The American Youth Symphony Partners with the National Children’s Chorus to Premiere a Commission by Composer Nico Muhly


Sunday, March, 31, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at Walt Disney Concert Hall

(Thursday, February 28, 2019, Los Angeles, CA) – The American Youth Symphony (AYS) returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Sounds About Town concert series, partnering with the National Children’s Chorus (NCC). Both prestigious musical institutions, the American Youth Symphony is an elite professional training orchestra made up of college and graduate students from the most prominent music programs in the country, while NCC is one of the nation’s leading treble choruses, with ensembles in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

Led by AYS Music Director, Carlos Izcaray, AYS and NCC will perform The Right of your Senses by Nico Muhly, a world-premiere, co-commissioned by AYS, NCC and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Specially chosen for this project by the LA Phil, NCC, and AYS, Muhly is a sought-after composer and collaborator whose previous commissioners include The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This exciting new work will feature Grammy winning soprano, Jessica Rivera, whose voice has been praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “effortless precision and tonal luster.”

Also on the program: Gabriel Faure’s Messe Basse; Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms; and Alexander Scriabin’s Prometheus, Poem of Fire, Symphony No. 5, for which the orchestra and chorus will be joined by Grammy and Emmy winning pianist, Gloria Cheng.

Tickets range from $15-45 (AYS Members get a 25% discount). Reserve tickets now at AYSymphony.org/tickets

Heralded as “the finest youth symphony on earth,” by KUSC’s Jim Svejda, the American Youth Symphony has been fulfilling its mission to inspire the future of classical music for over 50 years. AYS presents exceptional, innovative concerts based on a landmark Fellowship program for young professional musicians in high school through doctoral music programs. Competitively selected, the 100-piece orchestra represents extraordinary talent from all over the world. AYS concerts are shared for free or significantly reduced admission, out of a commitment to creating access and opportunity for everyone to experience the power and inspiration of this beautiful art form. Learn more at: aysymphonyorg.dream.press


Nico Muhly is an American contemporary classical music composer and arranger who has worked and recorded with both classical and pop musicians. He is a member of the Icelandic music collective/recording label Bedroom Community. Muhly is a sought-after collaborator whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others, he has written more than 80 concert works. In addition to his symphonic and operatic works, he has composed extensively for stage and screen, with credits that include music for the 2013 Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and scores for the films Kill Your DarlingsMe, Earl And The Dying Girl; and the Academy Award-winning The Reader. He has worked as an arranger and collaborator with a host of musical luminaries, including Joanna Newsom and Sufjan Stevens. Learn more at: nicomuhly.com

This Grammy-winning soprano is one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists of our time. The intelligence, dimension and spirituality with which she infuses her performances has garnered Ms. Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers, including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jonathan Leshnoff, and has brought her together with such esteemed conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Bernard Haitink and Michael Tilson Thomas. Learn more at:  www.jessicarivera.com

Grammy and Emmy-winning pianist Gloria Cheng has been a recitalist at the Ojai Festival, William Kapell Festival, and Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and has performed on leading concert series including Carnegie Hall’s Making Music, Cal Performances, San Francisco Performances, and Stanford Lively Artso. 2015 saw the launch of MONTAGE: Great Film Composers and the Piano, an award-winning film featuring works composed for her by Bruce Broughton, Don Davis, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Giacchino, Randy Newman, and John Williams. Learn more at: www.gloriachengpiano.com

AYS Music Director Carlos Izcaray has an international reputation as seasoned composer, conductor and educator. Izcaray is a strong believer in supporting younger generations, working extensively with the world’s top talents and leading music institutions. In addition to having led prestigious orchestras in Colombia, Argentina, Switzerland, Italy, South Africa and more, Izcaray has distinguished himself as a talented instrumentalist who has been featured as a concert soloist and chamber musician worldwide. Throughout his career, Izcaray has shown special interest and prowess in tackling some of the most complex scores in the symphonic repertoire, while championing a historically informed approach to works from past eras. He also serves as Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, with whom his most recent orchestral composition, Yellowhammer, received rave reviews for its world premiere in February 2018. Learn more at:  www.carlosizcaray.com

The National Children’s Chorus, under the leadership of Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer and Associate Artistic Director Dr. Pamela Blackstone, is quickly establishing itself as America’s leading treble chorus, with a set of ensembles based in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Performing locally and abroad, the National Children’s Chorus is one of few youth arts organizations in the world to have its concert series presented by professional music halls. Tracing its lineage back to the 1904 inception of the Paulist Choristers in Chicago, the National Children’s Chorus, co-founded by Luke McEndarfer and Cristina Demiany in 2008, has garnered a superb reputation for musical excellence, and amassed an impressive résumé of experience. Learn more at: nationalchildrenschorus.com

American Youth Symphony