The Rockland Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Young People’s concert program on Oct. 20 is the inaugural concert of the 2019-2020 season led by newly-appointed Music Director Brent Chancellor. The program will feature two concerto movements performed by winners of the Rockland County Music Teachers Guild Concerto Competition, plus orchestra-only selections performed by the Symphony.

The Young People’s Concerts continue to be dedicated to the memory of our late Music Director and Founder, Edward Simons, who passed away in 2018 at age 101.  Mr. Simons was the driving force behind the Young People’s concerts, a Rockland tradition for over 50 years.  This year’s concert will take place on Sunday, Oct 20 at 4 p.m. at Green Meadow Waldorf School’s Rose Concert Hall, 307 Hungry Hollow Road in Chestnut Ridge.

Maestro Chancellor will open the program with the overture to Auber’s opera The Bronze Horse. Auber (1782-1871) produced a considerable number of works for Paris’ Opera Comique, which survive primarily in sprightly overtures, such as this one, which are orchestral favorites.

At the center of the program will be performances by two young instrumental masters: Cellist Jade Jaffee will join Maestro Chancellor and the orchestra to play the opening movement of Boccherini’s B flat Cello Concerto. Jade has been playing since the age of 8 and has performed everywhere from music festivals to dive bars to street busking, as well as playing at Carnegie Hall. Jade Jaffee studies with Carole Tilson.

Cellist-composer Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) produced 12 cello concertos among other works. The B flat concerto, his ninth, is generally heard today in a somewhat romantic arrangement by Grutzmacher (1895) that gives the soloist ample opportunity for virtuosic display. Pianist Victoria Chan will then perform the final movement of the Saint-Saens Piano Concerto no. 2 in g minor. Victoria has been playing music since age 5 and at 8-years-old started studying with Ms. Fei Gao.

She has twice played as competition prizes at Carnegie Hall and donates her talents to playing for the Helping Hands of Rockland County Music Marathon every year. Camille Saint-Saens’ (1835-1921) 2nd piano concerto in G minor, is one of 5 by the French pianist-organist-composer-conductor.  Saint-Saens is known today mainly for shorter works such as Carnival of the Animals and Danse Macabre.

However, his large body of more significant works – concertos, symphonies, and operas such as Samson and Delilah, continue to be part of the repertory.  A prodigy and brilliant keyboardist, Saint-Saens wrote very challenging piano concertos, such as this g minor one (1868), with his own talents in mind.

For their finale, the orchestra will perform a number of well-loved selections from Grieg’s Peer Gynt music.

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was Norway’s premiere composer and pianist of the 19th century, and his single piano concerto remains a mainstay of the concert repertory.  He composed music for Ibsen’s play (premiere 1867) in 1874 at Ibsen’s request, with a total of 26 orchestral movements.  Grieg later selected eight movements, published separately as Suites 1 and 2. The Symphony will perform six of these.

Please come to this first concert of our 2019-20 season. You will be a patron of the arts, supporting live music and Rockland’s oldest and only orchestra. For ticket information please go to

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