Four recent graduates and two upper school student musicians with the San Francisco Symphony’s Youth Orchestra participated in the Symphony’s European tour from June 20 to July 7. Cellist Melody Huang, cellist Jeffrey Kwong, violist Jessica Shen and flautist Pavitra Rengarajan, all recent graduates, as well as flautist Apoorva Rangan, grade 10, and violinist Ashvin Swaminathan, grade 12, traveled to Germany, Luxembourg and Austria, playing to audiences in several of Europe’s most famous concert halls.
The orchestra performed four concerts in Germany at the University of Regensburg, Munich Philharmonie, Rheingau Musik Festival and the Berlin Philharmonie. One concert was performed in the quaint Luxembourgish border town of Echternach at the prestigious Festival International Echternach, and the final concert was performed at Salzburg in Austria. The Youth Orchestra performed in the same concert halls that the San Francisco Symphony performs in during their European tour.
The SFS Youth Orchestra was a hit with critics, including Klaus Geitel, one of Berlin’s most prominent classical music critics. Additionally, the Youth Orchestra visited Weimar, where the famous composer Franz Liszt lived. They also visited Leipzig, where Johann Sebastian Bach lived and died, and attended a service at the St. Thomas Church where Bach used to be an organist and which is also his final resting place. In Salzburg, they visited the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and lived as a child with his family.