American Youth Symphony Receives Historic Million Dollar Gift from Peter Mandell and Sarah Coade Mandell

AYS Board Secretary Peter Mandell and Advisory Council Member Sarah Coade Mandell - known for founding The Mandell Collection of Southern California - donate largest gift in AYS history

​​​The American Youth Symphony is honored to announce the largest gift in its 52-year history: one million dollars from Peter Mandell and Sarah Coade Mandell. This donation supports the AYS Strategic Plan, which will deepen its programmatic scope and community outreach efforts for its free concerts.

This landmark gift will also fund the Korngold Commission Project (inspired by the Korngold Violin Concerto), which will allow the American Youth Symphony to commission a prominent film composer to create a new work for solo instrument and orchestra, every one to two seasons. Not only will this project generate exciting new works that will live far beyond their debut with AYS, they will also create opportunities for mentorship between world-renowned soloists and rising stars within the greater Los Angeles community.

This donation supports the AYS Strategic Plan, which will deepen its programmatic scope and community outreach efforts for its free concerts.

American Youth Symphony

Sarah Coade Mandell and Peter Mandell, who first met as students at the Idyllwild School of Music and Arts (ISOMATA), are both classically trained musicians and long-time supporters of the American Youth Symphony. Peter, a bassoonist, investor, and Managing Partner of QRMS, LLC joined the AYS Board of Directors in 2012, and his tenure as Board Secretary has seen a 54% growth in revenue and 110% increase in concert attendance.

Sarah, a cellist and double bassist, and Managing Partner of a family investment and financial services office, joined the AYS Advisory Council in 2015, alongside industry luminaries such as conductor and composer, Esa-Pekka Salonen; violinist, Sarah Chang; NY Phil’s VP of Artistic Planning, Ed Yim; and pianist, Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Sarah and Peter may be best known to the classical music community for founding The Mandell Collection of Southern California, which lends instruments to young musicians, helping to further their professional studies and careers.  The Mandells are also the founders of “Hardly Strictly Classical,” a concert series offered free to the public.  Hardly Strictly Classical has sponsored American Youth Symphony special performances featuring Sarah Chang (2015), and Mandell Collection Artist Simone Porter (2016).

Their commitment to supporting young musicians and presenting free concerts aligns so clearly with the mission of the American Youth Symphony, it is no wonder they count among the organization’s most loyal and generous supporters. Founded by Maestro Mehli Mehta in 1964, AYS has a stellar legacy of over five decades of providing paid fellowships to extraordinary young musicians and sharing their exceptional performances for free with the community.

Heralded by KUSC’s Jim Svejda as “the finest youth symphony on earth”, the mission of AYS is to inspire the future of classical music. With the help of this generous gift from Peter and Sarah Coade Mandell, AYS will expand its reach and deepen its long-standing commitment to providing access for all to experience the beauty and power of classical masterworks.

Source: American Youth Symphony