[ Concerts ]

Yale Philharmonia and Oundjian perform Bruch, Adams, Tchaikovsky Oct. 21

September 30, 2011

Violinist Soo Ryun Baek performs Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy”

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale in a concert featuring music by Max Bruch and John Adams along with Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony and principal guest conductor of the Yale Philharmonia, will conduct the concert. The program opens with John Adams’ Tromba Lontana (“Distant Trumpet”), a subdued take on the traditional brassy, brazen fanfare.

Violinist Soo Ryun Baek ’11MM, a graduate of the Yale School of Music and winner of the Woolsey Competition, will be the featured soloist on Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The piece, in which the German composer reworks Scottish folk melodies and dances, is dedicated to the renowned violin soloist Pablo de Sarasate.

The second half of the program features Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor. This early symphony is nicknamed “Little Russian” for its use of three folk songs from the Ukraine—which used to be known as Little Russia—in the first, second, and final movements. At its premiere, listeners noted Tchaikovsky’s mastery in combining these traditional folk songs with Western symphonic methods. While less performed than his later symphonies, it remains a gem for audiences today.

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.


The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale is one of America’s foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire. Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Schubert Performing Arts Center. In addition to its season of six Woolsey Hall concerts, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale has performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the Philharmonia undertook its first tour of Asia, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

Conductor and violinist Peter Oundjian studied at the Royal College of Music in London and at Juilliard. He has soloed with numerous orchestras and was first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet from 1981 to 1995. Peter Oundjian made his formal conducting debut in 1995 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and has since conducted the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, and Berlin symphony orchestras, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Zurich Tonhalle, among others. 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. He was recently appointed artistic director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Oundjian has been on faculty of the Yale School of Music since 1981.

Violinist Soo Ryun Baek was born in Korea, where she enjoyed a successful career before her recent move to the U.S. Her solo awards include first prize in the Sung Jung Music, Korea Music Society, and Eumag Journal Competitions, and she has performed with the Seoul Soloists and City of Bucheon Symphony Junior Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Ms. Baek has performed in Spain, Germany, and the United States, as well as on national radio. She has collaborated with artists such as Paul Neubauer, Kathleen Winkler, Alan Stepansky, and Richard O’Neil, and has performed in master classes given by the Takacs Quartet, Peter Salaf, and Arnold Steinhardt. Ms. Baek graduated with honors from Seoul National University and earned her Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory. She was a participant in the Music Academy of the West in 2007 and 2008 and was a recipient of the 2008 Leni Fe Bland Award. Ms. Baek studied with Ani Kavafian at the Yale School of Music, where she earned her Master of Music degree earlier this year.