Since becoming music director of the Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic last season, Italian conductor Christian Capocaccia has aimed to “develop the organization to a higher professional level,” he says. “It’s incredible because they gave me a chance to build something.
“Music-making is something I really enjoy but [running the SYAP] is different. I get the feeling I am contributing in a meaningful way. It’s not music-making. It’s using music as an instrument for something bigger, to plant a nourishing seed in the lives of young people.”
Currently, Capocaccia is reorganizing the board, incorporating professional enrichment opportunities, developing a summer festival and shaking up auditions and musical education, all to “try and be one of the best programs in the [United] States.”
To achieve this, he is inspired by the example of the Orquesta Simon Bolivar of Venezuela, a youth orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel that is a key result of “El Sistema,” a national music education and training program. “As the Sistema proves, if we can take the musicians and teach them at a higher level, they will have better access to music and will use music as a tool in their lifelong education.”