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Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute Announces 2014 - 2015 Season

  (For Immediate Release: January 29, 2014, NEW YORK)—Carnegie Hall today announced a wide range of creative and innovative music education and community programs offered by the Weill Music Institute (WMI) throughout the 2014–2015 season, specially designed for students, teachers, families, young musicians, and audience members of all ages. WMI’s programs—most offered at low or no cost to participants—feature collaborations with some of the world’s finest artists and ensembles both on the stages at Carnegie Hall and in schools and communities. Expected to reach close to 450,000 people in the coming season, WMI’s programs and online initiatives are designed to inspire the next generation of musical artists, nurture tomorrow’s talent, and contribute to the advancement of music education in the New York metropolitan area, across the US, and around the world.

In fall 2014, the opening of Carnegie Hall’s Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing will provide a new home for the Weill Music Institute’s programs, bringing many of them into inspirational spaces in the landmark building for the first time. Young musicians, families, students, and teachers will have the opportunity to share musical experiences in 24 world-class spaces dedicated to music education on Carnegie Hall’s upper floors. Activities housed in the new facilities will include interactive and educational musical events for families; rehearsals by students, WMI artists, and fellows of Ensemble ACJW; workshops and master classes for young musicians; and professional-development activities for educators, teaching artists, and performers. Expanded Carnegie Hall family programming next season will include WMI’s first Family Day in September, part of the opening festivities for the new education wing. This annual free event will invite children and their caretakers to enjoy a full day of interactive, fun musical activities.

In the preceding weeks, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA)—a major initiative launched by WMI in summer 2013 to audience and critical acclaim—will make its Carnegie Hall debut on July 22, part of an eight-city, coast-to-coast US tour, led by conductor David Robertson and featuring violinist Gil Shaham. The 2014 tour will also include appearances in Purchase, NY; Lenox, Massachusetts; Boone, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Teton Village, Wyoming; and Sonoma County and Los Angeles, California. In summer 2015, NYO-USA will embark on its first tour to China.

Among other highlights of WMI’s 2014–2015 season, celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will engage with a number of education and community programs as part of her season-long Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, including Count Me In for middle school choir singers in New York City schools; the Lullaby Project, a songwriting workshop for expectant and new mothers; and a series of master classes for young up-and-coming singers.

WMI also takes part in Carnegie Hall’s citywide festival, UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa in fall 2014, with programming to include a Family Concert featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, free Neighborhood Concerts in community venues; and a master class for young professional jazz musicians led by pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim. Other WMI workshops and master classes throughout the season will be led by British a cappella vocal ensemble Tallis Scholars, mezzo-sopranos Marilyn Horne and Anne Sofie von Otter, and pianists Richard Goode and Warren Jones.

In addition to the Ladysmith Black Mambazo performance, WMI’s family programming at Carnegie Hall includes a holiday-themed Family Concert by The New York Pops, a participatory Broadway Sing with some of the brightest stars of musical theater today, and a concert by Falu with members of Slavic Soul Party!. Carnegie Kids, WMI’s free community concert series for children ages 3–6, will continue to be presented in community venues throughout New York City, as well as in Carnegie Hall’s new education wing.

WMI continues to be committed to exploring innovative new approaches to serving people through music, including further growth of its Lullaby Project, part of the Musical Connections program, and its work with the new NeON Arts Initiative, recently launched by the New York City Department of Probation. In addition, Link Up, WMI’s oldest and furthest reaching music education program continues to grow in the new season, serving 70 partner orchestras in the US and Canada, as well as orchestra partners in Spain and Japan.

“With each of WMI’s programs, we seek to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives through music,” said Sarah Johnson, Director of Carnegie Hall’s Music Institute. “We’re excited about the long list of terrific artists who will partner with us this season to bring our programs to life, and we’re especially looking forward to the opening of our Resnick Education Wing this fall, facilities that will enable us to better serve audiences of all ages within the inspirational setting of Carnegie Hall. Having these wonderful spaces on-site will undoubtedly open the doors to new possibilities within the work of WMI.”

