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America's Finest Teen Instrumentalists Come Together For Residency At Purchase College, SUNY This July, Forming Carnegie Hall's National Youth Ensembles

200+ Talented Young Musicians from Across the United States Gather for In-Person Music-Making, Collaboration, and Connection, Working Alongside World-Class Artists

Each Ensemble Performs and Records New and Major Works & NYO Jazz To Record New Full Length Studio Album

Free Streamed Concert on Saturday, July 24 Showcases All Three Ensembles With Additional Digital Performances to be Released this Fall

(NEW YORK, NY, June 7, 2021)—This July, Carnegie Hall will bring together more than 200 of the finest teen musicians from across the country to train and perform as part of its three acclaimed national youth ensembles: National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2, and NYO Jazz. The players will take part in an intensive three week residency from July 6–24—marking the first time since the global pandemic began that many of the young players will come together to play with their peers in large ensembles, as well as engage in meaningful mentorship and musical activities. In total, 209 musicians—representing 41 US states—will participate in this year’s program. A free culminating concert showcasing each ensemble will stream on Saturday, July 24 at 3:00 p.m. ET on Carnegie Hall’s website, Facebook, and YouTube channels, for audiences tuning in from home. This summer, program activities will take place in-person on the campus of Purchase College, SUNY, with strict health protocols in place.

After creating the National Youth Orchestra of the USA in 2013, Carnegie Hall quickly built on the program’s success by introducing two additional ensembles–NYO2, a sister orchestra for younger musicians, in 2016, and NYO Jazz for excellent young jazz players in 2018. Each of these highly-selective programs—free to all participants—is dedicated to the proposition that talented young musicians thrive when they have the opportunity to expand their musical, social, and cultural horizons and share their artistry with others.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the musicians of NYO-USA, NYO2, and NYO Jazz together for an extraordinary month of music-making,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “These three ensembles shine a spotlight on the great depth of musical talent found all across the country. The musicians are superb players who are passionate about music and dedicated to connecting and growing alongside their peers. We are also fortunate to have a stellar faculty who will mentor these superb young musicians and help them to grow artistically and personally. It will be an especially exciting time, as teens from across the country finally get to play together in-person again.”

Summer 2021 National Youth Ensembles Residency

Throughout their residency at SUNY Purchase, NYO-USA and NYO2 musicians will work with leading players from America’s top professional orchestras, and NYO Jazz players will work with a stellar faculty comprised of some of the finest jazz artists on the scene today. The musicians from each ensemble will begin rehearsals on July 6 at Purchase College, following a ten-day quarantine and on-boarding period as part of the strict health protocols in place to ensure the safety of the musicians, faculty, and staff. During the quarantine period, the musicians will take part in a variety of online activities including private lessons, panel discussions, and mentoring. Due to the ongoing effects of COVID-19, the national youth ensembles will not tour this summer and will not play at Carnegie Hall since the Hall remains closed until fall 2021.

Throughout the residency, the young musicians will focus on preparations for digital capstone projects and a culminating streaming performance on Saturday, July 24. Led by Guest Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, NYO-USA will perform Tchaikovsky’s’ Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique). NYO2 will perform Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis and Price’s Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen. NYO Jazz will perform new works, big band standards, and new arrangements of contemporary pieces, led by Sean Jones. The presentation will also feature interviews with the young musicians as they reflect on their experiences with the program this summer.

In the final week of the residency, NYO-USA and NYO2 will record vibrant digital video projects directed by Emmy Award-winner Habib Azar—exploring a variety of works such as Shostakovich, Beethoven, Revueltas, and the first ever commission for NYO2, written by Molly Joyce—which will be released on Carnegie Hall’s website later this fall.

In addition, NYO Jazz musicians will play together as a big band and also in smaller combos over the course of the three weeks, giving the teens a variety of opportunities to learn from each other and explore diverse repertoire. The group will also record its first full length studio album under the direction of Artistic Director and Bandleader Sean Jones, featuring special guest Melissa Aldana. The album will include each previous year’s Carnegie Hall commissioned work for the ensemble among other works exploring themes including social justice, resilience, and the power of music to spark joy.

In addition to playing together as full ensembles, the NYO musicians will take part in sectional rehearsals, master classes, private lessons, mentorship and wellness activities, music history lessons, and other seminars on essential music skills. NYO-USA and NYO2 musicians will work together in smaller chamber reading orchestras, gaining exposure to a range of repertoire and expanding the amount of playing during the residency. For the ninth year, James Ross, music director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, returns to lead the NYO-USA faculty as Orchestra Director. Joseph Young, Artistic Director of Ensembles at the Peabody Institute, will serve as Resident Conductor of NYO2.

New music has always been a key component of the national youth ensembles. This summer, NYO-USA’s 2020 apprentice composers, who participated in the program online last summer, have been invited to return to have their pieces premiered by the orchestra. Two additional composers have been selected to join the program this summer, expanding the compositional strand and providing more opportunities for exploration of new music during the residency. The young composers will work with celebrated American composer Sean Shepherd, who was commissioned to write a new work, Magiya, for NYO-USA’s inaugural season in 2013, and serves as the composition program director and mentor/coach to the apprentices. NYO2 will record the world premiere of Side by Side, commissioned for the ensemble, by up-and-coming composer Molly Joyce. NYO Jazz will play a new work by Igmar Thomas, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, as well as a selection of big band standards and new arrangements of contemporary pieces that explore jazz’s influence on hip-hop, R&B, pop and more.

