[ Concerts ]

Yongyan Hu leads the Yale Philharmonia in Debussy, Ravel, and more Jan. 23

Program features Woolsey Competition winner Aleksandra Romano, mezzo-soprano, in Montsalvatge's Cinco canciones negras
January 21, 2015

Yongyan Hu, guest conductor

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale with guest conductor Yongyan Hu in concert Friday, January 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The program features music by the French impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel as well as a piece by Catalán composer Xavier Montsalvatge.


Mr. Hu begins the program with Ravel’s raucous La Valse. Originally intended for the ballet, Ravel provides a charming waltz tune. Ravel masterfully unwinds the fabric of the traditional Viennese style, transforming the waltz form into a doomed, pulsing, left-footed machine.

Next will be Montsalvatge’s Cinco Canciones Negras, sung by mezzo-soprano Aleksandra Romano (a winner of the Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition). These five orchestral songs were influenced by the musical style of the Antilles islands.

The first half concludes with Ravel’s popular Boléro, written for dance but also beloved by figure skaters. Boléro epitomises Ravel’s preoccupation with reinventing dance movements, with the same tune passed all throughout the orchestra.


Aleksandra Romano, mezzo-soprano

The second half of the concert features Debussy’s masterful La Mer. Musicologist Paul Henry Lang described the work as “a vibrating, oscillating, glimmering sound complex, caressing the senses… to shimmer in a thousand colors.”

The concert begins at 7:30 pm in Woolsey Hall, located at 500 College Street (corner of Grove Street), New Haven. Tickets are $10 and up, $5 and up with student ID, and are available at the Sprague Hall box office, by phone at 203 432-4158, or online. Tickets purchased at the door on the night of the event are subject to a $3 surcharge.

This event will also stream live online. LISTEN LIVE

About the Performers

Yongyan Hu’s versatile, energetic style makes him in high demand as a guest conductor for leading international symphony orchestras. In recent years his baton has lead such groups as the Orchestre National de France, London’s Royal Philharmonic, Germany’s Hamburg Symphony, New York’s Buffalo Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic and at Vienna’s Wien,Modern contemporary music festival. In 2004 and 2005 Maestro HU received critical acclaim for conducting at Germany’s young.euro.classic as well as at the Beethoven Festival in Beethoven’s hometown of Bonn, Germany. He was the featured conductor with the celebrated Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles for a concert broadcast around the world. A career highlight was conducting the New York Choral Society’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as well as China’s beloved Yellow River Cantata, a 2003 concert which was his Carnegie Hall debut. BIOGRAPHY

Mezzo-soprano Aleksandra Romano, hailed as representing “the best of the new operatic training and integrated performance,” is currently in her first season of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Her recent performance in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince was “a warm, exquisite fox, played and sung in dazzling style,” according to The Georgetowner. Ms. Romano joins Washington National Opera in 2014–15 as the Fox in The Little Prince, Sister Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Angelina (cover) in La cenerentola. In summer 2015, Ms. Romano will return to the Glimmerglass Festival to sing Second Lady in The Magic Flute and Marzia (cover) in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica. Previous roles include Angelina in La cenerentola (2014), Laura in Iolanta (2014), and Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi (2013), all with Yale Opera; and Rosina in Il barbiere di Sivilia at the Central City Opera family performance (2013). A Mid-Atlantic Regional Finalist and Encouragement Award Winner in the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Romano was also awarded the prestigious Phyllis Curtin Career Entry Prize from Yale School of Music. Ms. Romano is also an alumna of the Wolf Trap Studio (2011, 2012). A  proponent of art song and concert repertoire, Ms. Romano has been seen in solo recital at Yale University and Bard College, and will present a joint recital at the National Opera America Center with other Domingo-Cafritz young artists in the spring of 2015. She has been seen with Voices of Cooperstown, the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra. She has received further prizes from Opera Theater CT (First Place, Amici Vocal Competition, 2014), Yale University (Lotte Lenya Scholarship, 2013), the Bard College Concerto Competition (2009, 2010), the Classical Singer University Competition (national semifinalist, 2010), and the Presser Foundation (2009). WEBSITE

The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, conducted by Shinik Hahm, 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 Shubert Theater. 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. MORE INFO


[…] Yongyan Hu leads the Yale Phil­har­monia in Debussy, Ravel, and more Jan. 23 The Yale School of Music presents the Phil­har­monia Orchestra of Yale with guest conductor Yongyan Hu in concert Friday, January 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The program features music by the French impres­sionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel … Read more on Yale News […]