:  String Quartet No. 14 “Spring”
ANTONIN DVORAK: String Quartet No. 14

The AYS Principals String Quartet returns for LACMA’s Sundays LIVE series in their new home at St. James Episcopal Church. Programmed by Concertmaster Gallia Kastner, with guidance from Maestro Izcaray, you won’t want to miss this intimate evening of stunning music. This classical program can be enjoyed live in person, or later at KUSC.org!

Parking/Venue Info

3903 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90010

Grand Performances at LAX

Performances at 10:00am and 11:00am each day.

November 5, 6, 7: Terminal 5 (pre-TSA) November 12, 13, 14: Terminal 1

Los Angeles International Airport

Tickets: FREE

No Reservations Necessary

AYS Brass Ensemble

The newly-formed AYS Brass Ensemble is presented by Grand Performances, spreading merriment to holiday travelers in Los Angeles International Airport.  The performances begin on November 5, 6, and 7 at 10am and 11am each day, then travelers will be serenaded November 12, 13, and 14 at 10am and 11am. Specific locations within LAX will be announced.

Tickets: $18 / Free for Members Saturday, November 23, 2019
4:00pm Concert | 7:00pm Dinner
UCLA's Royce Hall

Carlos Izcaray, Conductor
James Horner: Apollo 13 Original Score


In honor of the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk in 1969, the American Youth Symphony and Film Concerts Live! are proud to present Apollo 13 In Concert.  Audience members will experience renowned composer James Horner’s entire score performed live-to-picture by the full 100-piece AYS orchestra. Please join us for an emotional and truly unforgettable cinematic concert event!

Apollo 13 is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved. 

Hollywood Project Dinner

Maestro Izcaray and the AYS Board of Directors invite you to partake in an Apollo 13 themed dinner following the performance. The dinner will honor the life and work of legendary film composer, James Horner, to be accepted by Sara Horner. 

Concert and Dinner Packages start at $450. For reservations, call 310-470-2332 or e-mail development@aysymphonyorg.dream.press. 

Holiday Concert

Sunday, December 8, 4:00pm

Valley Beth Shalom
15739 Ventura Blvd
Encino, CA 91436

Tickets: FREE

No Reservations Necessary

AYS Chamber Ensemble

The UCLA Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music is presenting AYS chamber concerts in Los Angeles community venues.

For more information please follow this link: https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/event/chamber-music-for-the-holidays/

AYS at Laemmle Live

Sunday, December 15, 11:00am

Laemmle Monica Film Center

Tickets: FREE

SOLD OUT! If interested in joining the waitlist, please email ays@aysymphonyorg.dream.press.

AYS Brass Ensemble

The Laemmle Monica Film Center transforms into a salon-style venue for the award-winning Laemmle’s Live series. AYS returns this season to share classical and holiday melodies performed by the new AYS Brass Ensemble. The concert will be hosted by Rich Caparella.

Sounds About Town

Saturday, February 8, 2:00pm

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Tickets: From $16
Members get a 25% Discount

Carlos Izcaray, Conductor

Maurice Ravel: Alborada del gracioso         
Jennifer HigdonAll Things Majestic
Kris Bowers: For A Younger Self, WORLD PREMIERE                          Violin Concerto, Korngold Commission
Camille Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3


AYS returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall for the LA Phil’s Sounds About Town series. The nature-inspired afternoon begins as Ravel’s colorful “daybreak song” sounds the orchestral alarm clock. Next, All Things Majestic, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon, captures the grandeur of our National Parks. In the second installment of the Korngold Commission Project, developed and sponsored by Peter Mandell and Sarah Coade Mandell, AYS has paired the sensational violin virtuoso Charles Yang with Emmy award-winning composer and pianist Kris Bowers, best known for composing scores for The Snowy Day and Green Book. The concert concludes as the 6,134-pipe organ of Disney Hall summons the music to a final cadence in Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony



