Skip to page content
  • WDCH
  • Jan. 11, 2004
  • Series Highlights Los Angeles Area's Premier Youth Orchestras

    SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, AT 7:30 PM

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents the Crossroads Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, in the first Sounds About Town program at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Sunday, January 11, at 7:30 p.m. The program includes works by Haydn, Bartók and Mozart, and features solo performances by violinist Robert Chen and violist Ensik Choi.

    The Sounds About Town series is a program of six Sunday evenings at Walt Disney Concert Hall highlighting the Los Angeles area's premier youth orchestras. The series continues with the Colburn Chamber Orchestra on February 15; the American Youth Symphony on February 22; daKAH hip hop orchestra on March 14; the USC Thornton Symphony on April 18; and the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra on May 2.

    ROBERT CHEN has been concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1999. His activities as a soloist include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin, the NDR Orchestra of Hannover, and the Bournemouth Symphony. As a chamber musician, Chen has collaborated with Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Yo-Yo Ma, both at Orchestra Hall in Chicago and at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro and is a founding member of the critically acclaimed Johannes Quartet. A native of Taiwan, Chen began his violin studies at the age of seven. Three years later, he and his family moved to Los Angeles where he studied with Robert Lipsett. While in Los Angeles, he was a music major at Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences and also participated in the Jascha Heifetz master classes. Chen received both Bachelor's and Master's of music degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Dorothy DeLay and Masao Kawasaki. In addition to his performing career, Chen is currently on the violin faculty at Roosevelt University, Chicago.

    Violist ENSIK CHOI was born in Busan, Korea and began his musical studies on the violin at the age of eleven. He soon switched to viola, studying with Dong-Ok Shin. Choi's extraordinary talent was recognized by maestro MyungWhun Chung and Heiichiro Ohyama, then principal violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he entered Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences as a music major. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Curtis institute of Music, where he studied with Joseph de Pasquale, principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Choi's numerous concerts have included performances in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the 92nd street Y and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Wigmore Hall in London. For three years, Choi was a faculty member at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he earned his Artist Diploma after studies with distinguished violist Walter Trampler. He later joined the Amernet String Quartet in Cincinnati and was on the faculty at the College-Conservatory at the University of Cincinnati for two years. He is currently a professor of viola at the Seoul National University in Korea.

    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, the tenth conductor to head the Los Angeles Philharmonic, began his tenure as Music Director in October 1992. Salonen made his American debut conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in November 1984, and he has conducted the orchestra every season since. Among the many highlights of Salonen's activities with the Philharmonic have been world premieres of new works by composers John Adams, Bernard Rands, Rodion Shchedrin, Steven Stucky, and Salonen himself, well-received Ligeti and Stravinsky Festivals, appearances at the Ojai Festival, eight critically acclaimed international tours since 1992, and his extensive discography with the Philharmonic for Sony Classical. Salonen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1958. He made his conducting debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979, and he has been one of the world's most sought-after conductors since his debut in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra in September 1983. He served as principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia from 1985 to 1994 and as principal conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 1995.

    The CROSSROADS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA is comprised of gifted young musicians who attend the Crossroads School in order to be a part of its renowned Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute (EMMI), which provides rigorous training and performance opportunities in music. Founded in 1971, the goal of Crossroads School is to provide a diverse student body with a coeducational college preparatory education combining academic excellence with a comprehensive fine and performing arts program, community service, human development, athletic challenge, and environmental education.


    SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, AT 7:30 PM


    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    ESA-PEKKA SALONEN, conductor

    ROBERT CHEN, violin

    ENSIK CHOI, viola

    HAYDN Symphony No. 76

    MOZART Sinfonia Concertante, K.364

    BARTÓK Divertimento

    Tickets ($15 - $35) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For more information, please call 323.850.2000.

    # # #

  • Contact:

    Elizabeth Hinckley, 213.972.3034; Ryan Jimenez, 213.972.3405; for photos: Beth Norber, 213.972.3409