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Sylvia Alimena Named Interim Music Director of AYPO

Recent News

Sylvia Alimena Named Interim Music Director of AYPO


AYPO is pleased to announce the interim appointments of Sylvia Alimena as Music Director of AYPO and as Principal Conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic (AYP) for the 2017-2018 season. Ms. Alimena is currently the Associate Conductor of AYP and the Director of the AYPO Brass Fellowship for Orchestral Arts, a role in which she will continue to serve.

Christopher Zimmerman, Artistic Director of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras and Principal Conductor of the American Youth Philharmonic (AYP), will step down at the end of this season after four successful years with the organization. During his tenure, Maestro Zimmerman prepared and directed the group for numerous major concerts and has introduced an exciting array of guest soloists. Board President Robert Sollinger commented, “Our musicians and audiences have benefited richly from Maestro Zimmerman’s talents as an educator and musician. We wish him continued success, and we look forward to future engagements with Chris as a guest conductor.”

 “We are delighted that Sylvia Alimena has agreed to serve as interim Music Director and Conductor of AYP for the coming season. We have gained enormously from Sylvia’s work with AYPO in a number of ways, and notably her charismatic influence on the talented young brass players who have learned so much from her varied experience and her superb musicianship,” said Executive Director Graham Elliott. “Sylvia is a gifted teacher and motivator of young musicians and we can be confident that the top orchestra will flourish under her leadership, and the whole organization will gain from her oversight as interim Music Director.”

Ms. Alimena, a passionate and dedicated educator, served as the NSO Summer Music Institute Assistant Conductor, NSO Youth Fellowship Program coach, and NSO Youth Fellowship Program private horn instructor and lecturer. As Music Director of Brass of Peace, she has been an educator and mentor to some of the most renowned brass musicians in the country.

During the past 31 years, Sylvia Alimena has worn many musical hats in the Washington musical arena. She came to the Washington area as second hornist of the National Symphony Orchestra (1985-2014) under Mstislav Rostropovich. She later founded and conducted Eclipse Chamber Orchestra (1992-2012) and was music director of the Avanti Orchestra (1995-2003) and the McLean Orchestra (2003-2010).

A native of Long Island, Ms. Alimena considers herself the product of an excellent public school system and youth orchestra programs. She is the recipient of a Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award and was voted into Washingtonian Magazine’s Musical Hall of Fame in 2003.

AYPO closes its 52nd season on June 4th as Maestro Zimmerman leads Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique in his final performance as AYP’s Principal Conductor. He will return as a guest next season to conduct Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony.  

Highlights and repertoire for all ensembles will be announced soon for the 2017-18 AYPO season. Be sure to register to be a part of another year of AYPO!