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The Philharmonic Orchestra Performs Brahms, Wranitzky, Mendelssohn and Blacher
The San Jose Youth Symphony’s Philharmonic Orchestra, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor, Yair Samet, presents its 2023 Season Opener Concert to be held on Saturday, December 2, 2023, 7 pm, at the Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater, located at 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, 95116.
The orchestra will open the concert with Brahms’ light and engaging, Academic Festival Overture, and close with Blacher’s big, beautiful and exciting Orchestral Variations on a Theme of Paganini. The concert will also feature winners from the 2023 Young Artist Competition, proudly sponsored by the San Jose Symphony Foundation.* Outstanding young soloists, Isaac Chan and Dylan Nguyen, violists, will perform Wranitzky’s Concerto for Two Violas and Orchestra; and An-Po Chen, violinist, will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
Isaac Chan is a high school senior at Milpitas High School, and has been playing viola since he was 7 years old. He has been with the San Jose Youth Symphony since 2019 and is currently in his third year with the Philharmonic Orchestra. He has won a number of accolades in competitions, including 3rd place in a solo competition and 1st place in a string quartet competition in elementary school. Isaac currently studies with private teacher, Galina Andre. Under Galina’s guidance he passed the California-wide Certificate of Merit advance level with state honors in 2022. Due to his early experiences performing in a chamber ensemble in elementary school, Isaac really enjoys playing in string ensembles and orchestral pieces.
Dylan Nguyen is also a student at Milpitas High School, and started to learn piano at age 5 first and then viola at age 10 with private teacher, Hien Ngo. Since the SJYS concerto competition was his first viola competition, he chose to play a double viola concerto with a friend who could help him along the way. At the end of the five-month journey, Dylan grew tremendously and received great feedback along the way from his duo partner Isaac and his teacher. He has been with the San Jose Youth Symphony’s Philharmonic Orchestra, for the past two years and has enjoyed their sectionals, masterclasses, and summer camps (not to mention Yair and his skill to always make rehearsals entertaining). During his free time, Dylan likes playing tennis, watching horror movies, and trying new food.
An-Po Chen, violinist, is 16 years and currently attending Archbishop Mitty High School. This is his second season with the Philharmonic Orchestra. An-Po has performed as concertmaster/principal for ensembles including the CMEA Bay Section Orchestra and Orchestra Gradus ad Parnassum. He also currently leads the Archbishop Mitty Orchestra as violinist and assistant conductor. An-Po has played in prestigious halls including Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall, where he had his solo debut performing Paganini’s caprice. Recently, he also performed at Campbell’s State of the City event. As a soloist, An-Po is a top prizewinner of the United States Open Music Competition, “Golden Classical Music Awards” International Competition, SJYS Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist Competition, Silicon Valley Music Competition, and others. He has presented the concerti of Bach and Vivaldi with Orchestra Gradus ad Parnassum under the batons of his teacher, distinguished conductor and pedagogue Imant Airea, and renowned pianist and conductor Temirzhan Yerzhanov. An-Po has taken masterclasses from esteemed artists such as Stefan Jackiw, Tessa Lark, Daniel Phillips, Brigid Coleridge, Tai Murray, Dmitri Berlinsky, Movses Pogossian, Moni Simeonov, Margaret Batjer, and Solomiya Ivakhiv. During the summers, he participates in festivals such as the String Insiders Online Solo Strings Intensive and Vivace International Music Festival. Besides being a soloist and an orchestral performer, An-Po familiarizes himself with a wide range of chamber works by both standard and less well-known composers. Offstage, he spends his time teaching, discovering contemporary music, and writing stories.
The San Jose Youth Symphony (SJYS) is one of the oldest and finest youth orchestras on the West Coast of the U.S. Founded over seven decades ago as part of the former San Jose Symphony, SJYS has a rich tradition of musical performance and education.
The musicians of SJYS, all school-age youth, are chosen from more than 650 applicants through our annual auditions. The SJYS comprises 12 distinct performing ensembles: two full orchestras, a Chamber orchestra, two flute choirs, two string ensembles, as well as winds, harp, saxophone, percussion and jazz ensembles.
*“San Jose Symphony” is a registered trademark of the San Jose Symphony Foundation and its use in all its variations is by license.