The YSO Legacy - 2005-2010


Toshiyuki Shimada begins his Thirteen-Year Career with the YSO

Fresh on the heels of leaving his post as Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Toshi Shimada was selected to be the ninth Music Director of the YSO, and the longest-standing Director to date. Toshi began his YSO tenure with a 40th Anniversary celebration, an alumni reunion and a tour to the Pacific Northwest. In his twelve years as music director, he performed hundreds of concerts, heralded innovative ideas and concert productions, and toured six countries over four continents.

Pacific Northwest Tour

As part of the YSO’s 40th Anniversary, the orchestra toured the Pacific Northwestern United States and British Columbia on a four-city tour that ended at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. We were welcomed by several West Coast alumni, including Robert Kyr ’74, who hosted our concert in Eugene and accompanied us on most of the tour, and Dan Feller ’74, who hosted us for a reception at his home, and showed us his incredible collection of YSO posters.

Video Games Live

In the early Spring of 2007, the YSO transformed Woolsey Hall and Commons into a full-on video game convention, performing a bevy of orchestrations of computer games from the past twenty-five years.

Italy Tour

May of 2008 saw the YSO embark on its first international tour since 2003, and its first-ever concert tour of Italy, performing in Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan.

Prometheus, Poem of Fire

In 2009, the YSO was approached by Anna Gawboy PhD ’10, a PhD candidate who wanted to realize what she believed to be the definitive production of Aleksandr Scriabin’s “Prometheus, Poem of Fire.” The orchestra enthusiastically helped to make this aspiration a reality, engaging with lighting designers and producers to illuminate Woolsey Hall with bold colors, full choir, and the pianistic skills of Daniel Schlosberg ’10. The performance was so successful that the production continues to tour the world, and a video of the performance is now part of the collection at the Scriabin Museum in Moscow.

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Turkey Tour

Invited to be a key component of the University’s “Yale in Turkey” event, the YSO gave a three city tour with pianist Idil Biret to sold out audiences.