Young Musicians Foundation Celebrates 49th Annual Gala



The 49th annual "Command Performance" Benefit Gala of the Young Musicians Foundation honors Grammy and Emmy-winning composer/conductor Mort Lindsey and the Beverly Hills Courier ‘s March and Linda Schwartz on Friday, November 21st in the International Ballroom of Merv Griffin’s Beverly Hilton Hotel. Carl Reiner hosts the evening; Merv Griffin is Guest Star entertainer as well as Gala Vice-Chair.

This year’s baton relay stars Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) members and guest conductors John Frizzell, Laura Karpman, and Dennis McCarthy. The program includes Joana Carneiro (winner of the YMF/BMI Foundation Lionel Newman Conducting Grant) conducting the YMF Debut Orchestra; 8-year-old violinist, Elizabeth Basoff-Darskaia, recipient of the YMF Martin Rackin Memorial Scholarship; former Debut Orchestra Concertmaster Neli Nikolaeva; and guest trumpeter Chris Botti. Darice Richman Cooper is Gala Chair and Gail Purse is Producer/Director of the black-tie evening.

The 2003 Magic Baton, YMF’s highest accolade to a musician of note, will be presented to Mort Lindsey in recognition of his illustrious career as composer, conductor, pianist and music director in television, motion pictures and recordings. Mort Lindsey won a Grammy for his musical direction of "Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall" and an Emmy for musical direction of "Barbra Streisand in Central Park." For more than 20 years, he was the orchestra leader of "The Merv Griffin Show." Recently, he served as associate conductor on the Barbra Streisand concert tour. He also received several gold records for his work with Aaron Neville, Willie Nelson and Elton John. Previous Magic Baton honorees have included Elmer Bernstein, Merv Griffin, John Lithgow, Wes Craven, Pete Rugolo, Henry Mancini, Dudley Moore, and Carl Reiner.

March and Linda Schwartz will be honored with the YMF Humanitarian Award for their generous support of the arts community. They join a Humanitarian Hall of Fame which features such previous honorees as Wallis Annenberg, Gregory Nava, Audrey and Robert Loggia, and Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Corky Hale Stoller. The legendary Editor and Publisher of the Beverly Hills Courier since 1965, March Schwartz has been a member of the White House Press Corps since 1978, covering international and domestic trips with Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton.

The Gala Command Performance benefit kicks off the new season of YMF activities. For nearly half a century the proceeds of the evening have been used to fund the Foundation’s extensive programs for young artists. During its history, YMF has nurtured a number of international stars including Michael Tillson Thomas, Andre Previn and Mona Golabek.

For ticket information, contact YMF at 310/859-7668 or go to