Peter Oundjian, Yale professor and music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducts the Philharmonia

January 23 program includes Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 and Bartók’s Viola Concerto in a performance dedicated to the late violist and conductor Jesse Levine

Peter Oundjian, well-known internationally as a remarkable musician who successfully made the transition from one of the world’s leading violinists to a highly-acclaimed conductor, will guest-conduct the Yale Philharmonia on Friday, January 23 at 8:00pm in Woolsey Hall.  Oundjian is music director of one of North America’s major orchestras, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A renowned teacher, he has been on the faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1981.  The program will feature Bartók’s Viola Concerto, performed by Margaret Carey, a winner of the 2008 Woolsey Hall Competition. Carey has dedicated the performance to the memory of her teacher, Jesse Levine, who died in November. The major work on the program is Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 in C minor,  premiered in 1892, the last symphonic work completed by the composer. Admission to the concert is free. For more information, visit, call 203-432-4158, or come to the Sprague Hall Box Office during business hours.

Peter Oundjian, violinist and conductor, studied at the Royal College of Music in London, England. After winning the Gold Medal there, he went on to the Juilliard School in 1975 to study with Ivan Galamian. He also worked with Itzhak Perlman, Dorothy DeLay, and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. In 1980 Mr. Oundjian won first prize in the International Violin Competition in Vina del Mar, Chile. He performed as recitalist throughout North America under the sponsorship of the Pro Musicis Foundation, making his New York recital debut in 1981. He has soloed with the Boston Pops and the Toronto, Montreal, and Winnipeg symphony orchestras, the National Arts Center Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic. He was first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet from 1981 to 1995. His formal conducting debut was in 1995 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Since then he has conducted the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Cincinnati, and Berlin symphony orchestras, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, to name a few. He is the music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Caramoor Festival, and artistic director and principal guest conductor of the Detroit Symphony. Oundjian has been on the School of Music faculty since 1981.

Published January 8, 2009
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Qingdao Symphony Orchestra presents Chinese New Year concert

Program includes several works by Chinese composers, plus Bernstein & Gershwin

The Yale School of Music and Ocean Arts proudly present Image China: Chinese New Year 2009, a concert by the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra (QSO), pianist Yin Chengzong, and pipa soloist Zhang Hongyan. This premier performance of the Image China series takes place at on Jan. 24 at 7:30 pm in Yale’s Woolsey Hall (500 College St at Grove St). Adding a delightful American twist to a classical Chinese holiday event, conductor Yongyan Hu, an alumnus of the Yale School of Music, and the QSO will present an eclectic program mixing selections from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and George Gershwin’s An American in Paris with the Spring Festival Overture by Huanzhi Li,  Xiaogang Ye’s enchanting and exotic Pipa Concerto, and the Yellow River Concerto by Chengzong Yin.

QSO conductor Yongyan Hu delivers this imaginative programming with a demand for impeccable performance from his orchestra, an approach that has paid off in the musical talent he attracts including Chengzong Yin and Hongyan Zhang.

General Admission tickets are $20, student tickets are $15, and sponsor tickets are $50. Tickets can be purchased from, at local Chinese language schools, or at the door.

Called “China’s best pianist” by the New York Times, Chengzong Yin presents his extremely powerful and popular Yellow River Concerto, a moving masterpiece based on China’s World War II struggle against invading enemies. Mr. Yin has received a gold record award having sold over 3 million copies of the concerto and a lifetime of recognition and achievement such as the gold medal in the World Youth Peace and Fellowship Festival and second prize in the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

Hongyan Zhang has been called “Queen of the Pipa,” one of the oldest Chinese musical instruments. Hongyan, only the second person to be awarded a Masters in Pipa Studies from the elite China Central Conservatory, has a strong foothold in her native China while delighting the international music scene as an outstanding representative of the new generation of Chinese musicians.

Published January 8, 2009
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