About Us


Since its inaugural concerts on Sept of 2005, the Irvine Young Concert Artists has always sought to be different than the youth orchestras in Orange County. IYCA’s musical and artistic approach towards performing offers its musicians an in-depth exposure to traditional and modern repertoire, with the active involvement of leading guest conductors, soloists and guest artist coaches from within the orchestra itself. Every member in the orchestra is given the opportunity to perform as soloist in as many as forty concerts a year, more than any traditional youth orchestras. Every concert features a minimum of ten to fifteen soloists, from IYCA musicians to guest artists.




The Irvine Young Concert Artists (www.irvineyoungconcertartists.org), formerly the Irvine Young Artists, was formed in September 2005 by Albert Wu as a training orchestra dedicated to the artistic, personal, and professional development of outstanding instrumentalists. Based in Irvine, California at the Pacific Church of Irvine, IYCA features many opportunities in its detailed educational programs to provide the finest professional training for its members. An oasis for musical education and expression, the IYCA, through a wide range of performance and instructional activities, seeks to develop in its members the full complement of skills and qualifications required of twenty-first century first class musicians. It encourages young kids to dream and to fulfill those dreams, even if the dreams will be secondary as they embark on a different career in college. The relationships formed through music are life-long and deeply meaningful.




In 2005, IYCA kicked off the season with four benefit concerts for Hurricane Katrina victims at Irvine’s New Song Church, the Irvine Presbyterian Church, Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach, and the University Synagogue in Irvine.


Since 2005, the IYCA has performed for and at the Irvine and Mission Viejo City Councils, the Richard Nixon Library, and the Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza. It has performed and been invited to perform for many noteworthy national political and celebrity figures such as Senator John Edwards, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Lou Correa, Senator Art Torres, Senator Joe Dunn, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, California Attorney General Jerry Brown, State Assemblyman Jose Solorio, Tony Mendoza, Lt. Governor John Garamendi, Mayor Beth Krom of Irvine, and the Mayors of Huntington Beach, Laguna, La Hara, Fullerton, Santa and Anaheim. Through its charity concerts, IYCA has performed for former President Bill Clinton White House Senior Foreign Affairs Advisor Arnold Rachlis, Senator Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Chief Campaign Manager, as well as TV personality Arianna Huffington, actresses Dame Judi Dench and Beth Broderick.




In 2006, IYCA began to be recognized internationally for its artistic programming, virtuosic soloists (all drawn from within the orchestra), and impeccable ensemble. Often playing conductorless for its charity concerts throughout Orange County, the IYCA made its debut CD recording in December 2005 for Soul Surfer Records. The debut album, recorded conductorless for each work, featured works by Vivaldi and Corelli and has received critical acclaim worldwide from concertmasters from the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras as well as members of the Cleveland, and Juilliard String Quartets. The IYCA debut recording has been aired on KUCI radio and led to its invitation in December 2006 to perform nationally on Fox television for 120 million viewers:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVSN5Iroung.




When violinists Albert Wu and Mischa Lakirovich formed IYCA in 2005, they sought to form a youth orchestra in Irvine which would rival the finest youth orchestras in the U.S. The mission of the IYCA is to provide the finest orchestral training to young musicians at the pre-professional level and to enrich the cultural life of the community by presenting music at the highest level of artistic achievement. In every way, IYCA uses the power of music to promote cross-cultural understanding and reaffirm its commitment to humanity. Since 2005, IYCA has performed and been invited for countless charities and community events — some local, many national. These charities include the Daniel Pearl Foundation, Team Kids, Colin Powell’s America’s Promise Foundation in Washington D.C., the Relay for Life (American Cancer Society), the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) Heroes With Heart Awards, Western Youth Services, the Irvine Prevention Coalition, the Irvine Fun Fair, Sandy Segestrom’s Festival of Children, the OC Natural History Museum Annual Fundraiser, and the OC United Way. To date, IYCA has helped raise over $4000 for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005, for victims and firefighters of the Orange County fires in September 2007, and the victims of the Japan Earthquake in April 2011.




