Press Release: American Youth Symphony’s 56th Annual Gala Celebrates the Perseverance of its Musicians and Hope for the Future

Music Director Carlos Izcaray leads AYS Musicians in a program that includes:


Aaron Copland: Three Latin-American Sketches

Anna Clyne: Within Her Arms

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Symphony No. 1

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenata Notturna


Thursday, June 3, 2021

5:00 p.m. PST

FREE with online registration

Live stream on AYS YouTube Channel 


Learn more at AYSymphony.org/Gala


(May 5, 2021, Los Angeles, CA) – American Youth Symphony (AYS) will celebrate the end of its 2020-21 innovative season and the perseverance of its musicians with the 56th Annual Gala on Thursday, June 3rd, at 5:00 p.m. PST. The virtual program will feature 31 AYS musicians performing Copland’s Three Latin-American Sketches, Clyne’s Within her Arms, St. George’s Symphony No. 1, and Mozart’s Serenata Notturna.


Following safety protocol guidelines, American Youth Symphony Music Director Carlos Izcaray will lead AYS musicians at UCLA’s Royce Hall for a recorded performance that will be presented virtually for the gala.  AYS is excited to showcase the exceptional playing of its orchestra musicians, who are on the cusp of launching their professional careers. Throughout the pandemic period, AYS has been dedicated in continuing the training of its musicians and offering dynamic performance opportunities, including the 2021 Gala.


“American Youth Symphony’s 56th Annual Gala is a time to not only reflect on the successes and hardship from the past year, but also to celebrate our artistic future with a hopeful return to the concert hall next season” said Izcaray. “I am proud of our musicians who were forced to rehearse and perform mostly in isolation at home, and yet, were still able to premiere three new pieces and play great symphonic works with AYS this season. I am grateful that we can safely enjoy the power of music together in person at Royce Hall, tand continue to share the gift of music virtually with our dedicated supporters.”


Cinematographer Philip Holahan, who served as Director of Photography for AYS’ 2020 Fall Concert, will also return to Royce Hall to film and produce a captivating cinematic experience of AYS’ performance for viewers at home. 


Leading up to the Gala celebration, there will be three opportunities for patrons and musicians to engage with the orchestra online. AYS alumni and current orchestra members are invited to a fun evening with Sheltered Trivia on May 27; Los Angeles-based premiere chef Maxine Banks will teach a virtual mixology class on May 28, with a $10 admission fee; and AYS violinist Hannah Chou will lead a conversation with esteemed AYS alumna, Geneva Lewis free for the public on June 1. Learn more and register for the events at AYSymphony.org/Gala. 


Online registration is required before virtual events and the Gala concert.


Visit the AYS website, AYSymphony.org/Gala for more information. 


For Calendar Section


What: American Youth Symphony’s 56th Annual Gala


Who: American Youth Symphony

Carlos Izcaray, Music Director


When: Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. PST, 8:00 p.m. EST


Where: www.AYSymphony.org/Gala


Program: Aaron COPLAND: Three Latin-American Sketches

Anna CLYNE: Within Her Arms 

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de SAINT-GEORGES: Symphony No. 1

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART: Serenata Notturna

About the Artists


Carlos Izcaray is one of the leading conductors of his generation, as well as an emerging composer. He is Music Director for AYS and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He is now in his fourth season with AYS. Izcaray shows special interest and prowess in undertaking the most complex works in the classical canon, while also championing innovative programming and celebrating new voices. Praised by international press, Izcaray has won top prizes at prestigious festivals and competitions the world over, appearing with numerous ensembles across five continents. 


About American Youth Symphony

Founded in 1964 by renowned conductor Mehli Mehta, the American Youth Symphony inspires the future of classical music by training the next generation of professional musicians and building new audiences for orchestral music. AYS presents ambitious seasons that feature thoughtful programming of exceptionally high quality, covering a breadth of symphonic music, including beloved classics, film scores, chamber works, and contemporary pieces.  AYS is committed to reflecting the diversity of Los Angeles in its programming, representing artists and composers of all genders, generations, and ethnicities. AYS is also committed to equity within the orchestra, by holding blind, free auditions, and by paying musicians instead of charging tuition. AYS concerts are presented for free or low cost, virtually, at world-class concert halls, and local community venues alike, with the goal of welcoming anyone who is interested to enjoy this beautiful art form. https://aysymphony.org/