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Carnegie Hall Announces the Musicians Selected for the 2015 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, Prestigious National Program, Now in its Third Year, Recognizes Finest Young Musicians from Across the Country, Ages 16-19

Acclaimed Conductor Charles Dutoit Leads Orchestra on Tour of China Featuring Pianist YUNDI and New Work by Tan Dun, July 10 to July 26

Tour Marks NYO-USA Debut in Asia

(March 3, 2015; NEW YORK, NY)—Carnegie Hall today announced the names of the 114 outstanding young musicians from across America who have been selected to come together this summer as the third annual National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).

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 39 returning musicians from the 2013 and 2014 orchestras. The program is free for all participants.

See below or click here for the names, instruments, and hometowns of the members of the 2015 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).

In 2015, NYO-USA performs nine concerts in the US and abroad from July 10-26, visiting many of China’s greatest concerts halls in several different regions of the country, including the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. This historic first visit to Asia by NYO-USA follows acclaimed inaugural year performances in Washington DC, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London in 2013 and a coast-to-coast US tour in 2014.

Celebrated conductor Charles Dutoit, Conductor Laureate of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Artistic Director of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, leads NYO-USA this summer, joined by internationally-renowned pianist YUNDI as guest soloist. The concert program to be performed at all tour venues will include the premiere of a new work from 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.

“We are thrilled to bring together this extraordinary group of young musicians, challenging them to not only perform at the highest levels, but also to act 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 be an amazing opportunity for musical and cultural discovery, and I am confident that these talented, dedicated musicians will inspire audiences with their music-making and return home with new knowledge and enthusiasm to share with their peers.”

The players arrive in New York in late June to begin an intensive two-week training residency on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, working with principal players from some of the country’s finest professional orchestras. James Ross, director of orchestral activities at the University of Maryland, returns this summer to lead the NYO-USA faculty for a third year. 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 China tour.

The 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), a performance to be heard by music lovers worldwide via the Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, created in partnership with WQXR and distributed nationally by WFMT Radio Network. The tour then moves to China with appearances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing (July 15); Shanghai Oriental Art Center (July 17); SuzhouCultural 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).

NYO-USA’s touring activities will allow America’s finest young musicians to share their artistry with Chinese audiences while also experiencing the richness of China’s culture and history. The orchestra’s visit 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. As part of their travel schedule, NYO-USA players will have the opportunity to tour cities, interact with local young musicians and participate in informal community performances.

2015 Orchestra Roster

* Returning 2013 or 2014 NYO-USA member
** New state / territory represented in 2015 NYO-USA


Presley Ready, Bassoon (Spanish Fort)
Bobby Nunes, Oboe (Mesa)
Kip Zimmerman, Oboe (Tucson)


Madison Moline, Viola (Conway)


Matthew Chow, Violin (Los Altos)*
Celia Daggy, Viola (Santa Monica)
Janice Gho, Bass (Cupertino)*

Mya Greene, Viola

(Los Angeles)*
Minku Lee, Cello

(Palo Alto)

Adrian Lin, Timpani/Percussion (Cupertino)*
Shira Samuels-Shragg, Conducting Apprentice

(Los Angeles)

Sarah Sukardi, Viola (Irvine)
Helen Wu, Violin




Andrew Burgan, Violin



Isabella Palacpac, Cello



Jason Arevalo, Violin


Annabel Chyung, Violin


Alejandro Lombo, Flute


Mark J. Trotter, Horn





Nathan Hung, Viola

(Peachtree City)*

Andrew Koonce, Violin


Nick Pelletier, Viola


Kisa Uradomo, Violin (Kula)


Torin Bakke, Clarinet

(Buffalo Grove)*

Anthony Brattoli, Tuba (Tinley Park)

Ethan Clemmitt, Tuba

Karen Dai, Timpani/Percussion


Chris Gao, Cello (Long Grove)

Nivanthi Karunaratne, Horn

Jack McCammon, Horn (Naperville)*
Benjamin Smelser, Trombone (DeKalb)
Nhyta Taguchi, Orchestra Library Apprentice (Chicago)
James Vaughen, Trumpet (Champaign)
Ashley Dinakar, Violin (Prairie Village)*
Jud Mitchell, Bass (New Orleans)


Seoyeon Kim, Violin (Falmouth)
Raymond Lin, Cello (Gaithersburg)

Eileen Moudou, Violin

Ethan Shrier, Trombone (Potomac)


Henri Bouchard, Violin (Ayer)

