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Carnegie Hall Announces Teen Musicians Selected for the 2019 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Prestigious National Program Recognizes Finest Young Musicians from Across the Country, Ages 16–19

Conductor Sir Antonio Pappano Leads Performances at Tanglewood and Carnegie Hall Featuring Mezzo-Soprano Isabel Leonard

Mezzo-Soprano Dame Sarah Connolly Performs with Maestro Pappano and NYO-USA in Berlin

Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato Joins the Orchestra for Remainder of European Tour with Concerts in Great Britain, Amsterdam, and Germany

NYO-USA 2019 Program Includes Works by Strauss, Prokofiev, and Berlioz, as Talented Teens Travel the World as Musical Ambassadors

(March 6, 2019; NEW YORK, NY)—Carnegie Hall today announced the names of the 119 outstanding young musicians selected from across the country for the seventh annual National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). The members of the 2019 orchestra—ages 16–19, hailing from 33 US states—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country following a comprehensive and highly selective audition process. This summer’s orchestra features 32 musicians who previously played with NYO-USA, as well as 22 musicians who gained experience through NYO2, a program for younger players ages 14–17. NYO-USA and NYO2 are offered free of charge, ensuring that all invited musicians have the opportunity to take part.

See below or click here for the names, instruments, and hometowns of the members of the 2019 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

Following an intensive three-week training residency at Purchase College, SUNY, world-renowned conductor Sir Antonio Pappano leads NYO-USA at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts on Thursday, August 1 at 8:00 p.m., followed by the orchestra’s annual Carnegie Hall concert on Saturday, August 3 at 8:00 p.m., to be heard by music lovers worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, created in partnership with WQXR. The program includes Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie, and Berlioz’s Les nuits d'été featuring renowned mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. Tickets, priced at $25 for adults and $10 for youth and students, will go on sale Wednesday, March 20.

The orchestra then departs to Europe for a tour of some of the continent’s music capitals, beginning with a performance in Berlin featuring mezzo-soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, and continuing with concerts in Great Britain, Amsterdam, and Germany featuring mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. Select concerts feature Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in place of Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie, giving the young musicians the rare opportunity to perform two ambitious symphonies. Two apprentice composers will also compose new works for the orchestra, to be premiered during the tour.

“The musicians who make up NYO-USA’s 2019 roster are among the very best players in the nation,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “This promises to be an unforgettable summer of new discoveries for them. These superb young players will have the opportunity to serve as musical ambassadors for their country, connecting with audiences around the world as they present extraordinary performances under the baton of conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, collaborating with three wonderful soloists.”

NYO-USA musicians arrive in New York in mid-July for an intensive three-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY, working with principal players from some of the finest professional orchestras. James Ross, music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, returns to lead the NYO-USA faculty for a seventh year. Joseph Young, Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Institute, will serve as resident conductor. The faculty will oversee rehearsals during the orchestra’s residency in Purchase and will also lead master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills, all leading up to the launch of NYO-USA’s annual tour. 

