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National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Friday, July 21, 2017 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the country’s brightest young players to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Their annual Carnegie Hall concert is one of the summer’s most eagerly anticipated events. The orchestra will be conducted by Marin Alsop in a program that features John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine, a new work by Gabriela Lena Frank commissioned by Carnegie Hall, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.


National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Marin Alsop, Conductor


JOHN ADAMS Short Ride in a Fast Machine

GABRIELA LENA FRANK Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra (NY Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)

MAHLER Symphony No. 1


BENNETT Porgy and Bess: A Symphonic Picture (after Gershwin)

ARTURO MÁRQUEZ La Conga del Fuego Nuevo

Listen on WQXR

The NYO-USA and NYO-China performances at Carnegie Hall are proudly supported by ICBC U.S. Region.

NYO-USA Supporting Sponsor:

Additional funding has been provided by The Jack Benny Family Foundation; JMCMRJ Sorrell 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; Robert F. Smith; Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon; and Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation.

Lead support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional funding is provided by members of Carnegie Hall's Composer Club.

At a Glance

Early pieces by great composers often provide fascinating glimpses of the artist to come, but occasionally a work emerges that is fully representative. Mahler’s First Symphony already contains the composer’s signatures, including large-scale structures, manic emotional shifts, a memorable funeral march, and a vivid evocation of nature. John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine—a relatively early piece from a century later—is much shorter, but it too offers a surprisingly complete profile, including consonant harmonies with relentlessly pulsing rhythms, tiny independent cells operating in layers, and strikingly brilliant colors. It’s a minimalist fanfare with maximum impact.

This evening’s program also includes the New York premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra, a work commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Ms. Frank is known for works that reflect her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a Western classical framework that is uniquely her own
. Apu: Tone Poem for Orchestra was inspired by the apu spirit of Andean Peru.


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 ...

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, SUNY, 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.

Launched in summer 2013 to great acclaim, the first-ever NYO-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 in a live televised performance 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, from Tanglewood in Massachusetts to Chicago's Millennium Park, ending at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In 2015, NYO-USA traveled to China, performing at seven of the country's greatest concert halls with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI, including the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Most recently, in summer 2016, the orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall with conductor Christoph Eschenbach and pianist Emanuel Ax before embarking on a European tour with conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev with stops in Amsterdam, Montpelier, Copenhagen, and Prague.

NYO-USA embarks on its first-ever tour to Latin America this summer with conductor Marin Alsop. The orchestra performs at venues in Guadalajara, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; and Bogotá, Colombia, as well as in side-by-side performances with local young musicians. In 2018, NYO-USA returns to Asia for a tour with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. 

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Marin Alsop

Music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) since 2007, Marin Alsop has had an outstandingly successful tenure marked by two extensions, now confirmed until ...

Music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) since 2007, Marin Alsop has had an outstandingly successful tenure marked by two extensions, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership, Ms. Alsop has created bold initiatives that have contributed to the wider Baltimore community and reached new audiences. In 2008, she launched OrchKids, which provides music education, instruments, meals, and mentorship to the city's neediest young people. Engaging the local community, the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians programs allow adult amateur musicians the chance to play alongside members of the orchestra under her baton.

Ms. Alsop took up the post of principal conductor of the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo in 2012 and became music director the following year, with her contract now extended through 2019. She continues to steer the orchestra in its artistic and creative programming, recording ventures, and education and outreach activities, as well as its annual Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival. Ms. Alsop led the orchestra on European tours in 2012 and 2013, with acclaimed performances at the BBC Proms in London, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and additional appearances in Berlin, London, Paris, Salzburg, and Vienna. In 2016, the orchestra returned to Europe for concerts at the BBC Proms, and the Edinburgh International and Lucerne festivals.

Ms. Alsop has guest conducted the world's major orchestras, including close relationships with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She is also an artist-in-residence at the Southbank Centre in London.

In March 2016, Ms. Alsop celebrated Carnegie Hall's 125th anniversary by conducting its production of West Side Story at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens. During the 2016-2017 season, she returned to London for performances with the BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, and brought the Britten-Pears Orchestra to the Southbank Centre before returning to a residency at Aldeburgh's Snape Maltings.

Ms. Alsop is the recipient of numerous awards and is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. She was the only classical musician to be included in The Guardian's list of the top 100 women in celebration of the centenary of International Women's Day in 2011. Ms. Alsop is an honorary member of London's Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Philharmonic Society, and was recently appointed director of the graduate conducting program at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. In September 2013, she made history as the first female conductor of the BBC's Last Night of the Proms in London, which she returned to conduct in 2015.

Born in New York City, Ms. Alsop attended Yale University and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School. Her conducting career was launched in 1989 when she became a prizewinner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition; that same year, she became the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein.

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