Children’s Orchestra Society turns 50, founded and run by members of a famous musical family

Posted on: June 20, 2019

In 1962, siblings Yo-Yo Ma and Yeou-Cheng Ma—he a seven-year-old cellist, she a young pianist—performed at the White House. That same year, “their father, Dr. Hiao-Tsiun Ma, a conductor, musicologist and teacher, founded the Children’s Orchestra Society in New York,” writes Anthony Tommasini in Wednesday’s (6/19) New York Times. “That orchestra will celebrate its 50th anniversary—there was a seven-year hiatus from the late 1970s to the early ‘80s—with a gala concert at Carnegie Hall on Thursday…. Yeou-Cheng … in 1984 became the orchestra’s executive director even while working full-time as a developmental pediatrician at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her husband, Michael Dadap—a guitarist, composer and conductor—is the orchestra’s artistic director…. The orchestra restarted with less than 20 students…. It now has an enrollment of about 145 students … and operates four orchestra divisions and numerous chamber ensembles…. Over the years, Dr. Ma has reduced her schedule as a doctor to devote more time to the orchestra.” In the article, Ma discusses her belief “in the mission of the Children’s Orchestra Society, which auditions all applicants but accepts everyone regardless of talent.”

Posted June 20, 2019

In photo: Yeou-Cheng Ma, center, with students of the Children’s Orchestra Society. Photo by Ricky Rhodes for The New York Times