2019 Orchestra Roster 

* Prior NYO-USA member
+ Prior NYO2 member

Kyuna Kim, Violin (Vestavia Hills)
Gracie Potter, Trombone (Surprise) +
Benjamin S. Beckman, Apprentice Composer (Los Angeles)
Andrew Chang, Clarinet (Rowland Heights)
Jeremy Davis, Timpani and Percussion (Diamond Bar) *
David Davisson, Flute (Livermore)
Erica Yeawon Hwang, Violin (San Diego) *
Shinwho Kwun, Viola (San Ramon) +
Christine Lee, Violin (Saratoga)
Ajay Mallya, Violin (Cupertino)
Emily O'Donnell, Bassoon (Temecula)
Andy Park, Viola (South Pasadena)
Anoush Pogossian, Clarinet (Los Angeles) +
Scott Quirk, Flute (Simi Valley) +
Kevin Song, Cello (San Diego)
Julia Wang, Violin (Sunnyvale)
Roger Xia, Violin (Davis)
Jory Lane, Violin (Colorado Springs)
Elissa Volling, Viola (Denver)
Camden Archambeau, Cello (Weston)
Elliott Davis, Violin (Avon)
Julian Gonzalez, Bassoon (Miami) + *
Destin Hoskins, Tuba (Orange City)
Sophia Molina, Violin (Miami)
Valentina Paolucci, Violin (West Palm Beach)
Nate Petersen, Bass Trombone (Deltona)
Shane Savage, Bass (Port St. Lucie) +
Jakob Schoenfeld, Timpani and Percussion (Oviedo) *
Sophia Yiwen Zheng, Violin (Palm Beach Gardens) *
Paul Armitage, Trumpet (Newnan)
Hannah Lee, Oboe (Suwanee)
Francisco Vidales, Clarinet (Alpharetta)
Irene Castillo, Violin (Lisle)
Oliver Talukder, Oboe Glenview)
Kaitlyn Mills, Bassoon (Bloomington)
Beau Henson, Violin (Ames)
Alice Guo, Cello (Overland Park)
Bethlehem Kelley, Violin (Lenexa) +
Jina Park, Violin (Lexington)
Sofia Corona, Apprentice Orchestra Manager (Baltimore)
Cooper Cromwell-Whitley, Trombone (Baltimore)
Will Fowler, Trombone (Rockville)
Vincent Igusa, Bassoon (Baltimore) + *
Liam McConlogue, Horn (Greenbelt) +
Roger Cawdette, Viola (Boston)
Kaede Ishidate, Cello (Holden) +
Jonathan Kronheimer, Oboe (Newton)
Rebekah Hou, Harp (Okemos)
Ben McWilliams, Tuba (Kalamazoo)
Sophie Thorpe, Harp (Columbia)
Jordan Farber, Bassoon (Las Vegas) *
New Hampshire
Roric Cunningham, Cello (Manchester) *
New Jersey
Juliette Duguid, Viola (Westfield) * +
Laura Futamura, Flute (Middletown) +
Kingston Ho, Violin (New Providence) + *
Faustina Housner, Violin (Cherry Hill) *
Ashley Hyunjee Kim, Orchestral Keyboard (Demarest)
Danyoung Kim, Viola (Montvale) +
David Kwak, Violin (Cresskill)
Robert Lenau, Timpani and Percussion (South Plainfield)
Gregory Llewellyn, Cello (Englewood) +
Robin Park, Cello (Princeton Junction) *
New York
Serena Bangia, Timpani and Percussion (Buffalo)
Catherine Deskur, Bass (Vestal) +
August Haller, Horn (Brooklyn) *
Alexandra Hong, Viola (Manhasset) + *
Brian Isaacs, Viola (Forest Hills) *
Orion Miller, Bass (New York)
Jefferson Sheng, Clarinet (Ithaca)
Sean Takada, Violin (New York)
Annalisa Welinder, Violin Port Jefferson) *
North Carolina
Quenton Xavier Blache, Cello (Wake Forest) *
Drew Dansby, Violin (Charlotte) *
Tyson J. Davis, Apprentice Composer (Winston-Salem)
Ruth Kelley, Violin (Kernersville)
Myles McKnight, Violin (Asheville)
Isaac Present, Bass (Winston-Salem)
Phoebe Propst, Apprentice Orchestra Librarian (Asheville)
Tim Rinehart, Bass (Chapel Hill)
Mitchell Ballester, Bass (Dayton) *
Sylvan Zhang, Violin (Stillwater)
Karlie Roberts, Viola Eugene) *
Gretchen Berendt, Horn (Wampum)
Daniel Cho, Violin (Wyncote)
Michael Fisher, Violin (Williamsport)
Alexandra He, Cello (Bryn Mawr)
Saakshi Navile, Violin Exton)
Rhode Island
William J. MacDonald, Trumpet (Foster)
South Carolina
Will Harris, Timpani/Percussion (Greenville) *
South Dakota
Gillian Hilscher, Viola (Sioux Falls) +
Messiah Ahmed, Violin (Dallas)
Kevin Bai, Violin (Plano) *
Caroline Becker, Oboe (College Station)
Peter Davies, Oboe (Dallas) *
Dylan Fernandez de Lara, Violin (San Antonio) +
Matthew Garcia, Viola (Harlingen) + *
Diego Garza-Romero, Bass (Edinburg) + *
Trevor Holmes, Trumpet (Coppell)
Joanna Kim, Flute (Austin)
Kurt Lautenshlager, Horn (San Antonio)
Haeun Moon, Violin (Waco) *
Nikki Naghavi, Violin (Frisco)
Gabriel Uriah Ortiz, Trumpet (San Marcos) +
Jackson Prasifka, Horn (McKinney)
Scott Sanders, Horn (Mansfield) *
Jacob Speakman, Horn (College Station)
Carys Sutherland, Horn (Southlake)
Noah Yi, Clarinet (Plano)
Sophie Choate, Viola (Provo) *
Mackie Moore, Viola (Salt Lake City)
Andrew Gantzer, Bass (Centreville) *
Annika Hsu, Violin (Vienna)
Forrest Johnston, Trumpet (Great Falls) *
Miranda Lucas, Viola (Winchester)
Hugo Bliss, Horn (Seattle)
Eliot Lee, Bass (Seattle)
Kristy Park, Cello (Bellevue) *
Phoebe Rawn, Flute (Seattle) *
Alexis DePaolo, Cello (Casper)


About the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the finest young musicians from across the country (ages 16–19) to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, with faculty made up of principal players from top professional US orchestras, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as America’s dynamic music ambassadors. As part of their travel schedule, NYO-USA musicians also have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with local young musicians and experience the richness of the local culture.

Launched in summer 2013 to great acclaim, the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the USA presented concerts with conductor Valery Gergiev and violinist Joshua Bell to enthusiastic audiences at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC; St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia; and at the BBC Proms in London. The 2014 orchestra, led by American conductor David Robertson with violinist Gil Shaham as soloist, made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a coast-to-coast US tour. In 2015, NYO-USA, with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI, made its debut in China with a seven-city tour, performing at some of the country’s greatest concert halls, including the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. In 2016, the orchestra performed with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Emanuel Ax at Carnegie Hall before embarking on a European tour with Valery Gergiev and Denis Matsuev. In 2017, the orchestra traveled to Latin America for the first time, performing in Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia under the direction of Marin Alsop. And last summer, NYO-USA returned to Asia, performing in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Daejeon with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

NYO-USA is one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth orchestras, which also includes NYO2 for outstanding classical musicians (ages 14–17), and NYO Jazz for the nation’s finest jazz instrumentalists (ages 16–19). 

* * * * *

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Beatrice Santo Domingo, and Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari.

NYO-USA Sponsor: United Airlines®, Official Airline of Carnegie Hall.

Major funding has been provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Carl Jacobs Foundation, and JMCMRJ Sorrell Foundation.

Additional funding has been provided by Sarah Arison, The Jack Benny Family Foundation, and Jolyon Stern and Nelle Nugent.

Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Beatrice Santo Domingo; Hope and Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall. 

* * * * *

To learn more about NYO-USA, visit carnegiehall.org/nyousa.

Like NYO-USA on Facebook at facebook.com/nyousa.

Follow NYO-USA on Instagram at instagram.com/nyo.usa.

See more from NYO-USA on YouTube at youtube.com/nyousa.

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