Select 2014–2015 WMI Season Highlights

♦ National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America Embarks on Eight-City Coast-to-Coast US Tour with David Robertson and Gil Shaham in Summer 2014

In summer 2014, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) will embark on an eight-city, coast-to-coast US tour led by conductor David Robertson and featuring violinist Gil Shaham. The tour begins with a performance at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase, NY (July 20), followed by the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut in New York City (July 22), a performance that will be heard by music lovers worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, created in partnership with WQXR and distributed by American Public Media. NYO-USA’s tour continues with appearances at Ozawa Hall in Lenox, MA as part of the Tanglewood music festival (July 24); Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts in Boone, NC at An Appalachian Summer Festival (July 26); the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, IL’s Millennium Park as part of Grant Park Music Festival (July 28); Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, WY (July 30) as part of Grand Teton Music Festival; the recently-built Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center in Rohnert Park, CA (August 2); culminating at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA (August 4).

NYO-USA’s 2014 program to be performed at all tour venues will include the premiere of a new work from American composer Samuel Carl Adams, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for NYO-USA; Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Benjamin Britten’s Violin Concerto with Mr. Shaham; and Ravel’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. The musician roster for NYO-USA’s 2014 ensemble will be announced this March.

Prior to departing on the US tour with Mr. Robertson and Mr. Shaham, the 120 members of the second annual NYO-USA (ages 16-19) will spend two weeks training with principal players from some of the country’s finest orchestras on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York. The Purchase residency will include sectional and full orchestral rehearsals, workshops on musical and non-musical topics designed to complement the tour repertoire, and social and recreational activities.

In summer 2015, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA will make its first tour to China.

♦ Carnegie Hall Family Programming Expands

WMI will expand its dynamic and fun musical experiences for families at Carnegie Hall this season, including its first Family Day, an annual event inviting children and their parents to enjoy interactive and music education activities in Carnegie Hall’s new Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing (September 21). New this season, WMI’s popular Carnegie Kids programs for families with children ages 3-6 will be offered in the education wing as well as in local neighborhood venues throughout New York City. WMI continues to present extraordinary artists of classical, jazz, world, and pop music, taking children of all ages on imaginative journeys through the world of music, with Carnegie Hall Family Concerts offered throughout the 2014-2015 season. This captivating, spirited, and affordable concert series at Carnegie Hall provides parents with a unique way to introduce children to all genres of music. Highlights of the 2014-2015 season include a holiday concert featuring The New York Pops, a participatory Broadway Sing featuring some of the most celebrated performers in musical theater today, a performance by Falu with members of Slavic Soul Party!, plus a concert by Ladysmith Black Mambazo (part of Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU festival celebrating the music and arts of South Africa).

♦ Joyce DiDonato Takes Part in Multiple WMI Programs Next Season

As part of her Carnegie Hall Perspectives series, Joyce DiDonato will also share her gifts as a dynamic educator and passionate advocate for music by taking part in a number of WMI programs. Growing from her work with WMI’s Lullaby Project, a Musical Connections program, DiDonato will select and sing lullabies from the project in specifically commissioned arrangements by composer and pianist Jake Heggie as a part of her Carnegie Hall concert with the Brentano String Quartet in February 2015. Her involvement with WMI will also include a series of master classes for young singers (February 16-20, 2015) and work with New York City middle school singers through WMI’s Count Me In program.

♦ WMI Events in Carnegie Hall’s Festival, UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa

As part of Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa festival in fall 2014, WMI will present performances in Zankel Hall and in community venues throughout New York City inviting families, young musicians, and the community at large to experience a diverse range of music from South Africa. The special festival programming will include a Carnegie Hall Family Concert featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo; free Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts in New York City community venues, including performances by Phuzekhemisi, Abdullah Ibrahim’s Ekaya, and Kesivan and the Lights; and a master class for young professional jazz musicians at Carnegie Hall, led by Abdullah Ibrahim.

