Michael Stanley, Music Director and Conductor

Steven Kerstein, Conductor Laureate


The Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hennings-Fischer Foundation are pleased to accept applications for the upcoming 23rd annual Young Artists Competition. The competition is open to all instrumental (except piano) applicants age 30 and under as of March 4, 2023.  Applications are accepted online through YAPTracker.  Click here for details.  The application fee for 2023 has been held to only $25, and financial assistance/fee waivers are available.

This year’s competition will not include the opera category.  Please check back in 2024!

Preliminary rounds will take place on March 2nd and/or 3rd, with finals on Saturday, March 4th, 2023. Both the preliminary and final rounds will take place at the Colburn School (200 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012).  The finals will be held as a public concert with an audience in Mayman Hall at the Colburn School at 7:00pm on Saturday, March 4, 2023.


The Burbank Philharmonic is proud to announce the next installment of the Discovery Conductor Project, which began in 2019.  This unique program will allow a select number of talented local high school students the opportunity to conduct the Burbank Philharmonic in rehearsal and performance while gaining valuable experience in all aspects of the music director’s job by studying with Music Director Michael Stanley and Conductor Laureate Steven Kerstein.


Applicants must be 18 years of age or younger AND enrolled in a high school in the greater Los Angeles area.  There is no application fee.  Click here to download the application form.  COVID-19 protocols will be followed for safety.


For questions, please contact Michael Stanley at mstanley@burbankphilharmonic.com



The Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hennings-Fischer Foundation are pleased to announce the results of the 22nd Annual Young Artists Competition held on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Arcadia.  The Finalists were Michael Salas, clarinet; Julia Angelov, violin; Wenlan Jackson, violin; as well as Emma Berggren and Lily Smith, sopranos.  The Grand Prize Winners were (above, left to right) Julia Angelov, violin, and Wenlan Jackson, violin, pictured with Maestro Michael Stanley.  These very talented young artists will be invited to perform with the Burbank Philharmonic at a future concert and will receive a cash honorarium.


The 21st Hennings-Fischer Young Artists Competition was held on Saturday, December 4th following auditions on Thursday and Friday evenings.  A total of 7 finalists were selected to perform on Saturday to be scored by judges.  Due to the small venue and COVID limitations, a public audience was not possible.  Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director & Conductor Michael Stanley was the Master of Ceremonies.


Ann Kuo, flute
Talar Arslanian, soprano
Alena Hove, violin
Emily Tate Daniel, soprano
Catherine Psarakis, soprano
Fiona Shea, violin
Alissa Goretsky, soprano

Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra wishes to thank the Judges for the competition.

Maestro Fung Ho, Head Judge
Conductor Laureate Steven Kerstein
Professor Désirée LaVertu
Professor Rodger Guerrero
Mr. Michael Arnold
Mr. Larry Lippold


Congratulations to the Grand Prize Winners of the

21st Annual Hennings-Fischer Young Artists Competition

pictured, left to right, with Maestro Michael Stanley.                Catherine Psarakis, soprano                                                                                                                               Alena Hove, violin                                                                                                                                     Fiona Shea, violin 

These very talented young artists will be invited to perform with the Burbank Philharmonic at a future concert and will receive a cash honorarium.  Thanks to Joanne Wilborn for the excellent photography.

THE HENNINGS-FISCHER FOUNDATION was established in 2001 with the legacy of violinist, conductor, teacher Noumi Fischer (1907-1995) and his wife, fellow violinist and teacher, Audrey Hennings Fischer (1919-2000). Their devoted musical careers and modest lifestyle built the endowment through which grants are being made to teaching and performing musical groups, to charitable organizations supporting individual music students of high promise, and for assistance to humane, environmental and homeless causes. 





November 2020 marked the 30th Anniversary of the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra!  A donor and grant supported 501(c)(3) organization, the Burbank Phil is dedicated to bringing world-class music free of charge to the entire Southern California community.  For a quarter century, the Burbank Phil has met this challenge by performing for more than 125,000 attendees and providing musical outreach to students at Burbank schools.


