Contemporary Youth Orchestra in concert: Liza Grossman and Andrew Sords

Featured Audio

Contemporary Youth Orchestra 
Saturday, December 10 7:00pm

New Works: Barber, Wang, Bernstein

Cleveland State University, Waetjen Auditorium
2001 Euclid Ave
Cleveland, OH

The Play of Toys: Fay Wang (United States Premiere)
Barber Violin Concerto, featuring CYO Alum Andrew Sords
Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Leonard Bernstein)
The Recipient of the CYO Concerto Opportunity, TBD after auditions October 9th


The Award-Winning Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO) is pleased to announce its first production of Season 22 will take place Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 7pm at Waetjen Auditorium at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of CYO’s New Works annual concert series.

Music Director, Liza Grossman says, “This concert celebrates music, composers and cultures from around the globe.”

Symphonic Dances from West Side Story was prepared in 1961 by Leonard Bernstein as an orchestra suite of music from the show. American Leonard Bernstein said after learning of President Kennedy's shooting: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

CYO welcomes its first collegiate guest conductor, who is the recipient of the organization’s first “Official Call For” that was held over the summer. The initiative invited college-level conducting students to submit an application to be a guest conductor at CYO. Victoria Petrak is a senior studying Music Education and Violin performance at Baldwin Wallace University. At the concert, she’ll conduct the United States Premiere of The Play of Toys by Fay Wang. Victoria says, “I am so excited to work with Contemporary Youth Orchestra and be involved in the creation of brand new music!”

Contemporary Youth Orchestra Alumnus and world-touring solo violinist Andrew Sords returns to the CYO stage to perform Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, Op. 14 with the group. Sords says, “My love for CYO has remained constant. It is a pleasure to bring to life Samuel Barber's iconic concerto. Mr. Barber - the ultimate Americana composer - penned the concerto during the optimistic days of FDR's New Deal, and is recognized as the most important LGBT composer of the 20th century.”

The program will also feature CYO’s youngest recipient of its annual Concerto Opportunity. Wenlan Jackson, a high school freshman, will perform Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47. "I am very grateful for this opportunity to perform with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra. I love to be inspired by my peers, as well as being able to share my passion by connecting with others."

Contemporary Youth Orchestra will also perform Internet Symphony by Tan Dan. Grossman says, “Composer Tan Dun is a global culture leader and uses his creativity to raise awareness of environmental issues and to protect cultural diversity.”

CYO’s philosophy is to push the boundaries of music and allow its diverse community of high school-aged musicians to own their craft. CYO focuses on preparing its members to have the confidence and ability to create their own careers. Trust and creativity are required in all aspects of any industry and we will prepare our students for that future.

Contemporary Youth Orchestra, the recipient of four ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, is known for pushing the envelope of orchestra music. New Works, Music and Its Industry, and Rock the Orchestra are CYO’s core annual programs, taking place in December, March, and May respectively. These performances have been internationally broadcast on PBS, VH1 Classic, Palladia, and AXSTV.

For concert and ticket information, visit


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