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  • LAPA
  • Jul. 14, 2016


    Los Angeles, CA (July 14, 2016) - The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association announced today significant milestones for two of its education initiatives, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program (CFP) - both of which will celebrate their 10th anniversary during the 2016/17 season. Inspired by Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel's belief that "music is a fundamental human right," the Los Angeles Philharmonic is committed to bringing the transformative power of music and music-making into the lives of Angelenos.

    Launched in the Fall of 2007, Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) - inspired by Venezuela's visionary El Sistema that nurtured Gustavo Dudamel - is the LA Phil's unprecedented initiative to establish youth orchestra programs in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. With community partners, the YOLA program provides free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. About to begin its tenth year, YOLA serves more than 750 students in three programs: YOLA at EXPO, YOLA at HOLA, and YOLA at LACHSA, and reaches thousands more young people through YOLA-inspired music education residencies in 15 elementary schools that surround YOLA sites.

    In honor of YOLA's 10th anniversary, 80 of the most advanced YOLA students, representing all three sites, will tour as an orchestra for the first time. They will kick off the tour in Los Angeles on October 23 at the Valley Performing Arts Center and then travel across California, visiting Visalia and Fresno, culminating in the historic Paramount Theatre in Oakland, where LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will conduct their final tour performance on October 30. The 45-minute educational concert will feature works by Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak and involve a narrative and video component.

    On April 4, 2017, the most advanced orchestras will perform YOLA's annual concert in Walt Disney Concert Hall. The program will celebrate the anniversary of YOLA and tickets will be free and available to all.

    In July 2017 the LA Phil's national extension of YOLA, Take a Stand, will host a symposium to bring together leaders and teachers in the El Sistema movement from across the world. This will culminate in the National Take a Stand Festival, a gathering of the first national youth orchestra comprised of students from El Sistema-inspired programs. This seven-day intensive youth music camp will feature a performance in Walt Disney Concert Hall led by LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel. Offered the opportunity to learn from exceptional musicians in a camp setting, young people become ambassadors of their programs and, for many, travel out of state for the first time. The project aims to develop a model for excellence and a national community of citizen musicians from historically excluded populations in the U.S.

    New music, its creation and performance, is at the very heart of the LA Phil's identity. The Composer Fellowship Program was founded in 2007 by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky and is a reflection of these ideals. The program was renamed the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program (CFP) in 2016 in recognition of a generous commitment from LA Phil Board Member and Chair of the LA Phil's Education & Community Committee Nancy Sanders and former LA Phil Board Chair Barry Sanders. A unique offering among American orchestras, this innovative two-year immersion program for high-school-age composers provides unrivaled access to the world's leading composers and musicians, and gives them the tools necessary to pursue a career in music and make a substantial contribution to the future of new music. Since its inception there have been five classes of four students each. During their intensive journey, the Composer Fellows are immersed in the world of composition through workshops, instrument demonstrations with LA Phil musicians, guest artist visits and group composition lessons under Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program Director, composer Andrew Norman. Each year, Composer Fellows also have the remarkable opportunity to hear their works performed live in concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Celebrations for this anniversary kicked off at the Hollywood Bowl on June 18 when works by two alumni Fellows - Anderson Alden's Lift and Katya Richardson's Fanfare for Orchestra - were chosen by an all-star panel of professional composers as part of a CFP alumni competition and performed by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra led by Thomas Wilkins on the iconic stage as part of the Hollywood Bowl summer 2016 Opening Night.

    In October 2016 the second National Composers Intensive (NCI) will take place. This is an outgrowth of CFP and offers young composers aged 18-30 the opportunity to gather in Los Angeles for an immersive multi-day workshop and have their works performed by the modern music collective wild UP. The NCI will conclude with performances of some of the young composers' works as part of the Noon to Midnight marathon contemporary music festival day (October 1) on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    The fifth and current class of the Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program will conclude their two years with the Los Angeles Philharmonic performing their orchestral works for an audience of 4,000 young middle and high school musicians from across Los Angeles in Walt Disney Concert Hall, February 2017.

    Highlights from the last ten years of both projects follow.