♦ Workshops and Master Classes for Young Professional Musicians with World Renowned Artists

Designed to meet the artistic and professional needs of musicians on the rise, ages 18–35, WMI’s intensive workshops and master classes offer exceptional learning resources and the opportunity to work closely with some of today’s leading artists who frequent the stages of Carnegie Hall. General audiences are invited to learn from these artists as well while attending public master classes presented as part of these experiences. WMI presents the following next season:

  • The Song Continues, founded by celebrated mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, is a series of master classes and recitals for classical singers and pianists dedicated to the art of the vocal recital. Master classes for next season are led by Ms. Horne, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, and pianist Warren Jones. The series also features two recitals and a celebratory concert with special guest artists that conclude the week’s events. (January 13–17, 2015)
  • Tallis Scholars: Renaissance Masterworks is a choral workshop that will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for thirty young professional choral singers to be coached by and perform with Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars, the preeminent a cappella vocal ensemble. Phillips and members of the Tallis Scholars will prepare the singers to join them in a program in two of the most extraordinary works of the Renaissance: Antoine Brumel’s dramatic “Earthquake” Mass and Thomas Tallis’s sonorous 40-part motet, “Spem in alium.” The culminating concert takes place at New York’s Church of St. Ignatius Loyola as part of Carnegie Hall’s month-long Before Bach focus in April 2015.
  • Master Classes: Complementing their recital and concert appearances at Carnegie Hall next season, a trio of extraordinary artists offer master classes for young performers in the Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato presents a series of three master classes for opera singers; pianist Richard Goode explores Debussy’s Preludes in a master class for young pianists; and South African jazz legend Abdullah Ibrahim works with solo pianists and small piano ensembles. Dates for the Goode and Ibrahim master classes are to be announced.

♦ Link Up for Grades 3–5 Now Partners with 70 Orchestras Across the US and Canada, and Welcomes Back Partner Orchestras in Spain and Japan

WMI continues to significantly increase the number of students participating in its Link Up music education program for students in grades 3 through 5 worldwide, partnering with a growing list of national and international orchestras, and inviting them to take advantage of free curriculum materials, in-depth online audio and video resources, and professional development web seminars as they produce Link Up programs in their own communities. In total, Link Up will reach over 300,000 students and teachers through partnerships with over 70 orchestras throughout the US and Canada in 2014-2015; WMI will also continue to work with Link Up partner orchestras in Asturias, Spain; and Sapporo, Japan for a second year with curriculum materials adapted and translated for those young audiences.

In this highly participatory program, students are given the opportunity to join their local orchestra in a final concert after learning to sing and play the recorder or violin in their classrooms throughout the school year. Link Up connects grade-school classrooms with professional, community, and university orchestras by providing partners with year-long, age-appropriate Link Up curricula materials for use in schools, as well as program resources to create an interactive, culminating concert during which students perform prepared repertoire along with the orchestra on voice, strings, or soprano recorders.

In the New York City area, more than 15,000 students are expected to take part in Link Up during the 2014-2015 season, with students participating in The Orchestra Moves—one of three Link Up curricula—which explores musical movement through a range of orchestral repertoire including Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, and “Toreador” from Bizet’s Carmen. Spring 2015 concerts at Carnegie Hall feature the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and conductor Rossen Milanov.

For more information and a list of participating orchestras worldwide, visit

♦ WMI’s Lullaby Project and NeOn Arts—Innovative Programs Serving People Through Music

Over the next eighteen months, WMI will play a key role in NeON Arts, a new initiative recently launched by the New York City Department of Probation. NeON Arts connects community-based artists and local arts organizations in seven New York City neighborhoods with court-involved youth and adults who are required to report to a NeON (Neighborhood Opportunity Network), a community-based probation office which provides a range of services to clients and the public. The NeON Arts initiative will fund creative projects at each center in a variety of disciplines—including dance, music, theater, visual art, poetry, and digital media—that challenge young people to explore the arts, learn new skills, and develop positive peer relationships, while also offering public events that benefit the whole community. WMI will serve as an intermediary organization, working with partners throughout New York City.

