Youth orchestra heads to Europe

A lucky group of 109 young musicians have been selected to tour Europe with National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Not only do they get to see the world but they also get to work with top conductors Christoph Eschenbach and Valery Gergiev, and play with outstanding pianists Pianists Emanuel Ax and Denis Matsuev.

Performances for the orchestra – whose members are aged 16-19 – are planned in New York, Amsterdam, Montpellier, Copenhagen, and Prague. The programme includes Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 22 in E-flat Major and Bruckner’s Symphony No 6 in A Major. The Concertgebouw concert in Amsterdam will be live-streamed via

‘The musicians who make up NYO-USA’s 2016 roster are truly among the very best,’ said Carnegie Hall executive and artistic director Clive Gillinson. ‘We are excited to embark on another wonderful summer of music-making, with these young artists serving as great musical ambassadors for the US as we travel abroad.’ Carnegie Hall is the driving force behind the NYO-USA project, and selects the musicians who take part.

NYO-USA musicians are picked from the top young performers in the USA, in a programme that is free for all participants. For 38 of the members this is their second season with NYO-USA, while for the rest it marks their first appearance with the orchestra. The young musicians will also get to play with local young musicians, and take part in community performances during the trip.

James Ross, director of orchestral activities at the University of Maryland, leads NYO-USA rehearsals at Purchase College in New York State for a fourth year. In a new addition for 2016 two apprentice composers and two apprentice conductors will take part in the programme.

Also new for 2016 is the NYO2 scheme, which brings young players aged 14-17 into the rehearsal process. There is a special focus on picking musicians from communities who are underrepresented in classical music. NYO2 participants will work closely with Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero to prepare them for future careers as professional musicians. NYO2 participants will then play alongside Philadelphia Orchestra in a special concert on 2 July.