Keep Our Artists Working
The COVID-19 crisis has turned the music world upside down leaving our artists in an extremely vulnerable position. Performance venues have closed, forcing musicians to reimagine their work lives with an unprecedented immediacy. At Young Concert Artists, we are determined to help our musicians make the most of this extraordinarily difficult time. Until we can get them back on stage, we must Keep Our Artists Working!
In the early stages of the crisis, YCA was able to redirect a small amount of the current budget and offer emergency relief grants for those artists most in need. Since then, we have started new online performance spaces to replace the many traditional venues that previously provided our artists with income. We are excited by the results so far and look forward to developing our initiatives more fully in the months ahead.
The Keep Our Artists Working Fund supports this next wave of innovative music-making. Our artists are getting creative with new collaborations, new models for interactive educational residencies, performance videos, interviews, and more. We want to challenge them to keep working through project grants, mentorship, technology support, and studio time.
Thanks to our generous New York and Washington, DC Boards, a special gift from Mrs. Katharine Rayner in memory of Alexis Gregory, and a wonderful group of enthusiastic patrons, we not only met but exceeded our goal to raise $150,000 in support of the first three months of our Keep Our Artists Working Fund!
Our campaign will continue until we can get our artists back on stage which may not be for at least another four months. If you haven’t made your donation yet, there’s definitely still time!
Young Concert Artists has been there for each new generation of brilliant young musicians for the past 60 years. Join us with a donation of any amount to The YCA Keep Our Artists Working Fund.
Together we can make a difference.
Young Concert Artists
YCA is thrilled with the results so far! Your support has made projects like this possible:
From cellist Jonathan Swensen: a chamber music festival called Festival & Friends was created with the intention of bringing together some of Jonathan’s closest friends and colleagues in the wake of COVID-19 to gift music to the community of Copenhagen when all other live events were cancelled. Ten socially-distanced concerts of 30-50 people were held over the course of five days in July, with performances of works by Schubert, Debussy, Beethoven, Dvořak, and more. Jonathan partnered with various media outlets to broadcast the performances world-wide. The Violin Channel recorded one of the performances on July 13, which may be viewed here.
- From composer Katie Balch : Composed two short duets for the Boston-based chamber orchestra A Far Cry. These duets are for violin/violin and violin/cello respectively. They premiered on September 12, 2020 as part of an outdoor concert experience in which AFC sent audience members on an outdoor “Treasure Hunt” in search of musical gems.
- From pianist Aristo Sham: An Overview of Chopin’s Major Works: six online livestream performances, on Facebook and Instagram platforms spanning a survey of the bulk of Chopin’s major works for piano.
YCA is excited about the future! Your support will make more projects like these possible:
- From clarinetist Narek Arutyunian: Collaborating with YCA alumnus Gleb Ivanov on a project called “The Soul of Romanticism”. It will feature two iconic works of the Romantic era: Brahms Clarinet Sonata No 2 in E flat Major and Grand Duo Concertant by Carl Maria von Weber.
- From saxophonist Steven Banks: a new Vlog series called Curious Dyads. Steven has begun digital musical collaborations with his fellow YCA artists. As part of the collaborations, he will produce interviews with his partners and share their music.
- From pianist Martin James Bartlett (with tenor Ben Johnson): Symphony of Flavours: a new webisode series featuring musical performances interspersed with entertaining cooking. Martin’s menu includes Noel Coward’s morning cocktail, Benjamin Britten’s jelly recipe and French chef Auguste Escoffier’s famous Oeufs Verdi and Peach Melba.
- From composer Saad Haddad: produce 50 composer-related short films around 10-15 minutes in length, to be featured on his YouTube channel “Saad Haddad” in 2021. The videos will provide behind-the-scenes footage of the composition process, tutorials related to the business of new music, especially those related to performance royalties, grant and contest applications, and approachable analyses of new music.
- From violinist Bella Hristova: the commission of a new work for solo violin by a woman who has been described as “A Poet of Sound”, violist/composer Nokuthula Ngwenyama (YCA 1994), to receive its world premiere via YouTube and subsequently recorded for commercial use.
- From pianist Nathan Lee: online concert series called ‘Journeys from Home’ that will take audiences through three major musical centers of the world: Vienna, Paris, and Naples. The first episode was released in early February, and will continue in the following months.
- From Omer Quartet: a subscription series featuring one recorded concert per month, a behind-the-scenes look at the ensemble’s daily life, audience Q&A, and related educational materials.
- From composer Chris Rogerson: a new set of twelve piano etudes to be premiered virtually by 12 different YCA alumni and current artists. This project grew out of a short piano piece Chris wrote for Maxim Lando as one of the first YCA sponsored Living Room concerts.
- From pianist Albert Cano Smit: record a piece commissioned by YCA composer Katie Balch to write a short piece for the left hand.
- From flutist Anthony Trionfo: record a series of high-quality concerts in New York, collaborating with artists such as Albert Cano Smit and Eugenia Zukerman.
- From violinist Ben Baker and pianist Daniel Lebhardt: A virtual performance recorded at Menuhin Hall in London, co-presented by YCA and the Morgan Library. The Beethoven score is digitally “on-view” for audiences to enjoy.
- From bassist Xavier Foley: Developing plans to write a companion piece for Dvorak’s American Quartet. The piece will focus on African American Spirituals used in Dvorak’s composition. Xavier will write the piece for YCA’s Omer Quartet.