Louis Scaglione Succeeds Joseph Primavera as Fifth Music Director of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra
Maestro Primavera, After 51 Years, Completes Tenure as Longest-serving Active Conductor Anywhere in the World
Philadelphia - September 12, 2005
Rick Touhill, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, today announced the appointment of Louis Scaglione as Music Director of the PYO. He succeeds Maestro Joseph Primavera, whose fifty-one-year tenure as the PYO's Music Director--from 1954 through the 2004-05 concert season--made him the longest-serving active music director of any orchestra anywhere in the world.
Maestro Scaglione will also continue to serve as president of the PYO, a position he has held since 2001. In addition, he will continue as Conductor of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), the PYO's junior ensemble, a position he has held since 1997.
"This is the end of an era, and the beginning of a new era, in the long history of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra," Mr. Touhill said. "Joeseph Primavera is a living legend who led the PYO as Music Director for an astonishing fifty-one years. Through his extraordinary musical gifts, the strength of his character and the force of his personality, he shaped the PYO into one of the nation's top youth orchestras, internationally recognized for its outstanding musicianship."
"In naming Louis Scaglione Maestro Primavera's successor as the PYO's fifth Music Director, we designate the individual Primavera himself personally and enthusiastically recommended. Maestro Scaglione has done an excellent job as President and Associate Conductor of the PYO, and as Conductor of the PYAO, for the past eight years. He is deeply devoted to classical music, to nurturing the performance skills of talented young musicians, and to helping them prepare for life. He will be an outstanding Music Director."
"As Maestro Primavera approaches his eightieth birthday next April, we are honored to name him the PYO's Music Director Laureate. In the decades to come, the PYO may have other music directors. But as all of us who have worked with him, and loved him, know, there will never be another Joseph Primavera."
In the fifty-one years he headed the PYO since assuming the podium in 1954, Maestro Primavera introduced more than 2,500 student musicians to the works of more than 150 composers, led them in more than 350 concerts and 35 premiere performances, and guided the overseas tours that have established the PYO's sterling reputation on five continents. PYO alumni currently serve in all but a few of the nation's top twenty professional orchestras, including 16 alumni in The Philadelphia Orchestra alone.
Born in 1926 to a prominent musical family, the son of a violinmaker in Philadelphia, Maestro Primavera began music studies at the age of five with Guido and Joseph Terranova. He won a scholarship to study violin with Sacha Jacobinoff and later studied trombone with Pietro Rosano. At the New School of Music, he studied violin with Frank Costanzo, viola with Max Aronoff, orchestration and conducting with W.F. Happich, and with the Curtis Quartet. In 1944, he entered the United States Navy, where he served on the U.S.S. Philadelphia and the U.S.S. Missouri during World War II. In 1949, having completed his military service to his country, he was invited to join the Baltimore Symphony, and then, in 1951, the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1960, he received The Philadelphia Orchestra's coveted C. Hartman Kuhn Award for "musical ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and reputation of the Orchestra." He retired after 17 years to devote himself to conducting and teaching.
Rave reviews greeted Maestro Primavera's 1959 New York conducting debut, in which he led musicians from the New York Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra. His credits include the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rome Festival Opera, Beijing Opera/Ballet Orchestra, and Opera Barga in Lucca, Italy. He has served as music director of Telitalia Cable-TV Network (Italian National Radio), Delaware Valley Philharmonic, Sunshine Pops Orchestra (Orlando, Fla.), Cherry Hill (N.J.) Symphony, Old York Road Symphony (Pa.), and Frankford Symphony (Pa.). He has also directed several chamber music series at the University of Pennsylvania, University Museum, and Temple University, and served as music director for films and television specials, including a CBS series featuring The Philadelphia Orchestra.
From 1976 until his retirement, Maestro Primavera was conductor and professor of orchestration, chamber music, and musicianship at the University of the Arts. He is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra League and the Conductors Guild. Maestro Primavera is recipient of the 1986 Service to Youth in the Performing Arts Award of the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company, the 1999 Distinguished Service Award of the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers with School Orchestra Association, and the 2001 Arts Recognition Award of the Society for the Performing Arts of the Media Theatre.
Louis Scaglione has extensive experience as a musician, educator, conductor and administrator. He was appointed the Conductor of the PYAO in 1997, Associate Conductor of the PYO in 1999, Executive Director of both orchestras in 2001, and promoted to President in 2004. He is also the Artistic Director of the Choral Society of Montgomery County in residence at Montgomery County Community College (Pa.).