Originally founded as the Burbank Chamber Orchestra in 1991 under the direction of Maestro Steven Kerstein (Conductor and Music Director), the orchestra debuted in 1992. 


In 2002, in recognition of the breadth and scope of  the music performed by the orchestra and the strength of its musicians, the Burbank Chamber Orchestra officially changed its name to the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra!


The City of Burbank and its more than 110,000 residents have played host to the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra for the past 30 years. At this time, the Burbank Phil is the only orchestra in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys that provides professional, high quality concerts to the residents and visitors of Burbank and surrounding communities without charge. An expanding reputation and current economic conditions have caused the number of concert attendees to continue to grow.


The Burbank Phil now attracts regular attendance from neighboring cities around the San Fernando Valley, as a result of vanishing performing arts organizations, venues and as part of school curriculum.



The Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization (IRS ID #95-4364898) that depends entirely on the generous support of donors.


There are many benefits of becoming a donor including advanced notification of performances, name listing in programs for each performance, advanced and reserved tickets to concerts,donation level premiums, and most of all - the satisfaction of knowing that your donation is providing wonderful music to families and individuals throughout the Southland.


To be “instrumental” in keeping the music playing, make a tax-deductible donation to the orchestra today!

Leave a Legacy


Include the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra in your Estate Planning and reap tax and income benefits, while helping your orchestra to thrive.  Choose your legacy with a simple gift in your will or trust, or designate the Burbank Phil as a beneficiary.


Ralphs Grocery Stores
Community Rewards Program

Once you register and designate the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ralphs Community Rewards Program will donate 1% to 4% of your grocery bill to the BPO, at no cost to you.  If you already have a Ralphs Rewards online account,  visit www.ralphs.com and make the selection of BPO (#UT566).



Hennings-Fischer Young Artists’ Competition
In 2001, the Burbank Phil partnered with the Hennings-Fischer Foundation to launch its first annual “Young Artists Competition.” The competition drew competitors from all over the nation its first year and has continued to gain momentum every year since inception with more than 45 applicants in 2012 vying for one of eight finalist positions. Winners in the vocalist and instrumental category each year are awarded honorariums and later perform as guest artists with the orchestra.

View photos from the past competitions here. 


Musical Menagerie” Hands On Opportunity

In addition to participation at dress rehearsals, opportunities for children have taken additional forms. The “Musical Menagerie” instrument hands-on experience, prior to each concert, allows the young and young at heart the opportunity to try out instruments provided by Pedersen’s Band & Orchestra, under the guidance of the Orchestra musicians.


Picture This

A feature of the Family Concert since 2007 is “Picture This”.  A few weeks before the concert, a recording of the music to be played at the family concert is played in two local high school photography classes.   The students then translate their impressions of the music into photographic images.  The student entries are judged to determine which best represent the music, and the images are displayed at the Family Concert.   Monetary prizes are awarded to the winning students.


Music in the Classroom

Art and music interpretation exhibitions by Burbank Phil chamber musicians are performed in selected elementary school assembly programs.   The Burbank Phil has also partnered with Woodbury University to bring chamber music to the campus of Woodbury University for a performance in September 2009.


Amnesty for Instruments

This program, originating in 2010, is designed to bring donated instruments into the hands of students of our community.   Through collection efforts by the Burbank Phil, partnering with the Burbank Unified School District, Amnesty for Instruments accepts donations of previously owned musical instruments of all types (except pianos and drums due to storage restrictions).  This is a tax-deductible donation and donors receive a valuation form at the time of donation to use for tax deduction purposes.  This program is expected to be on-going in order to ensure music programs can continue in the classroom.


Dress Rehearsal Invitations

February 2003 saw the expansion of the BPO’s Youth Outreach Program as third grade students were invited to attend dress performance rehearsals to meet the musicians and ask questions of the solo artists and Maestro Kerstein. The Youth Outreach Program has been enhanced each year since and is now reaching students in grades K-12 throughout the Burbank Unified School District.



P.O. Box 6345

Burbank, CA 91510-9868

818 -771-7888 (voicemail)


General Information


Maestro Michael Stanley


Maestro Laureate Steven Kerstein





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