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COYO Announces Their 2019-20 Season

Conductor Vinay Parameswaran
Photo of Vinay Parameswaran

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) and its music director Vinay Parameswaran announced details of the 2019-20 season. The Youth Orchestra, under Mr. Parameswaran’s direction, will perform a three-concert series at Severance Hall on November 15, 2019, March 1, 2020, and May 3, 2020. Subscription packages and individual tickets are on sale now.  The 2019-20 season marks Vinay Parameswaran’s third as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and as assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra.


“I’ve tried to create a group that’s versatile, that’s equally comfortable playing Mozart as it is playing a piece written this year,” said Mr. Parameswaran. “This new crop of students is up to the task; they realize the expectations we have in the group and they’re fitting in seamlessly. This season is really a season of exploration. The majority of the works that we’re playing have never been played by COYO before, and one work on each of the three concerts has never been played in Cleveland before, so it allows us to showcase the versatility of this orchestra. It’s going to be an exciting and challenging season for us, but all of us in the Cleveland community should be proud of what these young musicians can accomplish.”


The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s 2019-20 Severance Hall season begins on Friday, November 15, 2019, at 8:00 p.m. with a program featuring the Cleveland premiere of American composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Something for the Dark, a piece originally commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 2016. The evening also includes Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 — performed by Annie Zhang, co-winner of the 2019 COYO Concerto Competition — and Sibelius’s Symphony No.2 .

The Youth Orchestra’s Severance Hall concert series continues on Sunday, March 1, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus joins the Youth Orchestra in performances of Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer (soprano soloist to be announced) and the Cleveland premiere of Arvo Pärt’s In Principio. The concert will conclude with the 1945 suite from Stravinsky’s The Firebird.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra’s third and final concert will be on Sunday, May 3, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. The program begins with the Cleveland premiere of Tumblebird Contrails by Gabriella Smith, an American composer who was a classmate of Mr. Parameswaran at the Curtis Institute of Music. The concert also features a concerto spotlighting the winner of this season’s Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, and Debussy’s La Mer.

As part of an ongoing partnership with ideastream to provide greater access to music and culture, WCLV Classical 104.9 will present a live broadcast on-air and online of each of the COYO concerts at Severance Hall during the season.


About Vinay Parameswaran

Vinay Parameswaran began his tenure as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra as well as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in the 2017-18 season, marking The Cleveland Orchestra’s centennial. Mr. Parameswaran came to Cleveland following three seasons as Associate Conductor of the Nashville Symphony from 2014-17, where he led over 150 performances.

In the summer of 2017, Mr. Parameswaran was a Conducting Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Recent engagements have included his debuts with the North Carolina Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Eugene Symphony, and the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Parameswaran played as a student for six years in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Political Science from Brown University, where he graduated with honors. At Brown, he began his conducting studies with Paul Phillips. He received a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller as the Albert M. Greenfield Fellow.


About the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) is a full symphonic ensemble comprised of approximately 100 young musicians drawn from 36 communities in 10 counties across Northern Ohio. COYO provides serious young music students of middle-high school age with a unique pre-professional orchestral training experience where they rehearse and perform in historic Severance Hall, are coached by the musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra, and are led by the Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Founded in 1986 by Jahja Ling (then resident conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra), COYO is part of a broad array of Cleveland Orchestra education and community programs designed to touch every child with music, foster a lifetime of engagement with music and The Cleveland Orchestra, unite our community through music, and nurture outstanding young musicians. In addition to the Youth Orchestra, other programs include the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus and Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus, Crescendo! (providing access to instruments and instruction for disadvantaged youth), the Music Explorers series for children ages 3 to 6, the PNC Grow Up Great “Musical Neighborhoods” program in inner-city Cleveland preschool classrooms, Cleveland Orchestra Family Concerts for ages 7 and up, Education Concerts for schoolchildren, Mindful Music Moments, Neighborhood Partners Program, Concert Previews and Music Study Groups for adults, and more. Each year, The Cleveland Orchestra reaches more than 100,000 people with its education and community programs. 


About the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus (Daniel Singer, Director) will embark on its 29th season in 2019-20. Comprised of students in grades 9 through 12, the Youth Chorus helps raise awareness of choral music-making in the schools of Northeastern Ohio and encourages students to continue their choral activities through college and into adulthood. The Youth Chorus regularly collaborates with outstanding musical ensembles, and its 2019-20 season will include several concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, as well as a broad range of collaborative and independent performances throughout Greater Cleveland.


Calendar Listing


2019-20 Severance Hall Season

All concerts to be broadcast LIVE on Classical 104.9 FM


Friday, November 15, 2019 at 8:00 p.m.

Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
Vinay Parameswaran, conductor
Annie Zhang, cello

SARAH KIRKLAND SNIDER     Something for the Dark – Cleveland premiere
SHOSTAKOVICH                     Cello Concerto No. 1
SIBELIUS                                 Symphony No. 2


Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 7:00 p.m

Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
Vinay Parameswaran, conductor

Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus
Daniel Singer, d irector

MENDELSSOHN                      Hear My Prayer
PÄRT                                       In Principio – Cleveland premiere
STRAVINSKY                           The Firebird, Suite from 1945


Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.

Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
Vinay Parameswaran, conductor

Program includes:
GABRIELLA SMITH                  Tumblebird Contrails – Cleveland premiere
DEBUSSY                                 La Mer


All programs, artists, and prices are subject to change.