Musical Connections’ Lullaby Project––a series of WMI workshops that gives new and expectant mothers in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and hospitals the opportunity to write and record a lullaby for their children––continues to grow over the 2014-2015 season. In addition to workshops across New York City, national partners in Rockport, Maine; Chicago, Illinois; and Austin, Texas are using support materials provided by WMI to develop Lullaby Projects in their communities. The goal for creating these collaborative partnerships across the country is to enable organizations to learn from one another’s experiences, celebrate the artistic potential inherent in lullaby composition, and contribute to a national movement that promotes creative activity and communication.



For Students and Teachers:

Musical Explorers (grades K–2)—Musical Explorers builds basic music skills in the classroom as children learn songs from different cultures, reflect on their own communities, and develop singing and listening skills. The program includes professional development workshops for teachers, standards-based curriculum guides with accompanying CD, student materials, and interactive concerts during the school year held in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. During the 2014-2015 season, students explore Haitian, Mexican, Argentinian, classical, swing, and klezmer musical styles.

Link Up (grades 3–5)—In this highly participatory program, students learn basic musical concepts by learning to sing and play an instrument in their classroom, then performing with a professional orchestra in the concert hall. Each year focuses on specific concepts, including rhythm, melody, tempo, orchestration, and composition, through distinct curricula—The Orchestra Rocks, The Orchestra Sings, and The Orchestra Moves. During the 2014-2015 season, New York City students participate in The Orchestra Moves, which explores musical movement through a range of orchestral repertoire including Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, and “Toreador” from Bizet’s Carmen.

Orchestras across the country and around the world are also taking part in Link Up. Partner orchestras can utilize any of the program materials—including teacher and student guides, concert scripts, and concert visuals—in their own communities, free of charge, to engage local students and teachers in musical learning and exploration. Carnegie Hall supports these orchestras, helping them to train their own teachers and collaborate with their local schools and communities. During the 2014-2015 season, the program will be implemented by 70 partner orchestras from Alaska to Florida, as well as internationally in Canada, Spain, and Japan.

Count Me In (grades 6–8)—The Count Me In afterschool initiative meets the needs of New York City middle school singers, many of whom have never studied music before and whose schools do not have established choral programs. In the fall, students receive instruction and training to prepare them for auditions to performing arts high schools. In the spring, they participate in an inclusive choral experience designed to build skills and stimulate their passion for music.

Music Educators Workshop (for ensemble directors)—Music directors from New York City middle and high schools build their capacity for challenging and inspiring their students during this year-long series of professional training and musical activities. Through this unique opportunity, educators at all stages of their careers enhance their artistry while bringing best teaching practices to their classrooms. Directors participate in workshops with student ensembles and visiting faculty, learn from professional artists, set goals and explore rehearsal techniques for their classrooms, network, and attend Carnegie Hall concerts.

Ensemble ACJW School Performance Residency—Ensemble ACJW is an inspirational collective of young professional musicians who are fellows in a two-year program created by Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and WMI in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The program supports young players in building careers as top-quality performers, innovative programmers, and dedicated teachers who fully engage with the communities in which they live and work.

As part of this program, each fellow is partnered with a public school for a residency that totals 25 days over the course of the school year. During the residency, fellows serve as musical resources to schools in all five boroughs of New York City and bring a professional performer’s perspective to music classrooms. They also partner with each school’s instrumental music teacher to strengthen students’ musical skills and share their artistry through two assembly-style interactive performances each year.

For Families:

Family Concerts (recommended for ages 7–12)—Featuring extraordinary artists from the worlds of classical, jazz, world, and popular music, these concerts take place in both Carnegie Hall’s legendary Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage and its more intimate, contemporary Zankel Hall. These captivating musical experiences are designed to create lasting memories for caregivers and children. The 2014-2015 season features Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a holiday-themed concert with The New York Pops, a participatory Broadway Family Sing, and a performance by Falu with members of Slavic Soul Party!.

Family Day (recommended for ages 3–12)—On Sunday, September 21, Carnegie Hall celebrates families by offering a free day of fun, interactive, and educational musical activities for children and their caregivers. Visitors will be invited to compose songs, try their hands at conducting, explore a “sound playground,” and take in a performance—all in one day in Carnegie Hall’s new Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing.

