Mercury Orchestra
PRESS RELEASES
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2011

MERCURY ORCHESTRA TO PERFORM MAHLER’S POIGNANT SIXTH SYMPHONY (“TRAGIC”) ON JULY 23 IN SANDERS THEATRE

(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—July 6, 2011) The award-winning Mercury Orchestra will perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A Minor (“Tragic”), a relentlessly tempestuous yet poignantly beautiful orchestral tour de force, at 8 p.m. July 23 in Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass.

Under the direction of Maestro Channing Yu, the Mercury Orchestra brings together more than 100 of the most talented amateur musicians in the Cambridge/Boston area to perform challenging works in the symphonic repertoire. The Sixth Symphony, often described as Mahler’s darkest yet most personal work, is best known for the hammer blows of fate contained in the gripping finale. Both anguished and breathtaking, the “Tragic” Symphony offers listeners an intensely intimate portrait of Mahler and his music.

In June 2010, the Mercury Orchestra was named national winner of the prestigious American Prize in Orchestral Performance, Community Orchestra Division, in a competition that included orchestras from 26 states and the District of Columbia. In announcing the prize, the judges praised the Mercury Orchestra for “obviously careful and thoughtful preparation...excellent interpretations...a thrilling rendition.” Tickets for the July 23 performance—$25 regular admission; $20 students, Harvard ID, WGBH members, WBUR members, and seniors aged 65-plus—can be purchased at the door; advanced tickets may be purchased at a reduced price online at www.mercuryorchestra.org or in person at the Harvard Box Office. For more information contact Mercury General Manager Justin Albstein at info@mercuryorchestra.org or (617) 826-9092.

About Mercury Orchestra. Founded in 2008, the 105-member Mercury Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Channing Yu, has a mission to bring great works of the symphony orchestra repertoire to Cambridge, Mass., in live performances of the highest quality; to bring amateur orchestral musicians together in the Cambridge area to play challenging repertoire; and to educate new audiences about the rich traditions of classical music. The orchestra is the national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, Community Orchestra Division. For more information visit www.mercuryorchestra.org

About Music Director Channing Yu. American conductor Channing Yu is Music Director of the Mercury Orchestra in Cambridge, Mass. He has also served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Lowell House Opera, New England’s oldest opera company, where he conducted more than thirty fully staged performances with orchestra. He is the national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, Community Orchestra Division. For more information visit www.mercuryorchestra.org


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PRESS CONTACT:
Justin Albstein, General Manager
info@mercuryorchestra.org
(617) 826-9092
www.mercuryorchestra.org


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2010

CHANNING YU WINS 2010 AMERICAN PRIZE IN ORCHESTRAL CONDUCTING

(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—July 9, 2010) Cambridge conductor Channing Yu, music director of the Mercury Orchestra and artistic director of the Lowell House Opera, won the top prize today in the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting, community orchestra division.

Yu was chosen as the winner from a diverse group of conductors hailing from 26 states and the District of Columbia, on the basis of recordings of their live orchestral performances. The panel of judges, led by conductor David Katz, highlighted “obviously careful and thoughtful preparation…excellent interpretations…a thrilling rendition of the Rondo-Finale from the Mahler Symphony No. 5,” taken from a live recording of the Mercury Orchestra’s 2009 performance. This June, the Mercury Orchestra was announced as winner of the 2010 American Prize for Orchestral Performance.

“Congratulations to Maestro Yu on receiving this tremendous personal honor right on the heels of the Mercury Orchestra’s award,” says Justin Albstein, General Manager of the Mercury Orchestra. “We have seen Maestro Yu provide continually outstanding artistic leadership to the Mercury Orchestra. As an organization, we’re excited that his extraordinary musicianship has been recognized at the national level, and we look forward to exploring new artistic horizons together.”

“I’m always thrilled to be on stage with the Mercury Orchestra; what a wonderful surprise for us both to be recognized in this competition.” says Yu. “This award is so valuable because it really is accomplishing what its creators intended: recognizing the passion and the hard work that goes into making great music and encouraging community music efforts all around the country. I know I am not imagining this: even our rehearsals feel much more exciting!”

