Saturday, January 26, 2008
Lionel Bringuier
Lionel Bringuier and the concept for the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall were born in the same year. Bringuier was born in Nice, France, but a precocious passion for music would inexorably link him to the Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California. At 21, he is the youngest conductor to lead an orchestra on the stage, one of the main venues of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Bringuier beat 150 applicants from around the world to become Assistant Conductor of the LAPhil. He applied when he was the assistant conductor of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris and a winner of the prestigious Besancon Young Conductors Competition. Bringuier honed much of his career in the "City of Lights" -- starting when he was 5 years old, playing cello for the Countess of Paris.

Before snagging the position, Bringuier had never traveled to the United States, much less the "City of Angels." Now it is his home as he serves his two-year appointment, complete with an office featuring orange leather sofas, Esa-Pekka Salonen as a colleague, and his old friends Mozart and Strauss. Bringuier sums it up best when he says, "Age isn't important, music is."

Update: Because of scheduling difficulties, today's interview did not take place. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Tadashi Nakamura and Yasmin Fedda
The Short Film Category at Sundance is full of talented filmmakers, and Tadashi Nakamura and Yasmin Fedda, both 27, are two of the young standouts with their powerful social commentaries.

Nakamura is as a fourth-generation Japanese-American and second-generation filmmaker. His introduction to filmmaking happened at the super-ripe age of 9 days old, in a film directed by his dad, award-winning director Robert A. Nakamura. Now he stands on his own with his film "Pilgrimage," a tribute to a small group of Japanese-Americans in the late 1960s who transformed an abandoned World War II internment camp into a symbol of solidarity.

Fedda has traveled around the world to produce documentaries on subjects like the Santeria religion and colonial stipends in Syria. She is a Lebanese-Canadian filmmaker currently living in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is the scene of her latest film, "Breadmakers," about a community of workers with learning disabilities who make organic bread for local shops and cafes.


Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Marianna Palka
The U.S. Drama category is one of the most prestigious at Sundance. At 26, Marianna Palka is the youngest filmmaker with "Good Dick," a modern-day fairy tale of a boy who fails in love with a reclusive girl. Palka directed and wrote "Good Dick," and she stars in the film alongside her longtime boyfriend, Jason Ritter.

Palka got to Sundance by way of Scotland. She grew up without a television, but that didn't stifle her love for entertainment. She started acting with The Atlantic Theatre Company and made films as a teenager.

Palka already has been compared to the likes of Woody Allen, using her talents in front of and behind the camera.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Monday, January 7, 2008
Lauren Melodia
Have you seen an eggplant before? What about an acorn squash? I have, and you may have, too. But Lauren Melodia has found a lot of people who haven't.

In an effort to help her community eat healthier and fresher foods, she started a Community Supported Agriculture project. Every week, Melodia gives Bedford-Stuyvesant residents the opportunity to buy food they can't get anywhere else in their Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood: fresh produce. She encourages her neighbors to stop eating food out of a box that has ingredients they can't pronounce.

CSAs are popping up countrywide because they're a mutually beneficial partnership between a local farm and a community. The residents provide a stable financial base for the farm. In turn, the farm provides affordable produce for the people -- food they might have never seen before, but can certainly pronounce.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Teen AIDS Ambassadors
Santa Monica, California, is far from Tanzania. But a group of high schoolers there makes the distance seem closer. The Crossroads Teen AIDS Ambassadors are the youngest certified educator-activists in the country working toward the eradication of the disease.

The California students bring their mountainous mission to Africa. They travel to Tanzania and other countries to help tell their young counterparts about the history of the pandemic, the virology of HIV, and the importance of safe sex. Kids from Tanzania have come to California to go through the program to experience and see inspiration of a life minus the disease.

The hours are long, the information is daunting, and the trek is substantial. But from the AIDS Ambassadors' perspectives, even their small hands can help start move the mountain.

Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview
ABOUT THIS BLOG

Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. CNN Anchor Nicole Lapin introduces them here, then interviews them Fridays on CNN.com Live. Log on in the 3 p.m. ET hour to catch the interviews.
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