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National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America Debuts in China in July 2015

NYO-USA Performs at The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY on July 10 and Appears at New York’s Carnegie Hall on July 11

Concerts Launch Orchestra’s Historic First Tour of China, with Seven Additional Performances in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Xi’an, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong from July 15 to 26

Conductor Charles Dutoit Leads NYO-USA in New York and China with Pianist YUNDI as Guest Soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5

Program also Features the Premiere of Tan Dun’s Passacaglia: The Secret of Wind and Birds, Commissioned by Carnegie Hall for NYO-USA, and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique

(May 28 , 2015; NEW YORK, NY)—This summer, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), featuring 114 outstanding young musicians from across the country, will come together for a third annual year of extraordinary music-making. The 2015 players begin with a two-week intensive training residency on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, from June 27 to July 9, followed by nine concerts in the US and abroad from July 10-26, at The Performing Arts Center in Purchase, NY (Friday, July 10 at 8:00 p.m.), at Carnegie Hall in New York City (Saturday, July 11 at 8:00 p.m.), and in seven Chinese cities as part of the orchestra’s first historic tour to Asia.

The members of the 2015 orchestra—all ages 16-19, hailing from 37 US states—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country, following a comprehensive audition process. This summer’s NYO-USA will feature 40 returning musicians from the 2013 and 2014 orchestras, as well as 25 musicians with Chinese ancestry, some of whom will be performing for extended family in China for the first time. The NYO-USA program is free for all participants. Click here for a full list of musicians.

Celebrated conductor Charles Dutoit, Conductor Laureate of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Artistic Director of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, leads NYO-USA this year, joined by internationally-renowned pianist YUNDI as guest soloist. The concert program to be performed at all tour venues will include the premiere of Passacaglia: The Secret of Wind and Birds by groundbreaking Chinese composer Tan Dun, commissioned by Carnegie Hall especially for NYO-USA, as well as Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (“Emperor”) and Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.

“The National Youth Orchestra of the USA challenges its players not only to perform musically at the highest level, but also to serve as great musical ambassadors for their country,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “The orchestra’s first tour to China will undoubtedly be an amazing opportunity for musical and cultural discovery. I am confident that NYO-USA’s concerts will inspire audiences wherever we go as our players form many new friendships along the way, making true connections with people through music.”

Following its two-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA’s 2015 tour will kick off at The Performing Arts Center in Purchase, NY (July 10), followed by Carnegie Hall in New York City (July 11). The Carnegie Hall performance will be heard by music lovers around the globe via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, created in partnership with WQXR and distributed live nationally by WFMT Radio Network. The Carnegie Hall concert will also be streamed live online for free by medici.tv, continuing a partnership to make live video webcasts of Carnegie Hall presentations available to audiences worldwide.

Following NYO-USA’s New York concerts, the 2015 tour will then move to China with appearances at many of the country’s greatest concert halls in several different regions of the country, including: the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing (July 15); Shanghai Oriental Art Center (July 17); Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre (July 19); Xi’an Concert Hall (July 21); Shenzhen Concert Hall (July 23); Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou (July 24); and culminating at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (July 26).

The orchestra’s 2015 tour includes stops in China that have now become mainstays for international ensembles as well as some that host American orchestras less frequently. Reflecting a building boom of architecturally-innovative performing arts centers in China, six of the seven venues in which NYO-USA will perform were built within the past two decades.

Acknowledging the power that music and the arts have to bring people together, NYO-USA’s tour has been designated as one of only four Cultural Pillars of the Consultation on People to People Exchange (CPE) between the USA and China; the Cultural Pillars receive this designation to enhance and strengthen ties between citizens of the US and the People’s Republic of China through culture. The tour’s kick-off in July will be celebrated with special events for the teen musicians, hosted by the Chinese Consul General in New York City and by the U.S. Ambassador to China in Beijing.

As part of their travel schedule, the NYO-USA players will have the chance to experience China’s cultural riches, touring the cities in which they perform. They will also have opportunities to interact with local young musicians and to participate in other informal community performances along the way. On social media, Chinese language speakers will be invited to follow the orchestra’s journey on its recently-launched Weibo page: weibo.com/nyousa.


In preparation for the China 2015 tour, the musicians of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA will receive rigorous musical training by leading artists and professionals from across the country during their two-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York from June 27 to July 9.

