Friday, April 30, 2021

In 'Retirement' He's Nurturing Young People!

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute is proud to work with many accomplished musicians and teachers on their faculty and is delighted to welcome violinist Mitchell Newman, who recently retired from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has joined the faculty of Prysm Strings and is working closely with its director, Gloria dePasquale, a cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. This talented musician is dedicating much of his time to music education during retirement. 

Newman and his wife Tricia chose Philadelphia to be their home even though he hasn’t lived here since he was a student at the Curtis Institute of Music over 35 years ago.  He is glad to be back in the city he calls “a gem.” He said, “My wife and I love Philadelphia’s vibrant downtown filled with great cultural institutions and its beautiful suburbs with access to gorgeous parks and great restaurants.” They live in Drexel Hill.


Newman praised the music education community in Philadelphia and said, “Philadelphia is blessed with outstanding music education institutions that are deeply committed to bettering children’s lives through music. I have always believed that music can bring people together, serve as a catalyst for change, and transform lives. I also believe that if classical music is going to flourish, it must embrace and include people from all backgrounds. There are talented children with wonderful stories to be nurtured and heard. I am committed to providing them access to this art form as this way of life has been so meaningful and beautiful to me. It is my goal to see the next generations become the next artists onstage, as well as make their contributions backstage, in management and in the boardroom.”


Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of PYO Music Institute, is thrilled to have Mitchell Newman as a member of the faculty. He said, “Mitchell brings outstanding experience to us, as a violinist with the LA Philharmonic, but also as an educator and someone who is dedicated to enriching lives through classical music.”


Newman’s impressive background includes 34 years as a violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Throughout his career, he has played concerts to bring awareness to mental health issues, performed for homeless and incarcerated communities, and has worked with the LA Philharmonic’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra LA) program which builds youth orchestra programs in the most underserved communities in Los Angeles. He has worked with many of the world’s great conductors including music directors Andre Previn, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Gustavo Dudamel, and guest conductors Simon Rattle, Kurt Sanderling, Herbert Blomstedt, Thomas Wilkins, Eric Leinsdorf, Zubin Mehta, Emmanuelle Haim, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Simone Young, and Valery Gergiev.


Currently, Newman teaches an orchestral repertoire class for violinists at the Curtis Institute of Music and is an instructor at Play On Philly and the Settlement Music School. He looks forward to playing chamber music and teaching in the diverse communities of the city.


About PYO Music Institute:

The renowned PYO Music Institute, which recently completed its 80th season, is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected community music education and youth orchestra performance programs. PYO Music Institute provides talented young musicians from across the tri-state area with exceptional musical training. Training tomorrow’s leaders, students go on to excel in many diverse fields, and many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are alumni. PYO Music Institute is committed to training tomorrow’s leaders. Its students go on to excel in many diverse fields and many go on to become professional orchestral musicians, performing locally and all across the world. Many members of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra are proud alumni of PYO Music Institute. 


The anchor group is the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), conducted by President and Music Director Louis Scaglione, featuring 100 gifted instrumentalists who range in age from 15-21. Young musicians 13-18 years old are featured in PYO’s companion ensemble, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), which is led by Director and Conductor Maestra Rosalind Erwin, who is Music Director and Conductor of Drexel University Orchestra. Young Musicians Debut Orchestra (YMDO), directed by Maestro Kenneth Bean, is a beginning to intermediate-level full symphonic orchestra that provides most students with their first introduction to large orchestral playing featuring students age 11-17 years old. Bravo Brass, directed by Curtis Institute of Music Dean, Paul Bryan, is an all-brass ensemble for promising middle and high-school instrumentalists. Prysm Strings and Prysm Strings Young Artists ensembles provide string large ensemble and sectional master class instruction for beginning and intermediate musicians ages 6-14. The director and conductor of Prysm Strings is Gloria dePasquale, cellist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and conductor of Prysm Strings Young Artists is Andrea Weber. Tune Up Philly – Orchestra Pathways Program (TUP) is the PYO Music Institute’s after-school music program, directed by Paul Smith, that focuses on creating and inspiring true community by providing children in under-resourced communities with invaluable opportunities to learn and perform a differentiated orchestral music curriculum. 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, students have participated in a range of virtual rehearsals and programs, enabling them to maintain their involvement and dedication to orchestral music. Following all safety guidelines, in late March, early April in-person rehearsals have returned for all ensembles except for Tune Up Philly. For more information, please visit

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