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Berkowitz to YOLA

Abreu Fellow Berkowitz to Manage YOLA.

Abreu Fellow Daniel Berkowitz to Manage Youth Orchestra Los Angeles

Daniel BerkowitzNew England Conservatory and El Sistema USA are pleased to announce that a member of the inaugural class of Abreu Fellows, Daniel Berkowitz, has been offered an important leadership opportunity within the El Sistema movement in the United States.  In early January 2010, Berkowitz will become the Manager of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, known familiarly as YOLA. 

An initiative of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and supported by a network of stakeholders, YOLA seeks to provide exceptional instrumental and orchestral education to promote youth development. Central to the plan is the goal of building youth orchestras in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. YOLA was inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education system that nurtured the Los Angeles Philharmonic's new Music Director, Gustavo Dudamel. 

Months of intensive training in the Abreu Fellows program at NEC have enhanced Berkowitz's qualifications for his new position.  As the Manager of YOLA, he will be responsible for implementing youth orchestra plans, developing and supporting the YOLA stakeholder network, and connecting YOLA to other education and community programs of the Philharmonic. 

With strong ties to New England Conservatory and the inaugural class of Abreu Fellows, Berkowitz is now in a unique position to further enhance the relationship between the local Los Angeles program and the national El Sistema USA organization. From LA, Berkowitz will remain in close contact with the Fellows and will serve as a resource for current and future Fellows by providing an “on the ground” perspective and by opening doors to internships and potential employment.  He will also continue his involvement in El Sistema USA projects as needed.

"In the early stages of any program, one must seize opportunity and, in the words of El Sistema founder Maestro Abreu, trust the young, and give them the mandate to lead,'" said Mark Churchill, Director of El Sistema USA at NEC.  "El Sistema USA is no exception.  We at NEC fully support Daniel’s decision to accept this position and look forward to working in close partnership with him as we spearhead the El Sistema movement in the United States.”

A trombonist, Berkowitz, received his bachelor degrees in both music and economics from Northwestern University, where his studio teachers were Michael Mulcahy, Randall Hawes and Charles Vernon. He has performed across Europe, Asia, and the U.S., including a residency in China with the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra. As an instructor, Berkowitz held masterclasses in China, and served on the staff of the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts and Northwestern’s National High School Music Institute. From 2008 to 2009, he lived and worked in London, studying with many of Europe’s most well-respected trombonists. In parallel, Berkowitz worked as an entrepreneur developing the infrastructure for Morningstar’s Pan European and Asian Fund research endeavor.

For further information, check the NEC Website.


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory