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), IYCA offers many opportunities in its detailed educational programs to provide the finest professional training for its members as recording artists in Hollywood.



An oasis for musical education and expression, the IYCA, through a wide range of performance opportunities, recording sessions, and instructional activities, seeks to develop in its members the full complement of skills and qualifications required of twenty-first century performers and recording artists.

IYCA encourages students 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. Each year, alumni return to perform and record with IYCA.



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, film and pop music, with the active involvement of leading guest conductors, film composers, soloists, guest artists, recording studios, and recording engineers.



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 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, other youth orchestras as well as in the All Southern, All State, MENC, the Orchestra America Festival Orchestras, Idyllwild and the Grumo Music Festival.



To showcase the talented students in IYCA, every member in the orchestra is given the opportunity to perform as soloist in every concert.

Each IYCA concert features ten to fifteen different soloists performing Baroque, Classical, and Romantic concerti. IYCA is the only orchestra that emphasizes solo concerti playing from its members.



IYCA’s recordings and concerts every 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 Dec 2012, IYCA’s debut album at Capitol Records help benefit vicitms of Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.



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 (http://www.lbpost.com/newsdesk.php?id=3767&item=456), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (http://www.theliberaloc.com/2009/10/16/pelosi-to-keynote-oc-truman-dinner/), Governor Jerry Brown (http://www.theliberaloc.com/2011/10/12/jerry-brown-talks-education-at-dpoc-truman-dinner/), 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 2009 and 2010, IYCA performed at several events hosted by law professors and politicians involved with national causes such as UCI Law School Dean Erwin Cherminsky, the Honorable Sheila Prell Sonenshine, Fullerton City Councilmember Pam Keller, La Habra City Councilmember Rose Espinoza, Santa Ana Unifed School District Board Member John Palacio, and Huntington Beach Union High School District member Susan Henry. In February 2010, IYCA musicians Inje Lee, Neeraj Jain, and Sean Choi performed in the 37th Anniversary Celebration of Roe vs Wade hosted by Planned Parenthood. In May 2010, IYCA was invited to perform for Vice President Joe Biden in a special Middle East conference in Beverly Hills.



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 performing for other nonprofit charities as volunteers.

In March 2011, ICTV featured IYCA’s work in the community in a special television feature: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFL8ba7yR8E.



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. And not just through music.

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 and meaningful causes.

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.



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

The tour would 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 as part of this grand Cultural Olympiad.

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

The tour was cancelled in March 2012 by the LOCOG: only musicians from the UK would be officially invited to be part of the Cultural Olympiad in London. While no American musicians were ultimately invited by the LOCOG for the London 2012 Games, IYCA continues to receive invites for international music festivals and cultural exchanges.


GRUMO FESTIVAL 2012 & 2013

Every summer, I look forwards to making new friends, performing new music, and performing in new places. For me, that magic happens each summer in Italy.

To live, laugh, and love is to have fun. It is the European way of life, and I want IYCA musicians to experience it. This summer will be no different.

Italians value simplicity and sophistication in taste. For those who daydream about la docle vita (the sweet life), join me in Italy. Welcome to IYCA’s summer home, the Grumo Music Festival 2013. This year, the festival takes us to Venice, Tesero, Bologna, Assisi, and Binetto. I can’t wait to explore and revisit Italy.

Picture a music festival nestled in the Italian Dolomites (Alps), where faculty and students rehearse, perform, and dine side-by-side. Founded by an Italian composer and pianist, Giuseppe Lupis understands how to celebrate music: with innovative programming. Since 2008, he has been welcoming musicians worldwide to his festival.

IYCA’s journey to the Grumo Festival began in 2012. In our inaugural journey, fourteen musicians and parents travelled with Dean Anderson and myself to Rome on route to Bari and Grumo. Our plan was simple: relax and sightsee before the work began.

Rome was exactly as I remembered it, hypnotic and mesmerizing. We did all the touristy things, visiting important historical landmark such as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Novona, Galleria Borghese, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican City. Awe inspired by the ancient sites, relics, and architecture, our 2012 visit to Rome was a true history lesson. Little did any of us know Pope Benedict XVI would step down from his seat of power in 2013.

After two days in Rome, the journey to Bari began. Greeted with warmth by Grumo Festival founder Giuseppe Lupis, our next week would be filled with great music and unforgettable friendships.

In music, art, and fashion, Italians are at the forefront of true innovation. Their devotion, values, and traditions give life to great work. The Italians take great pride in their work, and Grumo Festival 2013 is a testament to their creative spirit and artistic temperament.

Grumo Festival is IYCA’s summer home. We are excited to be invited back, especially our last-minute confirmation on performances in Tuscany and Umbria.

Join Dean, Junko, and myself this July 2013 in Italy.

See you there!

Albert Wu
(May 2013)


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