YOLA VOICES: LA Phil Violinist Mitch Newman

Each spring, Los Angeles Philharmonic Violinist Mitchell “Mitch” Newman programs an LA Phil Neighborhood Concert in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter of Los Angeles, a mostly Spanish speaking community. For the past several years, YOLA students, many of whom study at the program’s nearby orchestra sites have performed there on the bill as well, first in their own ensemble and now side-by-side with the LA Phil.

“As soon as the kids were ready to perform, I thought, what a nice opportunity,” Newman said. “And it’s a two-way street. It gives the YOLA kids exposure to some really high-level musicmaking and then - for my colleagues – it’s really inspiring, because we see these kids play beautifully, try hard, and be so open to what we have to say. And they have so much to give with what they have to say about the music. We really learn from each other.”

Since Newman began the tradition of these annual concerts — part of the LA Phil’s free Neighborhood Concert series — his colleagues have always been willing and eager to participate. “The orchestra is comprised of a lot of really wonderful individuals who care very deeply about what we do and want to pass our love of music and what it’s brought to us as people to people in our communities, no matter where they are,” Newman said.

This spring’s concert showcased graduating YOLA senior Jerver Hernandez who performed as soloist in Vivaldi’s Bassoon Concerto in E Minor. Of working with Hernandez, Newman said: “We were able to just start talking about the music and how to perform music, and he took this in. This was the day of the performance, and it kind of all added up, and he gave his best performance on the concert. He just played gorgeously, and it was thrilling to watch him grow as a musician right there on the spot.”

YOLA’s students have no shortage of opportunities to perform – at Walt Disney Concert Hall every spring, at annual performances on the Hollywood Bowl stage, and on international trips with the LA Phil when it tours, but performing in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter is a special moment each year when YOLA musicians get to shine in their very own backyard.  

How do I help?

By making a gift to support the Centennial Campaign today!

Make Your Gift Today