News and Press


February, 2016

Winter Concert Features Concerto Competition Winner

This season's Winter Concert will feature Eric Hirsch, flute, in a performance of the Georges Hue Fantaisie for Flute and Orchestra.

Flutist Eric Hirsch was born in Germany in 1999 and moved to the U.S. with his mother as a baby. He lived in a household filled with music. At the age of five, he started violin lessons with his mother and spent afternoons on his grandfather’s lap listening to him play jazz at the piano. By eight years old, Eric had little interest in the violin and began his exclusive study of the flute with his grandmother, flutist Ann Forbes. 

As Eric progressed, his grandmother brought him to play for her teacher, flutist and composer Gary Schocker. In Mr. Schocker, Eric found the musical example and inspiration he needed to dedicate himself to the flute. He now studies weekly with his teacher, Wendy Stern, in addition to regular study with Mr. Schocker in NYC. Both Ms. Stern and Mr. Schocker are former students of the great flutist and teacher Julius Baker. 

Eric is an eleventh grade student at Weston High School in Connecticut where he is principal flute of the wind ensemble under the direction of Mr. Steve Fasoli. He is a seasoned participant in the Western Region band/orchestra festivals and played in the CT All-State Festival in 2015. Eric earned the position of alternate flute with the New York Youth Symphony in September 2015.

Eric toured Germany with NYS in the summer of 2014 and spent the summer of 2015 at the Tanglewood Flute Institute where he studied with Linda Toote. He is a regular participant in masterclasses with Mr. Schocker and recently played in a class with Bart Feller of the New Jersey Symphony. 

In February of 2015, Eric was a blue ribbon winner at the New York Flute Club Young Musicians Contest. In November 2015, he won first runner-up in the Danbury Symphony Concerto Competition and in January of 2016, he placed second in the Musical Club of Hartford High School Competition and performed at the winners recital in Hartford later that month. 

Eric plays on an antique Powell flute that belonged to his grandmother.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Winter Concert will take place on Sunday February 28, 2016 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

July, 2015

NYS Appoints Russell GER CONDUCTOR of Concert Orchestra

NYS is delighted to announce the appointment of Russell Ger as the Conductor of Concert Orchestra.  

Russell is a talented and inspirational conductor and musician who combines deep musical knowledge and strong orchestral leadership. Out Concert Orchestra Musicians had the pleasure of working with Russell in a rehearsal last season and seeing first-hand the passion, engagement and skillful technique that he brigns to his conducting. He will be a fine addition to our team of NYS conductors and support the standard of musical excellence to which we aspire as an organization.

March, 2015

NYS Appoints Gregory Robbins Guest COnductor of Concert Orchestra

As the search for the permanent Concert Orchestra Conductor continues we are pleased to announce that Gregory Robbins has been appointed Guest Conductor for the May Concert period.

Combining a unique background of formal conservatory training and digital media entrepreneurship, American conductor Gregory Robbins is the quintessential 21st Century artist. He is the founder and music director of the Delphi Chamber Orchestra, and was recently appointed Associate Conductor of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony.

A strong advocate for music education, Robbins has made conducting debuts at Yale School of Music, NYU, and lectured at Mannes College: The New School for Music. This summer he begins his appointment to the conducting staff  of the New York State Summer School for the Arts, in a program presented in conjunction with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He is currently in his second season as associate conductor of the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic. He was educated at Manhattan School of Music and Yale School of Music, and currently lives in New York City.

February, 2015

Winter Concert Features Concerto Competition Winner

This season's Winter Concert will feature Emily Azzarito, cello, in a performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto, Op. 85.

Emily Azzarito Emily began playing the cello at the age of 8. She is now an 18-year-old senior at New Canaan High School, CT. Emily has been a member of the Norwalk Youth Symphony for eight years and has served as the Principal Cellist of the Principal Orchestra for two years.

In 2012, Emily was selected as a winner of the American Chamber Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. She performed the first movement of the Lalo Cello Concerto with Maestro Christopher Hisey and the orchestra later that spring. Additionally, she was invited to perform at the 2013 Leon Tec Showcase highlighting local outstanding young musicians. In 2013, she was 1st chair of the CT All-State Orchestra. This year, Emily was selected from thousands of young musicians from 12 Eastern states plus Europe to perform in the 2015 NAfME All-Eastern Honors Symphony Orchestra.

Emily won the 2013 Eastern Connecticut Symphony’s Victor Norman Concerto Competition and was awarded 1st prize at the Musical Club of Hartford’s Concerto Competition of 2013.

Emily studies cello privately with Lois Errante and Allison Eldredge and is coached in chamber music by Asya Meshberg. She has also studied piano with Christine Mangone and music theory with Maestro Arthur Sjogren.

Emily is a member of the National Honor Society and is the recipient of the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. She plans to continue her study of cello performance in college while majoring in Economics and Romance Languages. She plans to earn an MBA and potentially work in the music industry as a producer.

The Norwalk Youth Symphony Winter Concert will take place on Sunday March 1, 2015 at 3PM at the Norwalk Concert Hall at City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk CT.

December, 2014

The application process is now closed - Conductor, Concert Orchestra

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is currently looking for a conductor for its Concert Orchestra.


June, 2014

Jonathan Yates Appointed Music Director of Music Mountain

The Norwalk Youth Symphony is happy to announce that our Music Director, Jonathan Yates, has been appointed Musical Director Designate of the prestigious chamber music festival, Music Mountain.

Music Mountain is the oldest continuing summer chamber music festival in this country, and Jonathan will be only the fourth Music Director in its 85-year history. Each year they offer a Chamber Music Series of 16 concerts, mainly on Sunday afternoons, a popular Saturday evening series of Jazz concerts, and a number of special events.

The setting of Music Mountain is very beautiful, in Falls Village, CT, amidst the splendor of the Berkshires. The centerpiece of the estate is Gordon Hall - one of the finest chamber music facilities in the country. With seating for 335 and legendary acoustics, Gordon Hall provides resonant and lovely sound, views of the gardens, grounds and hills from every seat or from the lawn, permitting listeners to savor music and nature as one.

Visit the Music Mountain website for more information.