NYO-USA is a new program for orchestral players ages 16–19 created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Each summer, starting in 2013, a group of the country’s most talented young instrumentalists will come together to interact with each other, learn from an all-star faculty, play under the direction of a celebrated conductor, and tour to different parts of the world, playing in some of the most famous concert halls. As a member of NYO-USA, you will be a musical ambassador, representing your home school/ensemble, your state/region, and your country.
NYO-USA is open to US citizens or permanent residents (Green Card holders) from all backgrounds. You must be between the ages of 16 and 19 during the summer of your participation. For 2014, this means your birthdate must be between July 1, 1994, and June 30, 1998. Additionally, if you are enrolled full time in a college-level conservatory or music department with instrumental performance as your major (or intended field of study) you are not eligible to join NYO-USA. (Please click here for further information about eligibility.)
The mission of NYO-USA is to offer a unique experience to some of America’s best young players. This kind of opportunity, while available in part at some conservatories and university music programs, has never been offered to American musicians in their pre-college years, nor to those who are highly accomplished players but choose not to make performance the main focus of their studies in college.
NYO-USA has no permanent music director and will be led by a different renowned conductor each summer. For 2013, this will be Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who is music director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, one of America’s leading conductors, David Robertson, music director of the Saint Louis Symphony, will lead the NYO-USA.
NYO-USA will be in residence at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), for the first two weeks of the program. Located in Westchester County, 30 miles north of New York City on 550 scenic acres, Purchase College has outstanding rehearsal and practice facilities, including a conservatory music building and a highly regarded, multi-venue performing arts center, where all full orchestral rehearsals will take place. A state-of-the-art residence hall (“Fort Awesome”) will house players during the first two weeks of the program.
Musical preparation during NYO-USA’s residency will be overseen by orchestra director James Ross who will lead the full ensemble in initial readings and rehearsals. Working with individual instrument groups will be a “dream team” of principal players from top American orchestras, who will coach sectional rehearsals and share perspectives on their lives as professional musicians.
In addition to giving concerts at SUNY Purchase, NYO-USA will travel in 2013 to Washington, DC, for a Kennedy Center concert and then to Europe for concerts in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London. In 2014, the orchestra will embark on a coast-to-coast US tour, including a concert at Carnegie Hall. In future years, NYO-USA will tour to different parts of the world.
All members of NYO-USA will be required to have a passport, valid for a period of six months after the end of any international visit (i.e., through January 2014 for the 2013 tour). If you have not already obtained a passport or need to renew it at the time of your acceptance into NYO-USA, you will be asked to do so immediately. Any visas needed for NYO-USA tour travel will be arranged by Carnegie Hall, provided you supply required documentation in a timely fashion. An official government-issued ID other than a passport will also be acceptable for US travel during the 2014 tour.
During the summer of 2013, Carnegie Hall’s performance spaces will be closed as part of the final phase of an extensive renovation project affecting the entire backstage area. Summer 2014 will mark the first annual performance by NYO-USA at Carnegie Hall.
For 2013, participating musicians must be available from June 30 through July 23. Because of the intensive nature of the program, no absences for any part of this period will be permitted. For 2014, although the program dates have not been finalized, the period will fall within the month of July and may extend through the first week of August.
The NYO-USA program will include social and recreational time, seminars on broader topics relating to the tour programs and itinerary, and opportunities for cultural exchange and sightseeing while on tour.
NYO-USA will be a full-sized symphony orchestra of about 120 players. Musicians may apply on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, harp, percussion (including timpani), and orchestral keyboard.
Please see application instructions.
Yes, but a separate application/audition video is required for each instrument. Please note that auxiliary instruments (such as piccolo, English horn, and bass clarinet) do not require a separate application. However, if you are proficient on one of these instruments, we encourage you to include the applicable excerpt (to be provided by Carnegie Hall) on your audition video.
Applications will be reviewed based on the applicant’s technical ability, musicianship, passion, willingness to collaborate, intellectual curiosity, willingness to travel, and social and emotional maturity. As a national orchestra, NYO-USA expects to include a broad range of highly qualified participants from across the country to reflect the exceptional diversity of the United States.
Yes, for a maximum of three years, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. Please note that all players will have to re-apply and submit a new audition video each year.
NYO-USA is a tuition-free program for all musicians. The program provides room and board during the residency and covers all expenses related to instructional, rehearsal, performance, and tour activities (including tour-related visa costs, airfares, and other transportation, as well as hotels and meals).
There is an application fee of $30, payable online at the time you complete your application. Additionally, accepted applicants will be responsible for arranging their own travel to and from the New York City area at the start and conclusion of the program, and for the costs of obtaining/renewing their passport.
For those applicants who demonstrate substantial financial need, the application fee may be waived upon completion of a waiver request form. Carnegie Hall staff will respond to waiver requests within 10 business days of the receipt of a completed form and provide further instructions to applicants whose requests are approved. The deadline for completion of applications with or without a fee waiver, for summer 2014, is November 15, 2013.
Financial aid may also be available to successful applicants for whom the travel costs associated with participation in NYO-USA present a financial hardship. Additional details will be available upon acceptance.