Under Maestro Scaglione's direction, the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra has become one of the premiere youth orchestras in the greater Philadelphia region, performing at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Union League of Philadelphia, Montgomery County Community College, Irvine Auditorium (University of Pennsylvania), Saint Mark's Church (Philadelphia), Andalusia Estate, The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts, and Valley Forge Military Academy. Maestro Scaglione and the orchestra have collaborated with area ensembles including the Choral Society of Montgomery County and the Upper Darby High School Encore Singers (Pa.). They have appeared as part of Strings for Schools' "Jazz Violin Summit (2003)," as part of the American Harp Society's 2004 National Conference, and as part of the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival. Each year, Maestro Scaglione and the PYAO perform a holiday benefit concert, and for the past eight years they have raised funds for such charitable organizations as Reach Out and Read at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, MANNA (Metropolitan AIDS Neighborhood Nutritional Alliance), and the Voices for Children Foundation. Artists with whom the PYAO has performed include soloists Michael Ludwig, Associate Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra; pianist Kenneth Drake; vocal soloists Laura Heimes, Phyllis Lewis-Hale, Richard Zuch, Todd Thomas, Sandra Carney, James Longacre, and Monica Ziglar; jazz greats Regina Carter, Diane Monroe and John Blake, Jr.; and international violin soloist Sarah Chang.
Maestro Scaglione has transformed the PYO program from an all-volunteer organization to a nationally recognized professional institution. He has gained first-hand experience in administration, governance, artistic planning and overseas tour planning. His artistic and administrative leadership has transformed the PYO program, and he can be credited with building the community resources the PYO program now enjoys.
Maestro Scaglione has toured with the PYO several times, including The World Youth Music Forum in Moscow, Russia in 1998; the Czech Republic and Italy in 2000; and China in 2002. Last year, Maestro Scaglione administered the orchestra's tour of eastern and central Europe, traveling to Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and Prague. Maestro Scaglione has a great passion for education. He has taught all levels including elementary, secondary, collegiate and adult continuing education classes. Currently, he is a member of the adjunct music faculty of Montgomery County Community College. He is a former member of the faculty of Temple University Music Preparatory Division, and a former Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master of Temple Opera Theater. His scholarship and academic excellence have been recognized by the top honor societies in the country, including the Golden Key National Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi Honors Society in Education and Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society in Music. His biographies appear in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, Who's Who Among Executives and Professionals, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in the World.
Additionally, Maestro Scaglione is deeply involved with the cultural and social community in the Philadelphia area. He serves as Trustee to the Andalusia Foundation, and created the annual outdoor concert series, "Arts at Andalusia," at the Andalusia Estate; as Trustee to the Youth Work Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia; and he is a former Trustee of the Mainline Youth Chamber Orchestra Academy of Philadelphia. He also serves as Secretary to the Youth Orchestra Division Board of the American Symphony Orchestra League. He is a member of The Union League of Philadelphia, where he serves on and chairs several committees. He has served as Advisor to the Arts Advisory Council, The Society for the Performing Arts of the Media Theater, and the Arts and Cultural Advisory Board, Bensalem Township (Pa.). He has served as grant review panelist for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
Maestro Scaglione graduated with honors from The University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in music education. He continued his studies at Temple University, where he earned a Master of Music degree. He studied conducting with Helmuth Rilling, Alan Harler, Kurt Klippstadter and in seminars with Robert Shaw; vocal coaching with John Douglas and John Wustman; piano with Kenneth Drake and Elizabeth Zechel; and voice with James Bailey. His professional studies as a conductor have taken him to the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene, Ore.; the Internationale Bachakademie and the Europäische Musikfest in Stuttgart, Germany; the Classical Music Seminar in Eisenstadt, Austria; and master classes in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Founded in 1939, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra has offered the opportunity for gifted and talented students to be involved in extraordinary music education through its orchestra training and performance programs. It is one of the oldest youth orchestras in the country. Its companion ensembles include the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra, formed in 1996, and Bravo Brass, added to the program in 2003. Ranging in age from 10 through 21 years, the musicians of the three ensembles are selected by competitive audition and come from the Delaware Valley and beyond. The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra has represented the United States on five continents and has visited more than 20 countries including China, Russia, Australia, Great Britain, Jordan, Israel, Brazil, Venezuela, and most of the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.