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MYS Announcements & Other News

The New Artistic Director & Symphony Orchestra Conductor

On the eve of our 50th Anniversary season, the Minnesota Youth Symphonies Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Mark Mandarano as its next Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra!

The search process took place in the 2021-2022 season and involved interviews with a search committee, parent and staff representatives, and a conducting interview with Symphony Orchestra students in March.

After masterful leadership from longtime conductors Patricia Kelly and Jim Bartsch as Co-Artistic Directors since 2020, MYS is excited to enter this new phase of its life and continue on the tradition of artistic excellence and comprehensive orchestra education that has been the hallmark of the organization since 1972. The board and staff are exceedingly grateful for the way that Jim and Pat have led MYS through several difficult seasons by leading through collaboration and considering students' needs first and foremost.

MYS is thrilled to continue this work together with Mark at the helm to create a community of belonging where students can learn incredible music. His appointment at MYS will officially begin in June.

Said Mandarano of his appointment: For decades, the parents and students and educators of MYS have been on the great adventure of engaging with great art – but the adventure is always renewed. Together, we’ll maintain the impulse to strive for achievement and enlightenment through the pursuit of excellence in performance, while exploring bold innovations and inclusive territory, which is something I'm particularly enthusiastic about. I look forward to making music together with my new friends at MYS.

Mark Mandarano has conducted performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other important venues in the U.S. and abroad. Mandarano has led performances with New York City Opera, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, Nürnberger Symphoniker, and the Ural Philharmonic. He has worked with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph von Dohnányi, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovich, Valery Gergiev, Leon Botstein, Osmo Vänskä and Leonard Slatkin.

His association with Slatkin led to Maestro Mandarano conducting the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. He has conducted premieres and performances of works by Karel Husa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steven Stucky, John Corigliano, Ellen Zwilich, Melinda Wagner, Libby Larsen, David Bruce, Nico Muhly, and others. Mandarano is the Artistic Director of the Sinfonietta of Riverdale (NY) and is an Associate Professor at Macalester College where he serves as the Director of Instrumental Activities.

With auditions just around the corner in June, we look forward to seeing as many students as possible! We are working on exciting opportunities for students as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, looking back and looking ahead to inspiring possibilities.

To learn more about auditions and to schedule your audition today, visit: Current Season Audition Registration. We look forward to seeing you there!

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