Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A.

Written by Andy Fein and Angie Newgren

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? I don't even have to fill in the answer. Every musician already knows this joke. How about if you're a teen, ages sixteen to nineteen? The answer's the same, except now you can become part of the National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A.
Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall has established an American National Youth Orchestra. NYO-USA is for young people, ages sixteen to nineteen, that are citizens or residents anywhere in the United States. NYO-USA will be a full orchestra of around 120 students. Standard orchestral instrumentation is used, and there will also be a spot for an orchestral piano/keyboard. Rehearsing in New York, the 2013 National Youth Orchestra has performances scheduled in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London.
And, for the first season, they will be conducted by world renowned conductor Maestro Valery Gergiev!
Maestro Valery Gergiev

Wait a minute, aren't there lots of orchestras available for youth in the US? What makes this one different?
True, there are many orchestras available for youth. Most are local, but there are also festivals such as Interlochen, Bowdoin, Tanglewood, Madeline Island, and Aspen.
What makes this one different is the money. For programs like the ones listed above, the expenses add up quickly. For NYO-USA, tuition is covered, traveling with the orchestra is covered, and lodging is covered. Students that are accepted will only need to pay for travel expenses to and from New York. For traveling around the globe and taking notes from Gergiev, I'd say that's a fair deal!

Students also do not need to travel for auditions. Auditions will be held by video. Applications will be accepted June 1 - September 7, 2012. So start practicing.......NOW!

Are there any restrictions? Yes. Only the best players (ages 16 to 19) will be picked. However, if a young player is attending college or conservatory as an instrumental performance major, he or she will not be accepted. Why not? This opportunity is for pre-college musicians, and for those highly accomplished college musicians who have chosen to study something other than performance. Those who choose to study instrumental performance in college have their own unique opportunities provided by their conservatory or school. Score one for science and liberal arts majors!

How did this idea come to life? One name: Clive Gillison. Gillison, Carnegie's executive and artistic director, played cello for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for several years. He wanted the same opportunity for the youth here in the United States.

What's up for the first year? The program will start the summer of 2013, running from June 30th to July 23rd. As mentioned earlier, performances will be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London. The first year, Valery Gergiev will conduct the NYO-USA, and each year there will be a new conductor. The concert repertoire will include Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, as well as solo material that has not yet been announced.  The  performers will be rehearsing for two weeks at the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York. You can learn more at Carnegie Hall's Residency and Tour schedule for the NYO.

The second movement of the Shostakovich Symphony 10

All the pertinent information is available at Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the USA webpage. Yes, there will be heavy competition for the 120 seats, but someone will fill each and every one of those seats, so it may as well be you. Get Cracking, and make sure to get your passport ready!

Here's more about Maestro Valery Gergiev.

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