SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra, under music director Gioacchino Longobardi, has received third-place honors nationally in the youth orchestra division of the 2013 American Prize competition.
The orchestra was selected from applications reviewed this summer from around the country. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit competitions designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the U.S. based on submitted recordings.
The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. It is administered by Hat City Music Theater, a non-profit performing arts organization based in Danbury, Conn.
The Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra is a small string ensemble dedicated to fostering excellence in musical arts through structured rehearsal and community performances.
Founded in 1999, SSYO began with the vision of developing a world-class youth orchestra. Musicians ages 13 to 25 receive advanced training, peer collaboration and mentorship.
Conductor Longobardi, who has diplomas in piano, conducting and composition from the Conservatorio San Pietro a Majella, in Naples, Italy, has introduced SSYO to a repertoire composed primarily of Early Baroque and Romantic period pieces.
Among the judges’ comments about the SSYO: “The playing was most compelling in the Fantasia as the melody of the hymn tune was passed around. The Piazzolla had some very warm moments... This is a program that should continue to build in the future.”
Finalists for The American Prize receive professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition based on their recorded performances. In addition to written evaluations from judges, winners and runners-up are profiled on The American Prize website.