LA Phil – Orchestra Member Portraits Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO), one of the largest youth orchestra training programs in the United States, welcomes their new music director, Juan Felipe Molano. He was raised in Colombia and moves to the Seattle area from (after five years with Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). His first of three Benaroya Hall concerts will be November 17, 2019.

Maestro Molano’s passion and dedication for working with youth and music education are evidenced by the impressive list of positions he has held around the world over the past two decades. His complete bio is available here. Maestro Molano explains, “My wife and I made the decision to move our young family to the Seattle area, in part is because the people of this region place arts and arts education in the same high regard that we do.”

Molano’s uncle, a respected Czech luthier and string professor, introduced him to music Molano continues, “I know first-hand that, with music, good things follow. I firmly believe the SYSO tagline ‘the future has never sounded better,’ and I can’t wait to get on the beautiful Benaroya Hall stage and make music with these refined, passionate musicians.”

Molano chose an eclectic program for his inaugural SYSO season. The three Benaroya Hall concerts, on November 17, March 1 and May 10, connect to the culture or classical music traditions of Russia, Italy and The Americas. Molano is available by phone, or in person, to discuss this season and his vision for the future. Tickets and subscriptions are on sale now at

Russian Masters
November 17, 2019 3:00pm

Selected Russian compositions reflect the art form’s highest levels of integrity and complexity. The passion behind these powerful works will be matched by the young musician’s inspiring energy. This concert also features SYSO’s annual concerto competition winner.

  • Alexander Borodin | Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
  • Concerto Competition Winner | Announced in late September
  • Dmitri Shostkovich | Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 70

Dances of the Americas
March 1, 2020 3:00pm

This concert is an auditory journey that begins on North America’s West Coast, heads east, then moves south into Central and South America. The repertoire includes the urban charisma of Bernstein’s West Side Story, stark minimalism of John Adams’ Chairman Dances, and contemporary innovation of Marquez’s Danzon No 9 (a Northwest premiere). Other works will be added to the repertoire in the coming months.

  • John Adams | The Chairman Dances / Foxtrot for Orchestra
  • Arturo Marquez | Danzon No 9 (Northwest premeire)
  • Leonard Bernstein | Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Pines of Rome
May 10, 2020 3:00pm

This highly anticipated Mother’s Day concert brings all five of the orchestras to the stage and features all of Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra’s ensembles. It’s a glorious celebration of Italian music from the beginning to the end of the19th century spotlighting the crisp lightness of Rossini’s Overture from William Tell and the grand vistas of Respighi’s Pines of Rome.

  • Gioacchino Rossini | Overture from William Tell
  • Ottorino Respighi | Pines of Rome

About Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1942, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra (SYSO) is one of the largest youth orchestra training programs in the United States serving over 1,800 diverse students each year. SYSO operates five full orchestras and chamber music ensembles for students ages 7-19 as well as two summer camps. SYSO alumni perform with some of the world’s most respected orchestras and have thrived in professions ranging from aerospace to visual art. SYSO founded the Marrowstone Music Festival in 1942 and assumed the operations of the Seattle Conservatory of Music in 2016 to provide programs for dedicated young musicians seeking a unique performance opportunity and expanded music theory coursework. Through school district partnerships , The Musical Pathways Project and Endangered Instruments Program allow an additional 700 students at over 40 area schools to experience the joys of music. SYSO awards over $200,000 annually in financial aid to ensure that every interested student can participate in SYSO programs.