Donor Premiere

Donor Premiere with Alex Mansour and Gallia Kastner

Saturday, January 9, 2021

4:00 PM Pacific | 7:00 PM Eastern

Online only

As a gesture of gratitude to all AYS Year-End Campaign donors, we are delighted to announce a Donor Premiere viewing of A Thousand Cranes, composed by AYS Creative Fellow and Principal Cellist, Alex Mansour. Alex will perform with AYS Concertmaster, Gallia Kastner, who inspired Alex after her performance of Sibelius’ violin concerto from the AYS Opening Night concert in 2019. Viewers on Saturday, January 9th will hear the world premiere of this new work, and learn more about the making of the piece in a conversation with the musicians.

A Thousand Cranes will be AYS’ third world premiere this season, following Maestro Izcaray’s Bloom for our Fall Concert, and Candlelight, another new composition from Mansour for the Music Center’s Holiday Celebration, to air on PBS SoCal on Dec. 24th.

This Donor Premiere is a thank you from AYS to all of our Year-End Campaign donors. Anyone contributing $25 or more to AYS from Oct. 1st to Dec. 31st will receive an invitation and a link to the premiere. Your support of AYS ensures that our talented young musicians continue to receive performance and training opportunities, which result in remarkable, free concerts for thousands of audience members of all ages and backgrounds.

Click the button below to make a year-end contribution today!

A Thousand Cranes Program Note

The myth of “a thousand cranes” holds that if one folds a thousand origami cranes, they will be presented eternal health and prosperity, a long life and recovery from illness. I take this to mean that by dedicating oneself to an activity with discipline and focus, one will find meaning and purpose. Writing this piece in 2020 was a way for me, personally, a way to overcome the discouragement and creative drought of the COVID-19 pandemic. The piece takes much inspiration from folk music around the world, the repertoire for violin and cello by Kodaly/Ravel, and the melodic, tuneful sensibility of great chamber music. It was written for violinist Gallia Kastner. 

— Alex Mansour

About the Artists

Alexander Mansour is a composer, pianist, and cellist from Los Angeles, California. His music is fascinated with the lyricism of romantic expression, dramatic juxtaposition of disparate harmonies, and dynamic narrative structures. As a cellist, Alex serves as principal of American Youth Symphony, and has joined the New York String Orchestra Seminar for their Christmas concerts at Carnegie Hall. He has also appeared on NPR’s “From the Top”. He has studied with Katinka Kleijn (CSO), and during an exchange in London, with Richard Lester (Royal College of Music). Read more about Alex on his website: https://www.alexmansourmusic.com/

Gallia Kastner is a Masters Degree candidate at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles where she studies with Robert Lipsett. She is the winner of the 2016 Pasadena Showcase Competition, the 2015 Thomas and Evon Cooper International Violin Competition, a winner in the 2014 Youngarts National Scholarship Program, the winner of the 2013 Blount Slawson National Concerto Competition, a prize winner in the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition in Utah, the winner of the 2012 Johansen International Competition, and numerous other prizes. She has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra, and many more. She was part of Quartet Lumiére that won first prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Gallia Kastner plays on an 1843 Giovanni Francesco Pressenda violin on generous loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California.