Christopher Laven, Bass

Evan Wood, Cello (Boston)*


Sarah Seungmin Han, Clarinet (Interlochen)
Brent Proseus, Trumpet



Sarrah Bushara, Oboe

(Eden Prairie)

Brandon Duffy, Violin (Lino Lakes)
Arjun Ganguly, Viola (St. Cloud)*
Emma Richman, Violin (Minneapolis)*
Julia Kirk, Violin (Jackson)*


Aleksis Martin, Clarinet (St. Louis)
Grant Riew, Cello (St. Louis)
Ryan Wahidi, Double Bass (Creve Coeur)
Rosie Weiss, Violin (Billings)*
Corbin Krebs, Bassoon (Las Vegas)


New Hampshire
Claire Walter, Violin (Keene)*
New Jersey

Matthew Gajda, Trumpet

David Kim, Cello (East Brunswick)
Markus Lang, Double Bass (Allentown)
James Lin, Violin (Bridgewater)*

Soyeong Park, Violin

(Princeton Junction)*
Evan Pasternak, Violin (Scotch Plains)*
Samuel Wang, Violin (Medford)*
Katy Wong, Harp (Ridgewood)

Amy Zhang, Viola

New York

Taylor Abbitt, Bass

Sofia Checa, Cello (Dobbs Ferry)
Eli Holmes, Bassoon (Vestal)

Jasmine Lavariega, Horn

Laura Michael, Oboe (New York)

Faith Pak, Viola

Phillip Solomon, Clarinet (Montrose)*
Michael Stevens, Horn (East Islip)
Martine Thomas, Viola (Rochester)*

Christopher Vazan, Conducting Apprentice

Austin Wang, Violin (Douglaston)

Yibiao Wang, Flute

Helen K. Wong, Violin (Rochester)*

North Carolina

Gordon Ma, Violin




Marguerite Cox, Bass

Joshua Elmore, Bassoon (Shaker Heights)
Paul Schubert, Cello (Enon)

Henry Shapard, Cello

(Cleveland Heights)
Grant Zempolich, Cello (Shaker Heights)*

Ashley Zendarski, Violin

Ben Lanners, Cello (Stillwater)
Kevie Yu, Violin (Edmond)*
Fumika Mizuno, Violin (Tigard)

Sein An, Violin

(West Chester)
Tim Crouch, Viola


Neil Goh, Violin (North Wales)
Jason C.S. Vassiliou, Violin (Berwyn)

Rhode Island**

William Yao, Violin (Barrington)
South Carolina

Aaron Albert, Bass Trombone

Daniel H. Murray, Bass (Columbia)*
South Dakota
Emera Gurath, Violin (Sioux Falls)
David Alexander, Horn (Houston)
Hannah Burnett, Viola (Waco)
Michael Langford, Viola (Plano)

Isaiah Obey, Flute

(Fort Worth)
Adam Phan, Harp (Dallas)
Mei Stone, Flute (Waco)
Shan Su, Viola (Richardson)*
Lincoln Valdez, Trumpet (Austin)*

Andres Vela, Bass

Jason Wang, Violin (Keller)
Alex Arshadi, Timpani/Percussion (Reston)
Stephen Tang, Violin (Virginia Beach)*
Evan Falls Hjort, Violin (Fall City)
Bronwyn James, Violin (Seattle)*
Evan Johanson, Violin (Seattle)
Tommy Lin, Bass (Sammamish)
Nolan Welch, Orchestra Management Apprentice (Olympia)


West Virginia**
Pete Nichols, Timpani/Percussion (Nitro)
Tanner Tanyeri, Timpani/Percussion (Madison)

NYO-USA China Tour—Summer 2015

July 10 Purchase, NY Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY
July 11 New York, NY Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
July 15 Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts
July 17 Shanghai Shanghai Oriental Art Center
July 19 Suzhou Suzhou Cultural and Arts Centre
July 21 Xi'an Xi'an Concert Hall
July 23 Shenzhen Shenzhen Concert Hall
July 24 Guangzhou Xinghai Concert Hall
July 26 Hong Kong Hong Kong Cultural Centre


Tickets for the Carnegie Hall performance are on sale now at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or at 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.

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 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. 


National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America Lead Sponsor: Bloomberg

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.

Additional funding has been provided by the Jack Benny Family Foundation for Music Education; Yoko Nagae Ceschina; 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.
See more from NYO-USA on YouTube at youtube.com/nyousa.

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