Press Release: 2020 Sounds About Town

Press Release: American Youth Symphony and music director carlos izcaray to give world premiere of kris bowers' new violin concerto performed by violinist charles yang

February 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Tickets: Start at $16, 25% off for AYS Members

Please visit to reserve tickets

(January 9, 2020 Los Angeles, CA) The American Youth Symphony (AYS) returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall on LA Phil’s “Sounds About Town” series on February 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. with a nature-inspired program that includes the much-anticipated premiere of composer Kris Bowers’ new violin concerto, For A Younger Self, performed by violin virtuoso Charles Yang. 

Commissioned by AYS, this new work is the second installment of the Korngold Commission Project, developed and sponsored by AYS Board Member, Peter Mandell, and Advisory Council member, Sarah Coade Mandell, and designed to unite great composers of film with top classical soloists to create and premiere new works.  

“I’m so thankful to AYS, Charles Yang and everyone at Disney Hall and the LA Phil for this opportunity,” said Bowers. “After a few conversations with Charles about possible themes to explore, this piece became a message to our younger selves about finding a sense of comfort and ‘home’ in new and uncomfortable environments, and striving for inner-peace in the trying times of our lives.” 

“We are so grateful to Peter Mandell and Sarah Coade Mandell for supporting AYS and this important project, which gives our AYS musicians the opportunity to expand upon their musical experiences through the continued learning of new works,” said AYS Music Director Carlos Izcaray. “The Korngold Commission Project unites classical and film music in the best possible way – by creating something new that inspires the next generation of young musicians.” 

The American Youth Symphony’s 2019-2020 season continues its tradition of inspiring understanding and social change through music with an environmental programming theme, “A Celebration of Nature.” In keeping with this theme, the Feb. 8 concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall will also feature Ravel’s colorful “daybreak song” Alborada del gracioso, Jennifer Higdon’s tribute to the grandeur and majesty of all our parks, All Things Majestic, and concludes with Saint-Saëns: remarkable Symphony No. 3 “Organ Symphony.”

For concert reservations visit or call 310-470-2332.

For Calendar Section

What: LA Phil’s Sounds About Town series concert

Who: American Youth Symphony
Carlos Izcaray, Music Director                                                                                                                                                                  Charles Yang, Violin

Where: Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Admission: Tickets start at $16 and 25% off for AYS members – purchase your seat at or                    call 310-470-2332

Program: MAURICE RAVEL: Alborada del gracioso                                                                                                                                      JENNIFER HIGDON: All Things Majestic                                                                                                                                                      KRIS BOWERS: For A Younger Self, WORLD PREMIERE                                                                                                                            CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3

About the Artists
Carlos Izcaray is one of the leading conductors of his generation. 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 world over, appearing with numerous ensembles across five continents.

Kris Bowers is an Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist. His music consists of a confluence of jazz greats, classical standards, and the alternative and experimental music of his youth. Since graduating from Juilliard, Bowers has established himself at the forefront of Hollywood’s emerging generation of genre-defying composers. He worked on the score for Dear White People, Green Book, Whey They See Us, and many other projects. In addition, he collaborated with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Aretha Franklin, and many others. Bowers continues to make an impact on the music industry as he creates new works.

Charles Yang is described by the Boston Globe as one who “plays classical violin with the charisma of a rock star” and the recipient of the 2018 Leonard Bernstein Award. Juilliard graduate, Charles Yang began his violin studies with his mother in Austin, Texas and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in the United States, Europe, Brazil, Russia, China, and Taiwan, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. On June 9th of 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Mr. Yang with his own “Charles Yang Day.” He is the newest member of the trio Time for Three.

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, 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.

American Youth Symphony