Yu, an accomplished pianist and violinist who began formal studies in conducting with Dr. James Yannatos while an undergraduate at Harvard College, is a devoted interpreter of both the symphonic and operatic literature. Beyond his conducting posts in Cambridge, he has appeared as frequent guest conductor with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in Greensburg, Pa., and as guest opera conductor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He was invited as one of fourteen conductors worldwide to work with conductors Neeme Järvi, Leonid Grin, and Paavo Järvi in master classes at the 2009 Leigo Lakes Music Days Festival in Estonia.

Cambridge resident Susie Ikeda, principal second violinist and a member of the Mercury Orchestra’s governing board, adds: “Channing Yu combines boundless vision and unfaltering determination with an abiding love for the music we present. He has steadfast faith in our all-volunteer orchestra and knows what we’re capable of. Somehow he’s able to evoke a musical result that is far greater than the sum of its parts, a result that we’re honored to share with our community. As a member of the orchestra from its inception, I couldn’t be prouder of the Mercury Orchestra or of our conductor for receiving this national recognition.”

On July 17, Channing Yu leads the Mercury Orchestra in a performance of two highly charged showpieces for symphony orchestra, Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, at 8 p.m. in Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass. Tickets for the July 17 performance—$20 regular admission; $15 students, Harvard ID and seniors age 65-plus—can be purchased online at www.mercuryorchestra.org. For more information, contact Mercury Orchestra’s general manager, Justin Albstein, at info@mercuryorchestra.org or (617) 826-9092.

About Mercury Orchestra. Founded in 2008, the 97-member Mercury Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Channing Yu, has a mission to bring great works of the symphony orchestra repertoire to Cambridge, Mass., in live performances of the highest quality; to bring amateur orchestral musicians together in the Cambridge area to play challenging repertoire; and to educate new audiences about the rich traditions of classical music. The orchestra is national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Performance Competition, Community Orchestra Division. For more information visit www.mercuryorchestra.org

More information about The American Prize:
www.theamericanprize.org
theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2010/07/channing-yu-wins-american-prize.html

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PRESS CONTACT:
Justin Albstein, General Manager
info@mercuryorchestra.org
(617) 826-9092
www.mercuryorchestra.org


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 5, 2010

MERCURY ORCHESTRA, WINNER OF 2010 AMERICAN PRIZE COMPETITION, TO SHOWCASE STRAVINSKY AND BERLIOZ ON JULY 17

(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—July 5, 2010) The Mercury Orchestra, winner of the 2010 American Prize Competition, will perform two highly charged showpieces for symphony orchestra, Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, at 8 p.m. July 17, in Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass.

Under the direction of Maestro Channing Yu, the Mercury Orchestra brings together nearly 100 of the most talented amateur musicians in the Cambridge/Boston area to perform challenging works in the symphonic repertoire. Stravinsky’s score for the ballet Petrushka uses a tapestry of Russian folk tunes to conjure the brilliant sights and sounds of a local carnival where puppets seem to possess real lives of their own. Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, subtitled “An Episode in the Life of an Artist,” with its vivid exploration of a young man’s obsessive dreams and hallucinations of his beloved, utilizes the full resources of the symphony orchestra to create a gripping narrative of love, loss, and the macabre.

In June, the Mercury Orchestra was named national winner of the prestigious 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, Community Orchestra Division, in a competition that included orchestras from 26 states and the District of Columbia. In announcing the prize, the judges praised the Mercury Orchestra for “obviously careful and thoughtful preparation…excellent interpretations…a thrilling rendition.”

Tickets for the July 17 performance—$20 regular admission; $15 students, Harvard ID and seniors age 65-plus—can be purchased online at www.mercuryorchestra.org. For more information, contact Mercury Orchestra’s general manager, Justin Albstein, at info@mercuryorchestra.org or (617) 826-9092.

