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[March, 2009] Ms. Josefowicz served as featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra John Adams conducting at Heinz Hall on the weekend of March 13-15, 2009. The concert, comprised of Benjamin Britten's Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 6, and The Dharma at Big Sur, a Concerto by John Adams for electric violin and orchestra, was preceded by a pre-concert Play-In by CYM violin and cello students.

Alicia and Victoria McGinnis met with Ms. Josefowicz at a reception in which Leila and her sound engineer described the process by which they approached the Adams Concerto for electric violin and orchestra. They learned that Ms. Josefowicz began her violin studies at age 4 following the Suzuki method, and that her father envisioned a violin career for her, which she whole-heartedly embraced. Alicia and Victoria were most impressed with Leila's dedication to mixing the standard repertoire with the avant-garde, and her enthusiasm for the future of contemporary composition.

The combination of her virtuosity, down-to-earth demeanor, and creative vision was truly a close encounter with brilliance.

[November, 2008] On Thursday, November 18th, members of CYM enjoyed a Master Class with the world renowned Lang Lang, classical pianist. The Schnatterly, McCargo, Hammel, and McGinnis families attended, along with Miss Kara Woodworth and Miss Michelle Bitler. All were inspired and impressed by Lang Lang's ability to hear and demonstrate very fine details in the music, and thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Afterward, the Hammel, McCargo and McGinnis families enjoyed an exquisite meal at Palate and attended his concert at Heinz Hall, which was "infused with his (Lang Lang's) superstar personality." The Hammel family was fortunate enough to be able to meet with Lang Lang later after the concert at a private event sponsored by the Pittsburgh Symphony.

[april, 2008] CYM's opportunity to enjoy virtuoso violinist Gil Shaham's visit to Pittsburgh began with a Master Class for three violin students on Saturday morning. Mr. Shaham listened to each of the three perform the following pieces:

  • Nathan Cully — Sonata No. 4, 4th movement G.F. Handel
  • Elsa Lagerquist — Tempo di Minuetto F. Kreisler
  • Haluk Akay — Concerto in a, 1st movement J.S. Bach

Mr. Shaham shared stories about the composers as well as influential violinists who have performed these pieces in the past. The young musicians were connected with a great lineage of important violinists through their encounter with Mr. Shaham. Approximately 8 other families participated by observing the event at Heinz Hall.

[March, 2008] Madeline Marco Scanlon and Meredith Hudock, in 10th and 8th grade respectively, visited up-close with phenom Sarah Chang at a dinner hosted by the PSO last weekend. About 20 fans enjoyed a wonderful meal at Palatte Restaurant with the virtuoso violinist at the symphony's invitation. The girls found Sarah to be very gracious and approachable, as well as dazzling. Her performance of the Vivaldi Four Seasons that afternoon was both memorable and sold-out.

Madeline and Meredith enjoyed telling Sarah about their own performance at the White House in 2006, as well as Madeline's career plans (dermatology and continued violin playing) and Meredith's interest in Bluegrass and improvising. As PSO Board Member Alicia McGinnis said, "This is a rare opportunity to meet with an extraordinary person and expand our horizons. I hope that we can have more occasions like this for other CYM students as well." One of the girls' family members commented that "she (her daughter) was riding so high on the way home that she had to be scraped off the top of the car." A night to remember...

Yo-Yo Ma reflects on the Maestro

[February, 2003] On the evening of Wednesday, February 19, CYM cellists joined an overflow group of fellow-cellists and music professionals on-stage at Heinz Hall to observe world-renowned cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich conduct a three-part master class. The event is described in the following Tribune-Review article.

Rostropovich delights audience with talk, class

By Mark Kanny
Friday, February 21, 2003

When Mstislav Rostropovich is around, the bravos usually head in his direction. But he bestowed his enthusiasm, as well as musical wisdom and historical testimony, on Wednesday at educational activities in Oakland and Downtown. History came alive when Rostropovich spoke at 2 p.m. at the McConomy Auditorium at Carnegie Mellon University about his experiences in his native Soviet Union. He was 14 and had already made his orchestral debut when his father died and he learned the meaning of "real suffering." He had to play 10 concerts just to earn enough money for 2 pounds of butter.

He told stories about his friends, composers Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev -- "both great composers but so different as people they were like from different planets."

And after a quartet of CMU string students played the first two movements of Shostakovich's Eighth Quartet, Rostropovich talked about the music's greatness and pointed out musical quotations that make it virtually a biography in sound of the composer.

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