The Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena is delighted to announce that one of our own has been inducted into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America National Alumni Hall of Fame!
Renowned violinist Earl Carlyss was among the inductees into the Hall of Fame at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago this month. A Pasadena Club member in the 1950s, the Chicago-born Carlyss decided to become a professional violinist after winning a local competition at the age of 10. He was further spurred in this pursuit by the Club’s director, Tom Thompson, who encouraged the young Carlyss to apply for the Epstein Fine Arts Fund Grant, which was administered by the Boys Clubs of America as the organization was known at the time. Carlyss won the grant at age 12 and soon after moved to France to study at the Paris Conservatoire in 1955. After two years, he returned to the United States and entered the famed Juilliard School in New York. He made his debut recital in 1962 and became a member of the Juilliard String Quartet in 1966.
Carlyss remained a member of the quartet for the next 20 years, performing more than 2,100 concerts and making 100 recordings with his fellow musicians during that time. Along the way, the quartet won three Grammy awards for “Best Chamber Music Recording.” Carlyss has also served as Director of the Aspen Center for Advanced Quartet Studies, one of the nation’s premier chamber music programs, and was the first holder of the Sidney M Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. Today, he teaches violin and chamber music at Juilliard. He is married to pianist Ann Schein.
Carlyss joined opera singer Denyce Graves, PGA Golfer Robert Gamez, Philanthropist Monique Mosley, Entertainer Trey Songz, Costume Designer Ruth E. Carter, NFL Hall of Famer Andre Reed, business executive Larry Young, and WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon in receiving this honor, reserved for those alumni who have achieved success in their chosen career fields.