Joseph Young Named First BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellow
South Carolina native receives two-year fellowship modeled after American Symphony Orchestra League program, and highlighted by unique training with BSO and mentor Marin Alsop, academic scholarship to Peabody Institute and Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Md. (April 2, 2007) - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announced today that Joseph F. Young, 24, of Central, South Carolina will be the first recipient of the BSO-Peabody Conducting Fellowship, a recently announced two-year pilot program designed to support the musical and leadership development of today's young conductors. Beginning in the 2007-2008 season, the BSO with Music Director Marin Alsop and the Peabody Institute with Gustav Meier, in partnership with the American Symphony Orchestra League, will launch its Conducting Fellows Program, a collaborative endeavor modeled after the League's American Conducting Fellows Program, established in 2002. This marks the first partnership of its kind in the country between a conservatory and a symphony orchestra.
The Baltimore partnership is a unique two-year program designed to provide exceptionally talented conductors in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to hone their skills before assuming a role with a professional orchestra. In conjunction with the initial partnership team, the BSO and the Peabody Institute, the League has played an important guiding role in helping the two institutions develop a comprehensive program agenda and curriculum, and will also assist with evaluation of the program during the pilot period.
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Joseph Young is a music educator currently in his third year of teaching band at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina. In addition to working with Marin Alsop in a master class at the Cabrillo Festival this past summer, Mr. Young recently auditioned for the League's American Conducting Fellows Program where he caught the attention of the BSO's artistic planning team.
Commenting on the news of his appointment, Joseph Young said, "It's truly an honor to be the first-ever BSO-Peabody conducting fellow. I look forward to spending time on the podium, sharpening my skills as a conductor and becoming familiar with the leadership responsibilities required of orchestra conductors today. This type of total immersion experience - in both a professional and educational environment - is rare for any young conductor, so I feel extraordinarily fortunate to be chosen for this program. I see this as a pivotal opportunity in my professional career."
Music Director Marin Alsop, who is actively shaping the program agenda, remarked, "Joseph has an innate 'feel' for the orchestra and is able to draw a beautiful sound. At a remarkably young age, he already exhibits a passion and understanding for orchestral sound and color that often take years to develop in a conductor. In working with me, the BSO's world-class guest conductors, and distinguished Peabody faculty, our goal is to further develop his potential and constructively impact the future of this talented young man's career. I very much look forward to working with Joseph."
The fellowship program entitles the recipient to a two-year, full tuition scholarship to the Peabody Institute and Johns Hopkins University in addition to an annual living stipend. Benefits of the conducting fellowship include continuous on-site training with the BSO and academic studies at Peabody and Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Gustav Meier, head of the conducting faculty at Peabody, will serve as the fellowship's primary academic instructor. At the end of the two-year program, which begins in September 2007 and concludes in August 2009, Mr. Young will receive a post-graduate Artist's Diploma in Conducting from the Peabody Institute.
A central component of the fellowship experience is regular private and group conducting sessions with Marin Alsop, in which she will provide coaching on conducting technique, musical interpretation, musician relations, programming and season planning. In addition to the regular interaction with Marin Alsop, Mr. Young will also work with BSO staff and musicians, thereby gaining valuable exposure to the highly complex inner workings of a world-class symphony orchestra. Recognizing the increasingly relevant role that non-musical skills play in the professional life of today's conductors, the program offers practical on-the-job training in areas such as public speaking, fundraising, media training, and foreign language, and involves ongoing feedback sessions with a cross-section of orchestra staff.
"The League's American Conducting Fellows Program, hosted by five orchestras, was created to fill the gap in conductor training between university or conservatory training and a conductor's readiness to take the podium of a professional orchestra," said Jesse Rosen, the League's Executive Vice President and Managing Director. "We initiated the BSO-Peabody partnership to test a new model for accomplishing the important task of aligning the resources of orchestras with conservatories and schools of music in the training of gifted young artists as they approach readiness for professional careers. We expect this program to serve as a catalyst for additional orchestras to connect with their own higher-education partners in helping develop the 'complete conductor' on and off the podium."
Conducting responsibilities falling to Mr. Young are expected to include: regular conducting opportunities with the BSO, such as leading a single work on a subscription program; a full week of education programs including rehearsals and concerts; participation in community concert events, and regularly serving as cover conductor for Marin Alsop.
For the initial establishment and implementation of the fellows program, the League has generously provided seed funding as part of a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In subsequent years, the BSO and the Peabody Institute will continue to collaborate towards full and ongoing funding for the program.
Like the League's American Conducting Fellows program, the BSO-Peabody fellowship is intended for American conductors of exceptional talent on the threshold of professional careers. The primary selection criteria are musical talent, potential for continued growth, and no more than five years of professional conducting experience. In early March, specially invited candidates completed a competitive audition process administered by representatives from the Baltimore Symphony, Peabody Institute, and the League. The rigorous selection process included a conducting audition with the BSO, spoken presentation and one-on-one interviews with Maestra Marin Alsop and administrators from both the BSO and Peabody.
About Joseph F. Young
A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Joseph Fitzpatrick Young is currently in his third year teaching at D.W. Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina, where he has built an award-winning music program. Under his leadership, for the first time in six years, the school's band program earned the Outstanding Performance Award, the highest honor awarded by the South Carolina Band Director's Association. The Wind Ensemble also won the National Adjudicator's Invitational last spring in St. Louis, Mo. His ensembles have won several superior ratings under Mr. Young's direction.
Mr. Young graduated from Goose Creek High School outside of Charleston. Upon graduation, he attended Newberry College where he studied trumpet with Lavonne Bazemore. He continued his education at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where he studied trumpet with Keith Amstutz, conducting with William Moody, and composition with Samuel Douglas.
In February 2006, he was a participant in the League's Donald Thulean Conducting Workshop in Los Angeles, where his mentors were Michael Morgan and Daniel Lewis. In the summer of 2006, he participated in the Cabrillo Music Festival Conductor Workshop where he first met Marin Alsop and again worked with mentor Daniel Lewis.
Mr. Young is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the South Carolina Band Director's Association and the Conductor's Guild.
About the American Symphony Orchestra League
Founded in 1942, and chartered by Congress in 1962, the American Symphony Orchestra League leads, encourages, and supports America's orchestras while communicating to the public the essential value and cultural importance of orchestras in their communities and the vitality of the music they perform. The League provides a wealth of services, meaningful information, learning and leadership opportunities, and grass roots advocacy to its diverse membership, which encompasses nearly 1,000 member symphony, chamber, youth, and collegiate orchestras of all sizes, and links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers, board members, volunteers, staff members, and business partners.
About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence, the Baltimore Symphony has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout the Maryland community through innovative education and community outreach initiatives. The BSO made musical history on July 20, 2005 when it announced the appointment of Marin Alsop as its next Music Director, making her the first female conductor of a major American orchestra. Currently Music Director Designate, Ms. Alsop will assume the directorship beginning in the 2007-08 season. With the opening of the Music Center at Strathmore (North Bethesda, Md.) in February 2005, the BSO became the nation's first major orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.