National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Carnegie Hall

Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young players from across the country to form NYO-USA.

Following a two-week training residency with professional orchestra musicians, these remarkable teenagers not only have the opportunity to play on the famed stage of Carnegie Hall, but also embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, while also serving as dynamic musical ambassadors for the United States.

Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story"
Guest Artists
Under the baton of Maestro Valery Gergiev, NYO-USA embarked on its inaugural concert tour in 2013, visiting Moscow, St. Petersburg, London, and Washington, DC, with soloist Joshua Bell.

In 2014, NYO-USA traversed the country on an eight-city, coast-to-coast concert tour with conductor David Robertson and soloist Gil Shaham.

The orchestra added more stamps to its passport with a seven-city tour of China in 2015 with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI.

Carnegie Hall commissions a new work for the orchestra each season.

Sean Shepherd (left) was the commissioned composer in 2013, and Samuel Adams (right) was commissioned in 2014.

Samuel Adams's "Radial Play"

Passacaglia: "Secret of Wind and Birds" by Tan Dun, commissioned for NYO-USA's 2015 tour of China, combines the ancient sounds of birdsong with the modern smartphone, a new instrument for the orchestra.

In addition to rehearsals, the musicians explore what it means to be a dynamic, flexible, and community-minded musician in the 21st century.

In 2014, NYO-USA introduced itself to the world with videos devised by and featuring its members. In this video, two rival gangs of violinists meet for a late-night "rumble."

Tours: 2013
In 2013, the orchestra traveled to Russia and the United Kingdom for its inaugural tour. 

NYO-USA was the first US orchestra to perform in Mariinsky II, the Mariinsky’s new opera house in St. Petersburg.

Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10

Making the most of their time, NYO-USA members performed on the street while visiting Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

The inaugural tour ended at the BBC Proms in London, where NYO-USA performed in Royal Albert Hall. Watch this short documentary to get a look inside the orchestra's adventure.

Tours: 2014
In 2014, the orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut as part of an eight-city, coast-to-coast tour. The concert closed with NYO-USA’s signature encore, a special arrangement of Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess."  

While in Boone, North Carolina, the orchestra visited the Blue Ridge Conservancy's Blueberry Festival before performing as part of An Appalachian Summer Festival.

In Chicago, the orchestra performed in Millennium Park as the sun set over the city’s skyline.

Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"

In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the musicians visited Grand Teton National Park, a first visit to a National Park for many in the orchestra.

The 2014 tour ended at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

Tours: 2015
NYO-USA embarked on a seven-city concert tour of China in 2015, visiting its most important music centers as one of the newly designated Cultural Pillars of the US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE).

NYO-USA musicians act as cultural ambassadors wherever they go. Interacting with audiences, fellow young musicians, and the public at large, these bright young people promote mutual understanding between countries.

Touring the globe with more than 100 musicians and nearly 40 staff members is no easy feat. The production team makes sure the orchestra loads in and out of each venue with ease.

Charles Dutoit joins the orchestra in waving goodbye to China after its final concert of the 2015 tour.

NYO-USA is styled by Fred Bernstein.

Community Engagement
NYO-USA performed an interactive concert at Carnegie Hall created in partnership with the New York City Department of Homeless Services in 2014. While on tour, NYO-USA members sent digital postcards back to the kids. Violist Arjun Gangly wrote, “I hope you are still interested in learning viola. It is incredibly rewarding, and I really think you would love it.” 

In 2013, NYO-USA participated in a side-by-side open rehearsal with Capella Taurida, an orchestra for young musicians in St. Petersburg.

In 2014, the orchestra participated in side-by-side rehearsals and performances with kids from El Sistema-inspired music programs in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.

“NYO, above anything else, has helped change my view on my life," said 2014 bassoonist Nathan Kirchhoff, "and opened my mind to new possibilities of ways to live and ways to become a musician."

Bizet's "Farandole"
Credits: Story

Video, blogs, and more information about NYO-USA are available online. Be sure to follow the orchestra on its tour of Europe during the summer of 2016.
#NYOUSA on Twitter

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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