National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

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

NYO-USA 2013 Musicians by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story"
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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.

Joshua Bell and Valery Gergiev with NYO-USA 2013 by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

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.

Gil Shaham and David Roberston with NYO-USA 2014, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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In 2014, NYO-USA traversed the country on an eight-city, coast-to-coast concert tour with conductor David Robertson and soloist Gil Shaham.

YUNDI and Charles Dutoit with NYO-USA 2015, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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The orchestra added more stamps to its passport with a seven-city tour of China in 2015 with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI.

Sean Shepherd and Samuel Adams by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Samuel Adams's "Radial Play"
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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.

Tan Dun and Charles Dutoit with NYO-USA 2015, Jennifer Taylor, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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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.

Improvisation session with cellist Jeffrey Zeigler by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Residencies

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

NYO-USA 2014 Violins, Carnegie Hall, NYO-USA, 2014, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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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."

Moscow's Red Square by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Tours: 2013

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

Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10
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NYO-USA was the first US orchestra to perform in Mariinsky II, the Mariinsky’s new opera house in St. Petersburg.

Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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Making the most of their time, NYO-USA members performed on the street while visiting Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall in London by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

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.

NYO-USA 2014 at Carnegie Hall by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

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."  

NYO-USA: Gershwin's Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture for Orchestra (2014-10-31)Carnegie Hall

Blueberry Festival in North Carolina, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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While in Boone, North Carolina, the orchestra visited the Blue Ridge Conservancy's Blueberry Festival before performing as part of An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Millennium Park in Chicago by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"
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In Chicago, the orchestra performed in Millennium Park as the sun set over the city’s skyline.

Traveling through Wyoming, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the musicians visited Grand Teton National Park, a first visit to a National Park for many in the orchestra.

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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The 2014 tour ended at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

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 2015 at the Old Shanghai Tea House, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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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.

Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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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.

Hong Kong Cultural Center, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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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.

Interactive Performance by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

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.” 

Side-by-side in St. Petersburg, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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In 2013, NYO-USA participated in a side-by-side open rehearsal with Capella Taurida, an orchestra for young musicians in St. Petersburg.

Side-by-side in San Francisco, Chris Lee, From the collection of: Carnegie Hall
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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-USA 2014 by Chris LeeCarnegie Hall

Bizet's "Farandole"
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“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."

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.

carnegiehall.org/nyousa
facebook.com/nyousa
youtube.com/nyousa
#NYOUSA on Twitter

Credits: All media
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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