    Concert repertoire:

    BERNSTEIN Candide Overture
    BEETHOVEN Ode to Joy (excerpt) from Symphony No. 9 in D minor
    BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 5
    DVORAK Movement IV, Allegro non troppo, from Symphony No. 8 in G major
    WILLIAMS Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor October 30 ONLY
    Juan Felipe Molano, YOLA conductor, October 23, 27 and 28

    Sunday, October 23, 2016, 3PM

    Co-Presented by Valley Performing Arts Center:

    Valley Performing Arts Center, Northridge

    Thursday, October 27, 2016, 7PM

    Presented by Tulare County Symphony:

    LJ Williams Theatre, Visalia

    Friday, October 28, 2016, 7PM

    Presented by Youth Orchestras of Fresno:

    William Saroyan Hall, Fresno

    Sunday, October 30, 2016, 3PM

    Cal Performances at UC Berkeley presents:

    Paramount Theatre, Oakland


    YOLA Spring Concert

    Tuesday, April 4, 2017

    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    Juan Felipe Molano, conductor
    Members of YOLA

    Details to be announced

    2017 National Take a Stand Festival Orchestra Final Concert
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    Gustavo Dudamel, conductor

    Details to be announced


    Saturday, October 1, 2016, FROM NOON TO MIDNIGHT, time TBC

    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    wild Up
    National Composers Intensive performances - details to be announced

    Thursday, February 16 and Friday, February 17, 2017, 10AM
    A Celebration of John Adams
    Walt Disney Concert Hall
    Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Chris Rountree, conductor
    Works by the current Composer Fellows

    A program celebrating John Adams' 70th birthday through some of this composer's greatest contributions to contemporary classical music, along with works by the graduating class of young composers from the LA Phil's Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program.


    Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA)

    Since it was established in Fall of 2007, YOLA has grown to serve 750 students, ages 6-18, in South L.A., the Rampart District and East L.A. YOLA partners share costs and program management responsibilities. The YOLA initiative currently consists of three programs: YOLA at EXPO, YOLA at HOLA, and YOLA at LACHSA.

    Part of Exposition Park in South L.A., YOLA at EXPO has grown to include three orchestras, mentorship, group lessons, chamber music, and parent ensembles. The program serves over 300 students who attend four days each week. In addition, students perform annually at Walt Disney Concert Hall and have appeared multiple times on the iconic stage of the Hollywood Bowl. YOLA at EXPO is a partnership of the LA Phil, Harmony Project, and EXPO Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility.

    YOLA at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), located in the Rampart District, serves 240 students with intensive after-school orchestral instruction five days a week. Classes include music creativity, singing and solfège, ensemble rehearsals, and academic tutoring daily. This holistic approach fosters a sense of community and provides the students with the opportunity to take advantage of HOLA's exceptional programs and resources. YOLA at HOLA is a partnership between the LA Phil and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).

    YOLA at LACHSA engages 180 students, ages 8-11. High school students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts act as mentors to their younger YOLA counterparts. YOLA at LACHSA is a partnership between the LA Phil and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

    Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program (CFP)

    The LA Phil's Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program is an innovative two-year program that gives passionate young composers the tools and the freedom to shape the future of music. Founded in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, CFP provides private and group composition lessons, seminars presented by LA Phil musicians, and encounters with professionals in the field, propelling Fellows to excellence. Graduates of CFP have gone on to study composition at the University of Southern California, Harvard, Yale, the New England Conservatory, University of California-Los Angeles, and many others. Students experience the creative process from start to finish with the help of accomplished composers. A unique program among American orchestras, CFP also provides these young composers with the remarkable opportunity to hear their works performed in concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Students are led through the creative process from start to finish, inspired by their mentors: Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program Director Andrew Norman and CFP Teaching Artist Sarah Gibson.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres - orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop - at two of L.A.'s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil's season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs. 


    Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA): Program Overview


    Program Activities, by the Numbers

    Over the course of this year, the YOLA program will:

    • Provide more than 600 hours of music instruction and additional programming each year for YOLA's 750 students.
    • Perform more than 15 concerts by YOLA ensembles at venues across the city for combined audiences of tens of thousands of Southern Californians.
    • Expose YOLA students to a diverse repertoire of more than 40 pieces ranging from Sibelius to John Adams.
    • Facilitate over 120 residency hours with LA Phil musicians for YOLA students.
    • Provide leadership camp, college prep, and skills training for the program's 150 most advanced students.
    • Provide hundreds of educators and administrators from around the world with opportunities to learn about creating El Sistema-inspired programs in their communities through Take a Stand.
    • Award $20,000 in college scholarships through the YOLA Citizenship Awards
    • Graduate its third class of Seniors.  In the spring of 2016, 100% of YOLA's second full class of 33 graduating seniors completed high school and 90% will be attending colleges in the fall including: Georgetown University, Berklee College of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, UCLA, USC, UC San Diego, Pepperdine, Cal State LA, UC Irvine, and Morehouse College in Georgia.

    Program Participants, a Snapshot

    YOLA's students:

    • Attend 214 schools and reside within 67 zip codes throughout L.A. County.
    • 68% of YOLA students are Latino - the next largest populations are African-American (primarily in EXPO community) and Asian (primarily in HOLA community).
    • Nearly 10% attend arts schools, including Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, Orange County School of the Arts, and Renaissance Arts Academy.
    • YOLA grew approximately 15% last year, led by the expansion of YOLA at LACHSA.
    • The average retention rate for YOLA over the last three years is approximately 88%.

