“Carlos Izcaray was planning the American Youth Symphony’s season when the thought occurred: Why not make this the year of the woman?” writes Tim Greiving in Wednesday’s (3/20) Los Angeles Times. “Izcaray, who took over as music director of the Los Angeles-based AYS in 2016, didn’t stop at one season…. From now on, 50% or more of new music performed by the youth orchestra will be the work of female composers.… A year ago he conducted the AYS in [Jennifer] Higdon’s ‘Blue Cathedral’ …. and the very first piece he conducted … as music director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra was [Joan] Tower’s ‘Tambor.’ Izcaray’s interest in gender equality in the concert hall ties into his broader passion for human rights…. Izcaray grew up in Caracas … Izcaray has been a vociferous critic of the current Venezuelan regime of President Nicolas Maduro and of its human rights violations…. The AYS consists of about 100 musicians … students from high schools, the Colburn School, USC, UCLA and elsewhere mixing with young professionals…. On March 31, the orchestra performs a world premiere by Nico Muhly, a co-commission with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the National Children’s Chorus.”

Posted March 25, 2019