Passing on experience from one generation to another, not just by formal teaching but through mentoring and coaching, is crucial to endeavors as unalike as medicine and baseball, and certainly to classical music. There are some things about this art that can only be learned by decades of doing it.
You could see this tradition in action in two quite different performances on Sunday. The New York Youth Symphony opened its 53rd season with a concert at Carnegie Hall conducted by Joshua Gersen, the ensemble’s energetic music director. The program offered inspiring performances of works by Richard Strauss, Ravel and Gershwin, and the premiere of Gabriella Smith’s “Lost Coast.” As usual, the unseen heroes of the concert were the teachers who work individually with these dedicated students.