    Program Milestones

    In the past ten years YOLA has:

    • Performed under the baton of world-renowned conductors including Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Simon Rattle, David Robertson, Marin Alsop, Mirga Grazinytė-Tyla and Thomas Wilkins.
    • Worked with major recording artists including Coldplay, Journey, Stevie Wonder, Juanes, Gloria Estefan, Gwen Stefani, and Hilary Hahn.
    • Performed at major international venues, including Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles,CA), The Barbican (London, UK), Suntory Hall (Tokyo, Japan), Kresge Auditorium at MIT (Boston, MA) and The Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, CA).

    Notable milestones from the last ten years include:

    (2009) Gustavo Dudamel leads 100 YOLA at EXPO students in a performance of "Ode to Joy" during ¡Bienvenido Gustavo!, a free community concert at the Hollywood Bowl for his first official downbeat as Music Director of the LA Phil.

    • (2011) Over 350 students from YOLA at EXPO and YOLA at HOLA perform on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall for the first time as a combined ensemble during the LA Phil's Youth Orchestra Festival Day.
    • (2011) 10 YOLA at EXPO students perform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
    • (2011) 120 students from the program perform with Stevie Wonder at the Hollywood Bowl.
    • (2012) The LA Phil partners with the Longy School of Music and Bard College to form Take a Stand, a national initiative inspired by El Sistema that supports social change through music.
    • (2012) Sir Simon Rattle leads 50 YOLA at EXPO students in a performance of the Finale from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 on the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall.
    • (2012) YOLA at EXPO Chamber Orchestra performs two concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with 17-time Latin Grammy-winner Juanes - the second conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. 
    • (2013) 10 YOLA students travel to London to take part in music workshops and participate in panels and presentations at the Future Play symposium (hosted by LA Phil and Barbican Centre).
    • (2015) 15 YOLA students travel to Japan in a collaboration with El Sistema Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
    • (2016) 50 YOLA students perform in Superbowl 50 with recording artists Coldplay, in front of an audience of 111.9 million viewers during a halftime performance including Beyoncé Knowles and Bruno Mars.
    • (2016) YOLA performs at the 2016 Ojai Music Festival, curated by Peter Sellars, presenting the world premiere of a commissioned work by Cuban American composer Tania León with guest artists the International Contemporary Ensemble. 

    Nancy and Barry Sanders Composer Fellowship Program Participants and Accomplishments

    CFP Class of 2015-2017

    Benjamin Champion
    Robby Good
    Luca Mendoza
    Ethan Treiman
    Sharon Hurvitz - Senior Fellow
    Andrew Moses - Senior Fellow

    CFP Class of 2013-2015

    Sharon Hurvitz
    Oliver Kwapis
    Max Lesser
    Andrew Moses

    CFP Class of 2011-2013
    Katya Richardson
    Jason Griffin
    Richard An
    Milo Talwani

    CFP Class of 2009-2011
    Daniel Allas
    Tamzin Elliott
    Phillip Golub
    Aaron Ishibashi

    CFP Class of 2007-2009
    Anderson Alden
    Tim Callobre
    Saad Haddad
    Jack McFadden-Talbot

    CFP Fellows and Alumni
    Noteworthy Accomplishments

    Oliver Kwapis was commissioned by the National Children's Chorus to compose a new work, premiered in May 2015 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, with the East Coast premiere at Alice Tully Hall in New York City in June 2015.

    Andrew Moses was featured on the national radio show "From The Top" in June, 2013. In early 2015, Americans for the Arts also featured Andrew and CFP in a nationally distributed film promoting creativity and support for the arts.

    Saad Haddad is currently completing his master's studies at The Juilliard School, studying composition with John Corigliano. In 2015, he was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra and the New Juilliard Ensemble, and won the Gena Raps Chamber Prize.

    Tim Callobre, a recipient of the 2010 Morton Gould Young Composers Award, appeared in a performance at the Kennedy Center in May 2013.

    As the Grand Prize Winner of the National Children's Chorus Broad Stage Composition Competition, Phillip Golub's work Weathered and Revealed was premiered at the Broad Stage in June 2013.

    Tamzin Elliot was a recipient of the 2013 Morton Gould Young Composers Award.

    Anderson F. Alden was featured by ASCAP in its online "Composer to Watch" feature. 

    CFP by the Numbers

    Over the last ten years, the CFP Program has produced...

    20 Composer Fellows

    30 Associate Composers

    45 new works

    36 premieres, performed by the LA Phil

    Over 100 workshops and master classes with LA Phil musicians and master artists from around the world

  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies, 213.972.3422,