Carnegie Kids (recommended for ages 3–6)—Carnegie Kids, free concerts offered in local neighborhood venues throughout the city and in Carnegie Hall’s Judith and Burton Resnick Education Wing, stimulate children’s imaginations, inspiring them and their whole family to sing, dance, and joyously interact with music. Featuring terrific musicians playing a vast range of music from classical to indie pop, these concerts encourage families to be inquisitive and playful.

For Communities Throughout New York City:

Neighborhood Concerts—For more than four decades, Carnegie Hall has partnered with local community organizations to bring outstanding main-stage artists as well as exciting rising stars of classical, jazz, and world music to neighborhoods in all five boroughs of New York City. Tapping into the pulse of diverse communities, these free concerts bring together local residents and people from throughout the city to share in the joy of music.

Musical Connections—This set of community-based projects links people throughout New York City to a variety of creative musical experiences ranging from stand-alone concerts to intensive year-long creative workshops designed to have a powerful impact on their daily lives. Through songwriting, choral, and composition projects, juveniles and adults in the justice system build a positive sense of self and strengthen bonds to family and community. In hospitals, musicians offer performances that reinforce positive healthcare messages. Additionally, the Lullaby Project gives new and expectant mothers in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and hospitals the opportunity to write and record a lullaby for their children, while affirming their ability to be caring and committed parents. The Lullaby Project now extends across the country, enabling select partner organizations to reach families in their own communities.

NeON Arts—This new initiative builds on the NYC Department of Probation’s successful efforts to advance public safety by engaging probation clients in the arts. NeON Arts funds local arts projects in seven New York City communities that are home to large numbers of people on probation. NeON Arts connects community-based artists and local arts organizations to probation clients and community members who visit Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) locations. Artists and clients collaborate on projects in a variety of disciplines, including dance, music, theater, visual arts, poetry, and digital media. In addition to creating meaningful arts projects that benefit local communities, participants learn important skills and develop positive peer relationships. WMI, an ongoing arts partner of the NYC Department of Probation, provides support and facilitation for NeON Arts.

For Young Musicians:

The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (ages 16–19)—Each summer, WMI brings together 120 of the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a two-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians at Purchase College, SUNY, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as dynamic music ambassadors. In summer 2014, NYO-USA will make its Carnegie Hall debut as part of a coast-to-coast US tour with conductor David Robertson and violinist Gil Shaham. In 2015, the orchestra will add more stamps to its passport with its first tour to China.

Workshops and Master Classes (ages 18–35)—Artists on the rise are given valuable access to world-class performers and composers who have established themselves on the Carnegie Hall stages. Participants are selected after responding to an open call for auditions. These up-and-coming musicians receive coaching and mentoring that assists them in reaching their artistic and professional goals.

Musical Exchange (ages 13–25)—In this free, online community, students connect with peers globally, share performances and original works, and join creative projects led by professional artists. The platform offers students new ways to learn and grow as artists, establishing a dialogue with peers who share a passion for music and the desire to learn about cultures from around the world. For more information, please visit

Online Resources:

Music Educators Toolbox (for grades K–12)—This set of free online resources for music teachers includes lesson plans and activities, summative and formative assessments, video examples, and documented best practices. Designed to be effective and adaptable in a wide variety of music classrooms, the resources were developed through both Carnegie Hall’s five-year residency in a New York City elementary / middle school and the Music Educators Workshop.

Digital Library—Carnegie Hall provides a rich collection of multimedia and interactive resources designed for use by educators, young artists, and teaching artists through the Digital Library. These collections are available to users free of charge, extending the reach of WMI’s programs around the globe.

iTunes U—Carnegie Hall provides videos and digital musical resources on iTunes U, one of the world’s largest online catalogues of free education content. Artist interviews, music education and professional development resources, and videos exploring historic themes tied to Carnegie Hall are included on this platform and refreshed periodically throughout the season.

For more information and videos exploring the wide range of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute programs, please visit

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