Wednesday, November 13, 2019
MUSICIANS FROM THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC
Rebecca Young, Viola
Maria Kitsopoulos, cello/piano
Rebecca Young joined the New York Philharmonic in 1986 as its youngest member. In 1991 she won the position of Associate Principal Viola. Two months later she was named principal viola of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After spending the 1992–93 season in Boston and two summers at Tanglewood, she ultimately decided to return to her family in New York, resuming her Associate Principal position with the Philharmonic in September 1994. She can currently be seen leading the viola section of the All-Star Orchestra, a popular televised educational series about classical music.
An avid chamber musician, Ms. Young has performed with many renowned groups, including the Boston Chamber Music Society, Boston Symphony Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, and The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She can be heard in a recording of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Pamela Frank, and bass player Edgar Meyer on the Sony Classical label.
Ms. Young was first introduced to music at the age of two when her parents took her to the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts led by Leonard Bernstein. Today, she is the host of the Philharmonic’s popular Very Young Peoples Concerts, intimate chamber music concerts where she has tap-danced, played drums, ridden a scooter around the stage, and even sung Gilbert & Sullivan. Her philosophy is less to educate than, as she puts it, “to make the audiences have so much fun they want to come back!”
Cellist Maria Kitsopoulos comes from a musical family — her mother being an opera singer, one brother a conductor, and her other brother a composer. She was a finalist in the first Emmanuel Feuermann Cello Competition and a prizewinner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Cello Competition, and she won fellowships for study from the Aspen and Tanglewood music festivals. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor of musical arts degrees from The Juilliard School where, upon graduation, she was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership. Her teachers have included Jerome Carrington, Ardyth Alton, Scott Ballantyne, Harvey Shapiro, and Aldo Parisot.
Before joining the New York Philharmonic, Ms. Kitsopoulos was an active performer of contemporary music with groups such as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Music Mobile, Guild of Composers, and Continuum, with whom she appeared as soloist in the New York Premieres of works by Leon Kirchner, Valentin Silvestrov, and Chinary Ung. As a member of the popular four-cello ensemble CELLO, Ms. Kitsopoulos performed music commissioned by that quartet — including works by Peter Schickele, Meyer Kupferman, and Reza Vali — at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Concert Hall, as well as at colleges and universities throughout the United States. In addition she performed in Broadway productions and Community Concerts.
In the spring of 1996, Ms. Kitsopoulos earned a position with the New York Philharmonic. She has since performed chamber music with fellow New York Philharmonic musicians as well as guests including violinists Nikolaj Znaider and Leonidas Kavakos and pianists Emanuel Ax and Yefim Bronfman.
Ms. Kitsopoulos performs on a 300-year-old cello made by Carlo Giuseppe Testore. She previously served on the faculty of Juilliard. An active recording artist, she has recorded for Musical Heritage Society, Angel Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Columbia, Mogul Entertainment, and MK Records. In September 2012 she performed the Prelude from Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello on an episode of The Colbert Report.