In April 2011, in light of the horrific March 11, 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, IYCA launched a massive benefit concert campaign which was covered in the OC Register, Korea Daily, Chinese LA Daily, World Journal, Taiwan Daily, Sing Tao Daily, Epoch Times, Pacific Times, Thousand Wind TV, NHK World, KBS, and MBC television:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdxosOeESBs.


Joined by the Japan Relief Choir, the marathon concert brought musicians from all ages together on stage at the Irvine Barclay and funds raised would be sent to the children, schools, and orphanages in Miyagi (Japan) through UNICEF. To view a trailer of this benefit concert, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onNj0-xSNVA.


IYCA understands a benefit concert does not end with applause. The students understand compassion but more importantly, their role as goodwill ambassadors and humanitarians on a global level. It is our belief that music has not only the power to educate, enlighten, and enrich lives but also to aid those in need.




The Irvine Young Concert Artists (IYCA) is recognized locally for its outstanding contributions to the local community and national charities. IYCA seeks to make a cultural impact and social contribution to the community of Irvine by offering virtually many of its concerts free of charge. Performing for the causes of many nonprofit charities is one of its primiary missions. IYCA’s forty plus concerts a year fosters, nurtures, and develops in its members an artistic excellence through music. It is the educational goal for IYCA to continue producing artists capable and willing to give their talents in music to enrich the lives of others in Irvine. In March 2011, ICTV featured IYCA’s work in the community in a special television feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFL8ba7yR8E.




The IYCA music program is available to select talented young musicians from all over Orange County. Students ages seven to thirteen compose the IYJA (Irvine Young Junior Artists), the “junior” orchestra, while students ages thirteen-eighteen belong to the “older” IYCA (Irvine Young Concert Artists) orchestra. Combined, the two orchestras boast more than sixty talented musicians chosen, ranging in age from seven to eighteen. Students hail from as far as Anaheim, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Placentia, Corona del Mar, and Dana Hills. Former and present members of IYJA and IYCA have served as Concertmasters, Assistant Concertmaster and Principles of their school orchestras as well as in the All Southern, All State, All National, All National, and the Orchestra America Festival Orchestras.




It is the goal of IYCA to be a touring orchestra every summer so that each tour becomes a memorable cultural exchange. And this journey began in 2008. IYCA is more than a youth orchestra; it is an orchestra of young artists eager to perform, to travel, to perform with others, for others, and to be involved in the community and worldly causes. Since 2008, IYCA has received international tour invites to South America, Asia, and Europe. Each season is always special for IYCA.


The musicians in the Irvine Young Concert Artists are truly artists and cultural ambassadors of the first rank. In July 2008, IYCA embarked on its first international tour, taking them to Korea and China. To view a short video on this tour, please visit this website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-z6F7RH_rg.


In Korea, IYCA performed in two historic concerts – the first, at the Yong-In Women’s Hall and the second, at the Nowon Culture and Arts Center. Both concerts were sold out, and a friendship between IYCA, Nowon-gu Philharmonic Orchestra, myself, and Maestro Young Kyu Song was born. In 2008, IYCA begun a musical conversation with Korea and China and built the foundation to a long-lasting friendship. Through joint concerts, three cultures connected. And this musical dialogue continues. The tour was fully sponsored and made possible by Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang’s vision. Official photos of the tour can be viewed at: http://www.irvineyoungconcertartists.org/tour2008/tour2008.html.


In China, IYCA performed in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xian, Beijing, and Qinghuangdao for the 2008 Beijng Olympic Games Celebration. Three concerts were televised – one in Shanghai, another in Beijing, and the final one in Xian. In Xian (China), IYCA received the keys to the city prior to two performances there. Performing to capacity crowds, IYCA gained international acclaim as it featured as many as twenty exceptional soloists over two weeks. Conductors Cosima Luther, Josh Roach, and Peter Fournier led IYCA in this historic three-week tour, and in every performance, the three Maestros not only conducted brilliantly but also performed as members of the orchestra – Ms. Luther on violin, Mr. Roach on trumpet, and Mr. Fournier on trombone.