Fans of the national youth ensembles are encouraged to follow along for a behind the scenes look into this summer on NYO-USA, NYO2, and NYO Jazz’s Instagram channel. The culminating streaming performance on Saturday, July 24 at 3:00 p.m. ET will be available to stream on Carnegie Hall’s website, Facebook, and YouTube channels. See below for more information about each ensemble’s residency this summer:

 

National Youth Orchestra of the USA—Summer 2021 Details

 

  • NYO-USA106 members joining this summer from 33 U.S. states
  • 46 musicians returning from previous seasons
  • 25 musicians who have previously gained experience through NYO2
  • 2021 NYO-USA Guest Conductor: Carlos Miguel Prieto, Music Director and Principal Conductor of Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and Music Director of Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México and Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería in Mexico
  • 2021 NYO-USA Orchestra Director: James Ross (leading for ninth consecutive year)
  • All-star faculty from top professional orchestras including:
  • Concertmaster David Chan, The MET Orchestra
  • Associate Concertmaster Ying Fu, National Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal flutist Demarre McGill, Seattle Symphony
  • Principal horn player William VerMeulen, Houston Symphony

Click here for a complete list of NYO-USA guest artists and faculty.

 

NYO2—Summer 2021 Details

 

  • NYO277 members joining this summer from 30 U.S. states
  • 20 musicians returning from previous seasons
  • Fourth summer partnering with New World Symphony
  • 2021 NYO2 Guest Conductor: Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director of Chicago Sinfonietta and newly appointed Chief Conductor at Austria’s recreation–Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte.
  • 2021 NYO2 Resident Conductor: Joseph Young
  • Leading faculty from top professional orchestras including:
  • Assistant Principal violist Li-Kuo Chang, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal cellist Anne Martindale Williams, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal oboist Titus Underwood, Nashville Symphony
  • Principal trumpeter Billy Hunter, Jr., The MET Orchestra

Click here for a full list of NYO2 guest artists and faculty.

 

NYO Jazz—Summer 2021 Details

 

  • NYO Jazz26 members joining this summer from 13 U.S. states (growing from 22 participants in past seasons)
  • Eight musicians returning from previous seasons
  • The first violinist in NYO Jazz history to join the roster
  • Artistic Director and Bandleader: Sean Jones
  • Stellar faculty of today’s finest jazz musicians including:
  • Drummer Allison Miller
  • Trumpeter Tanya Darby
  • Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon
  • Saxophonist Erica von Kleist
  • Pianist and ensemble coach Reggie Thomas

Click here for a full list of NYO Jazz faculty.

 

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About Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Ensembles
Each summer, Carnegie Hall brings together more than 200 of the finest teen musicians from across the United States to perform as part of its three acclaimed national youth ensembles: the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2, and NYO Jazz. In past years, all three ensembles have taken part in an intensive training residency at Purchase College, SUNY before performing at Carnegie Hall and embarking on tours across the country and around the world, serving as America’s dynamic musical ambassadors. Since 2013, the national youth ensembles have performed in 33 cities in 15 countries around the world, including concerts in major venues and festivals across Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall’s mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, WMI’s programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. More than 800,000 people each year engage in WMI’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. This includes more than half a million students and teachers worldwide who participate in WMI’s Link Up music education program for students in grades 3 through 5, made possible through Carnegie Hall partnerships with more than 115 orchestras in the US, as well as internationally in New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, and Spain.

For more information, please visit: carnegiehall.org/Education

 

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Live with Carnegie Hall is made possible by Hope and Robert F. Smith.

Brought to you by: Bank of America.

Additional support has been provided by the Siegel Family Endowment.

Support for Learn with Carnegie Hall is provided by Hope and Robert F. Smith, and the Siegel Family Endowment.

NYO-USA Supporters
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.

Global Ambassadors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

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

Additional funding has been provided by Sarah Arison, The Jack Benny Family Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Mary Anne Huntsman Morgan and The Huntsman Foundation, and IAC.

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.

NYO2 Supporters
Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, and Beatrice Santo Domingo.

Global Ambassadors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

Leadership support for NYO2 is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Major support for NYO2 is provided by Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc.

Founder Patron: Beatrice Santo Domingo.

With additional funding provided by Ardian US Foundation, Sarah Arison, and Ernst & Young LLP.

Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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

Global Ambassadors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

Major support has been provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Clive and Anya Gillinson, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc.

Additional support has been provided by Sarah Arison, and Bank of America.

 

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Like NYO-USA and NYO2 on Facebook at facebook.com/nyousa.
Like NYO Jazz on Facebook at facebook.com/NYOJazz.
Follow NYO-USA, NYO2, and NYO Jazz on Instagram at instagram.com/nyo.usa.
See more from the national youth ensembles on YouTube at youtube.com/nyousa.

 

Images within release: Chris Lee and NYO2 by Fadi Kheir.

 

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