James Ross, director of orchestral activities at the University of Maryland, returns this summer to lead the NYO-USA faculty for a third year. Comprising some of the finest players and section leaders from America’s greatest orchestras and music schools, the faculty will oversee rehearsals during the orchestra’s residency in Purchase and will conduct master classes, chamber music readings, and other seminars on essential music skills, all leading up to the launch of the orchestra’s international tour.

The 2015 residency faculty members will include:

James Ross, Orchestra Director
Jacob Sustaita, Assistant Conductor

Robert Chen, Concertmaster, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Jennifer Ross, Principal Second Violin, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Beth Guterman Chu, Principal Viola, St. Louis Symphony
Brinton Averil Smith, Principal Cello, Houston Symphony
Scott Pingel, Principal Bass, San Francisco Symphony

Jeanne Baxtresser, Former Principal Flute, New York Philharmonic
Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, Principal Oboe, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Williamson, Principal Clarinet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Paulson, Principal Bassoon, San Francisco Symphony

Erik Ralske, Principal Horn, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
David Krauss, Principal Trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal Trombone, Seattle Symphony
Dennis Nulty, Principal Tuba, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Christopher Deviney, Principal Percussion, The Philadelphia Orchestra
Don S. Liuzzi, Principal Timpani, The Philadelphia Orchestra
Gretchen Van Hoesen, Principal Harp, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

About the National 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 two-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, with faculty made up of principal players from top professional 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.

Launched in summer 2013 to great critical acclaim, the first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the USA presented concerts with famed conductor Valery Gergiev and renowned violinist Joshua Bell to enthusiastic audiences in Washington DC; St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia; and at the BBC Proms in London, England. The 2014 orchestra, led by dynamic American conductor David Robertson with virtuoso violinist Gil Shaham as soloist, made its debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a coast-to-coast US tour to Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts; Boone, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sonoma County, California; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

Program Information
Charles Dutoit, Conductor
YUNDI, Piano

TAN DUN Passacaglia: The Secret of Wind and Birds (commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, "Emperor"
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique


Friday, July 10 at 8:00 p.m.
Performing Arts Center; Purchase College, State University of New York


Saturday, July 11 at 8:00 p.m.
Carnegie Hall; Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage


Wednesday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.
National Centre for the Performing Arts


Friday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Shanghai Oriental Art Center


Sunday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre


Tuesday, July 21 at 7:45 p.m.
Xi’an Concert Hall


Thursday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Shenzhen Concert Hall


Friday, July 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Xinghai Concert Hall


Sunday, July 26 at 4:00 p.m.
Hong Kong Cultural Centre


National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America Founding Sponsor: Bloomberg Philanthropies

Founder Patrons: Blavatnik Family Foundation; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; Ronald O. Perelman; Robertson Foundation; Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

Major Tour Sponsors: Wailian Overseas Consulting Group, Limited and PwC

Additional funding has been provided by the Jack Benny Family Foundation for Music Education; Andrew and Margaret Paul; and Sir David Tang.

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


What the press have said about the National Youth Orchestra of the USA:

“The performance exuded vitality and confidence.” — The New York Times

“This very large orchestra not only played with ferocious spirit and genuine personality, but it also produced refined performances notable for credible polish.” — Los Angeles Times

“It was the kind of night that reassures classical music lovers that the art form will survive well into the future.” — Musical America

“Throughout, the playing was of the highest caliber: controlled, precise, crisp, and nuanced, with perfect ensemble.” — Classical Voice North America

“Carnegie Hall may have created the best music camp ever.” — National Public Radio

“With their debut this week it already seems safe to say that the future of classical music in America is stronger than it was even one month ago!” — The Times, London 

“The whole ensemble played with electric commitment.” — The Guardian

To learn more about NYO-USA, visit carnegiehall.org/nyousa.
Like NYO-USA on Facebook at facebook.com/nyousa.
Follow NYO-USA on Twitter at #NYOUSA.
Follow NYO-USA on Weibo at weibo.com/nyousa.
See more from NYO-USA on YouTube at youtube.com/nyousa

Image at top of release by Chris Lee

Ticket Information

Tickets for the Carnegie Hall concert, priced $26–$60, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

Tickets for the Purchase College performance are available by calling 914-251-6200 or visiting The Performing Arts Center’s website at artscenter.org.

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts. Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.


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