World Youth Symphony Orchestra Repertoire Begins to Take Shape

Crescendo issue: December 2013
The snow may have only just now gained a real foothold here in Northern Michigan, but that isn't stopping the onward progress of planning for the upcoming World Youth Symphony Orchestra summer season.

The 2014 World Youth Symphony Orchestra repertoire, this year featuring such composers as Shostakovich, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Mozart and more, is an eagerly anticipated announcement for students and attendees alike. The 2013 season will be celebrating 50 years of the Interlochen Arts Festival and WYSO performances will be featuring selected repertoire from the 1964 opening season. While 2014's programs are still taking shape, this is what we know now:

Week one hosts the return of the ever popular Jung Ho Pak conducting WYSO through an as yet undetermined program. Pak is entering his 11th year as principal conductor of WYSO, a run that has seen a great many outstanding, and crowd pleasing, WYSO performances.

Week two will find Alessio Bax at the piano as WYSO, under the direction of Maestro Carlos Kalmar, will journey through Dvorak's "Carnival Overture," Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances." Maestro Kalmar is in his eleventh season as music director of the Oregon Symphony. He is also chief conductor and artistic director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra and Choir in Madrid, and artistic director and principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Alessio Bax is a much lauded, award-winning pianist and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, and has appeared with the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, Houston Symphony, NHK Symphony in Japan, and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle.

Week three brings guest conductor and Interlochen alumnus Erik Nielsen to the Kresge stage to guide WYSO through Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, and one additional, as yet undetermined, piece. Joining Nielsen will be internationally-renowned violinist Joshua Bell.  

Week four brings John Axelrod to the Kresge stage as guest conductor. After successful tenures as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Theater, and as Music Director of the l'Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (ONPL), John Axelrod was appointed in 2011 as Principal Conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. He will lead WYSO into the breadth and depth that is Brahms' Fourth Symphony.

Week five will showcase guest conductor JoAnn Falletta and guest artist Ani Kavafian on violin. Falletta has been dubbed "one of the finest conductors of her generation" by the New York Times. World class violinist and Interlochen alumnus Kavafian is certain to thrill audiences, returning to Interlochen 50 years after her 1964 concerto competition win with the Saint-Saëns' "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" in A minor for violin and orchestra.

Finally, week six welcomes back Interlochen's distinguished maestro Jung Ho Pak and Interlochen President Jeffrey Kimpton conducting Les Preludes.

We continue to build repertoire for these exciting performances. Stay tuned for further information and updates as programs are finalized.

Tickets for these events will be available in late April, when the summer season is announced and can be found at:

Current high school students who would like to be a part of WYSO this summer are invited to apply here.