CAG Partnership When it comes to developing the careers of emerging young artists in Europe and North America, YCAT and New York’s Concert Artists Guild (CAG) share more than a century of experience. Now, following the success of YCAT artists Jamal Aliyev and Tabea Debus at CAG’s most recent competition, the two organisations draw on their combined expertise to launch a new partnership that will allow them to offer young artists unprecedented new transatlantic opportunities, while also growing the resources available to help them. The collaboration is timely, for young musicians have never faced greater obstacles in starting their careers, and most struggle to be seen and heard in today’s challenging global environment. By joining forces, YCAT and CAG are confident that they can help these young artists navigate and connect cultural marketplaces on both sides of the Atlantic. Shared Artists Balourdet Quartet Chromic Duo Gabriel Martins Geneva Lewis Jordan Bak Conductors Michelle Di Russo Argentinian-Italian conductor Michelle Di Russo was recently appointed Interim Director of Orchestras at Cornell University and as the new Assistant Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony. She is also a Conducting Fellow both in the Chicago Sinfonietta’s Project Inclusion program and the Dallas Opera Hart Institute. Former posts include serving as Assistant Conductor for the Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestra and as cover conductor and assistant for the Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Musicfest. Di Russo was the recipient of a 2020 American Austrian Foundation/Faber Young Conductors Fellowship and a Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Scholarship at the Cabrillo Music Festival of Contemporary Music, and has served as a conducting fellow at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy. Find out more about Michelle di Russo. Kyle Dickson American conductor Kyle Dickson received the 2021 GPMF Advocate for Arts Award, and is a Salonen Conducting Fellow with the San Francisco Symphony through the Colburn Conservatory’s Negaunee Conducting Program. He serves as Assistant Conductor of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and previously served as Music Director of Chicago’s South Loop Symphony. Dickson was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the 2021 National Orchestral Institute’s Conducting Academy with Marin Alsop and James Ross, and from 2019 to 2021 was a Project Inclusion Freeman Conducting Fellow with Chicago Sinfonietta under the mentorship of Music Director Mei-Ann Chen. He works regularly with youth ensembles and has given numerous masterclasses and webinars for many arts programs including the Chicago Youth Symphony Ensembles and Ravinia’s El Sistema program. In 2021, he earned his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University, studying with Victor Yampolsky. Also a violinist, Dickson received degrees in violin performance from Michigan State University (BM) and DePaul University (MM), and was a prizewinner at the 2010 NANM National Concerto Competition. Find out more about Kyle Dickson. Ben Manis Conductor Ben Manis joined Houston Grand Opera as Resident Conductor in September 2019 after completing his Master of Music degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Larry Rachleff. He has served as cover conductor for the St. Louis and Dallas Symphonies, working with conductors David Robertsonand Stéphane Denève, and was winner of the 2019 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. He returned to the Aspen Music Festival for the third consecutive summer in 2019, and appeared in Aspen again this past summer as the winner of the Aspen Conducting Prize. He studied cello and conducting at the Colburn School, where he conducted outreach concerts in public schools across Los Angeles and performed Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto as soloist with conductor Robert Spano. Manis hails from Chicago, and has attended the Pierre Monteux School and the International Conducting Workshop and Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria. Find out more about Ben Manis.