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Sonic Youths: International Laureates Festival 2008

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Elena Kawazu takes her bow at Disney Hall.

They’re some of the most incredibly talented young musicians in the world, and every summer, they come to L.A. to dazzle us with their virtuosity. There doesn’t seem to be anything the Young Artists International, also known as I Palpiti, can’t do, but their gifts far transcend technical wizardry. Their soulful, passionate musicianship is astonishing, leading you to believe that they’re far older than their years. Take young Alexandru Tomescu, the state soloist of Romania, who was given the priceless Stradivarius “Elder” violin by his country’s culture ministry. Or Catharina Chen, Grand Prize winner of the third International Gnessin Violin Competition in Moscow, who also copped “Best Artistic Performance” honors. Or tiny Elena Kawazu, an I Palpiti “Junior,” who last year won second prize and a special award at the Fifth International Louis Spohr Competition as the youngest contestant — at the age of 9. Directed by Eduard and Laura Schmieder, Young Artists International was formed 11 years ago to “continue the great tradition of classical music through artistic promotion and career advancement of exceptionally gifted musicians,” and, in the words of founding member Lord Yehudi Menuhin, “The organization consists of active and practicing musicians following the dictates of their conscience; i.e., their responsibility to the younger generations. I endorse it with all my heart.” This week, the International Laureates Festival 2008 concludes with Eduard Schmieder leading the I Palpiti Orchestra in Purcell-Britten’s Chacony; Arnold’s Concerto for Two Violins, featuring Tomescu and Chen as soloists; an appearance by little Elena Kawazu; and Grieg’s Chamber Symphony in G minor. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., July 26, 8 p.m.; $20-$80. (310) 480-3232 or www.YoungArtists.org.