Community Music Festival

Saturday, February 29, 11:00am

A Place Called Home

Tickets: FREE

No Reservations Necessary

Co-presented by A Place Called Home and AYS

Performance Lineup:

11:15 AM – AYS Woodwind Quintet

11:55 AM – AYS Instrument Demonstrations

12:40 PM – AYS String Quartet

AYS partners with South LA community center, A Place Called Home, to bring classical music to new places and first-time audiences. The festival features an assortment of classical and contemporary music, performed by various AYS chamber ensembles and community groups. AYS orchestra members will present their own original works, play acoustic arrangements of popular melodies, and share the stage with local instrumentalists from a variety of musical backgrounds. Combined with hands-on activities, the festival is a can’t-miss event for families and kids who want to learn more about classical music!


A Place Called Home | 2901 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011

Jewish American Music Festival

Sunday, March 1

UCLA Schoenberg Music Building

Tickets: From $10

AYS Chamber Ensemble

The UCLA Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music presents a festival entitled, Wanderings: Music Crossing Borders.  An AYS chamber ensemble will be included in the festival program.  

UCLA Shoenberg Music Building | 445 Charles E. Young Dr. E., Los Angeles, CA 90095

Spring Concert

Saturday, April 4, 7:00pm

UCLA's Royce Hall

Due to the impact of COVID-19, this concert was cancelled.

Carlos Izcaray, Conductor

Samuel Barber: Overture to The School for Scandal
Richard Danielpour: Ricordanza, U.S. PREMIERE*
Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony

*Join Violins of Hope for a pre-concert talk at 5:30 PM to learn more about the instruments restored and rescued after the Holocaust that are now part of the Violins of Hope collection. Four instruments from the collection will be played during the US PREMIERE of Danielpour’s Ricordanza

Composers of past and present are given a spotlight in the American Youth Symphony’s Spring Concert, led by our remarkable Maestro Izcaray. Samuel Barber’s riveting first orchestral work, Overture to The School for Scandal, showcases the musical athleticism of our orchestra. AYS proudly presents the U.S. premiere of Ricordanza, a co-commissioned work by acclaimed composer and educator Richard Danielpour. To continue the “Celebration of Nature” season theme, Maestro Izcaray leads the orchestra to the summit of the Alps in An Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss, wind machine and all.

Citizen Musician Concert

Thursday, April 23, 6:30pm

South Coast Botanic Gardens

Due to the impact of COVID-19, this concert was cancelled.

Program TBD

The Annual AYS Citizen Musician concert provides a special opportunity for professional development and community engagement. The 2019/20 Citizen Musician Fellow will steward this project from start to finish, working with Maestro Izcaray to select a program fitting the season’s theme, celebrating appreciation of nature in classical music. Inspired and supported by a program Yo-Yo Ma developed at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Citizen Musician program aims to bridge the gap between high art and community art, exploring the power of classical music to transform lives and connect us more deeply to those around us. 

South Coast Botanic Garden | 26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274

55th Annual Gala

Thursday, May 7, 4:00pm PST / 7:00pm ET


Carlos Izcaray, Conductor


The American Youth Symphony celebrates 55 years of cultural vibrancy with the Annual Gala Concert, going virtual for the very first time! Talented musicians, gracious donors, collaborative composers, and first-time concert-goers all play a vital role in the success of AYS, and this night honors the entire AYS family. The concert program features a world premiere by Carlos Izcaray for virtual orchestra, solo musician performances, a cooking demonstration by Maxine Banks and live magic by Matt Marcy.  

Mothers Day Concert

Sunday, May 10, 4:00 pm
Stephen Wise Temple

Due to the impact of COVID-19, this concert was cancelled.

AYS Chamber Ensemble

The UCLA Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music is collaborating with AYS to perform chamber concerts in the Los Angeles community. 


Stephen Wise Temple | 15500 Stephen S Wise Dr., Los Angeles CA 90077