The 2008 tour opened many doors for IYCA. After the 08 tour, the musical journey took IYCA to performances at Disneyland, Catalina, Hollywood, and Los Angeles television studios. Other noteworthy invites:


In Oct 2008…IYCA was invited to perform in a pre-recital reception at Segestrom Hall for international sensation (and pianist) Lang Lang…


In 2009…Invitations to Korea and Taiwan were formally extended, with performances in Taiwan at the National Hsinchu Senior High School, Affiliated High School of the National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei National University of the Arts, Nan-Men Music Conservatory, The Chinese Culture University Department of Music (Taipei City), Wach Conservatory of Music and Chung-Chang Primary School in Taipei. In Korea, invitations included the Seoul Arts Center, Seoul Yeh High School, Jung Bal High School, Daewon Foreign Language High School, Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, the Korean National University of Arts, Seoul National University, and Yonsei University.


In 2010…comes the first invitation to perform in England! A concert tour to Holland, Belgium, England, and France, with joint concerts in Amsterdam, Bruges, and Paris at homeless shelters, the embassy, SAS Organization, the Wester Church, Royal Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde, Place Vendome was extended to IYCA.


In December 2011…an invitation to perform in India has been extended to IYCA. IYCA will again make history as no youth orchestra has ever toured India from California. It will feature a joint collaboration with musicians from Hong Kong and Irvine. Stayed tuned for more information to this tour!


In 2011…an invitation to perform in the London 2012 Olympics! Following the historic 2008 Beijing Olympics tour comes another groundbreaking tour: an official invite from the London Olympics Organizing Committee.


The tour will present three concerts in France (two in Paris, the other in Versailles) and five concerts in London, culminating in a performance on Opening Ceremony Day (July 27, 2012) at the Final Mile of the Olympic Torch Relay. Performances will include participation in the London Calling, the London Cultural Olympiad, the British Embassy, as well as a special concert in the Olympic Village for Team USA. IYCA will collaborate with young artists from the UK and France as cultural ambassadors in several joint concerts. If you are too busy to be in London with us next summer, I’m sure you can watch it on NBC from the comforts of your living room.


To view our promotional video for the London Olympics tour, please visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUwoQSHTbas.


Founder Albert Wu will be departing for London in 2011 to meet with Olympics organizers to oversee concert venues while Music Director Dean Anderson will oversee the musical programming. It is a tour not to be missed!




The 2008-2009 season marked a new era for IYCA, as conductor Dean Anderson began his tenure as IYCA’s Chief Music Director. A widely sought conductor, Maestro Anderson conducts the Montage Civic Orchestra, the Fullerton College Orchestra, the Dongshin Youth Orchestra, in addition to his duties with the Irvine Young Concert Artists.


In January 2011, Dean made history. became the first American to conduct in Saigon since the end of the Vietnam War, conducting the Ho Chi Minh Ballet Symphony for the 20th Anniversary of the Saigon Times.  Embracing the worldly visions of IYCA, Maestro Anderson is a cultural ambassador of the highest order. In 2011 and 2012, Dean Anderson will be traveling with IYCA musicians and guest conducting in Vietnam (Saigon), Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok), India, Italy (Arezzo), England (London), and France (Paris) as a cultural ambassador.


Every concert begins and ends with a joint musical collaboration, where old friends meet new ones. It is where the best of Irvine engages in cultural exchange at the international level, exemplified in our founding philosophy: “A World Apart…In Music Together.”


A proponent of modern music, Dean Anderson is a true visionary. In April 2010, Maestro Anderson invited a select number of IYCA students to Capitol Records (Hollywood) for an exclusive recording session. The students performed alongside seasoned professionals film music written by Kostas Christids and Minos Matsas. The music recorded from this eight hour recording session can be heard in the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (2010).




Prior to Dean Anderson’s appointment to IYCA, a number of first-rate conductors led IYCA each season. In its first two seasons, cofounder and violinist Mischa Lakirovich served as its first music director, making Irvine Presbyterian Church its home. In 2007-2008, IYCA was led by conductors Josh Roach and Cosima Luther, with guest conductors Peter Fournier of University High School, Joslynn Blasdel of Woodbridge High School, and Henry Miller of Sierra Vista Middle School. In 2009-2011, Dr. Nicholas Yee was Music Director of IYJA, during which time the orchestra made the Pacific Church of Irvine as its new home.


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