About Mercury Orchestra. Founded in 2008, the 97-member Mercury Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Channing Yu, has a mission to bring great works of the symphony orchestra repertoire to Cambridge, Mass., in live performances of the highest quality; to bring amateur orchestral musicians together in the Cambridge area to play challenging repertoire; and to educate new audiences about the rich traditions of classical music. The orchestra is national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Performance Competition, Community Orchestra Division. For more information visit www.mercuryorchestra.org

About Music Director Channing Yu. American conductor Channing Yu is also Artistic Director and Conductor of New England’s oldest opera company, Lowell House Opera, where he has conducted more than 30 fully staged opera performances with orchestra. He was recently named a national finalist in the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting Competition. For more information, visit www.mercuryorchestra.org


# # #

PRESS CONTACT:
Justin Albstein, General Manager
info@mercuryorchestra.org
(617) 826-9092
www.mercuryorchestra.org



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2010

MERCURY ORCHESTRA WINS 2010 AMERICAN PRIZE COMPETITION

(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—June 18, 2010) The Mercury Orchestra has been selected as the national winner of the 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, community orchestra division, in a competition including orchestras from 26 states and the District of Columbia.

The American Prize is a series of new non-profit national competitions designed to recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States. Founded in 2009, the American Prize rewards the best recorded performances of music by individuals and ensembles in the United States at the professional, community/amateur, college/university, church and school levels.

The 97-member Mercury Orchestra, directed by the young American conductor Channing Yu, brings together some of the most talented amateur musicians in the Cambridge/Boston area to perform some of the most challenging works in the symphonic repertoire. Now in its third season, the orchestra will perform two highly colorful and evocative works—Stravinsky’s Petrushka (1911) and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique—on July 17 in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In their evaluations, the competition judges praised the orchestra’s “excellent interpretations” and made special mention of the orchestra’s “thrilling rendition of the Rondo-Finale from the Mahler Symphony No. 5,” taken from a live recording of the orchestra’s performance in July 2009.

”What an incredible honor for the Mercury Orchestra,” says Maestro Yu, who is also a finalist in the 2010 American Prize for Conducting competition. “The musicians in our orchestra are some of the most dedicated, serious, and expressive artists I have ever worked with, and it is a thrill to make music together.”

The Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra of West Windsor, N.J., took second prize, and the Auburn University/Community Orchestra of Auburn, Ala., won third prize. The judges’ decision was announced on June 18, 2010, on the American Prize website, where the three orchestras were congratulated “for their outstanding achievement, ranked among the finest community orchestras in the country.”

Justin Albstein, Mercury Orchestra’s general manager, says, “it’s wonderful that our orchestra has received this recognition in only its second year. The musicians deserve tremendous credit for taking on some of the most challenging pieces in the repertoire and succeeding brilliantly.”

Adds Brian Van Sickle, principal flutist: “This is really an honor to receive such recognition. What I love most about playing in this orchestra is how sensitively all of the players work together and listen to one another. It’s a thrill to be a part of it all.”

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PRESS CONTACT:
Justin Albstein, General Manager
info@mercuryorchestra.org
(617) 826-9092
www.mercuryorchestra.org

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMERICAN PRIZE:
www.theamericanprize.org
theamericanprize.blogspot.com/2010/06/mercury-orchestra-wins-american-prize.html


Download Press Releases:

PDF Mercury Orchestra to Perform Mahler’s Poignant Sixth Symphony (“Tragic”) on July 23 in Sanders Theatre
(July 6, 2011)


PDF Channing Yu Wins 2010 American Prize in Orchestral Conducting
(July 9, 2010)


PDF Mercury Orchestra, Winner of 2010 American Prize Competition, to Showcase Stravinsky and Berlioz on July 17
(July 5, 2010)


PDF Mercury Orchestra Wins 2010 American Prize Competition
(June 18, 2010)


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Download Press Photos:

Photo by Rick Peckham:
Channing Yu, conductor
Photos by Frank He/Mercury Orchestra:
Mercury Orchestra in performance

Mercury Orchestra in performance
Mercury Orchestra in performance


Photos by Timothy Yu/Mercury Orchestra:
Mercury Orchestra in performance

Mercury Orchestra in performance

Mercury Orchestra in performance

Mercury Orchestra in performance

Mercury Orchestra in performance

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