NYO2 has a particular focus on attracting talented students from groups underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field. All application materials must be submitted using an online form administered by Acceptd, a service that provides a digital audition platform to many performing arts schools and programs. In order to start the NYO2 application, you will need to create an Acceptd account. (If you already have one, you can start a new application using your existing account.) Once you have created an Acceptd account, you will be able to save your progress at any time. If this is your first experience with an online digital audition service, we encourage you to allow enough time to upload and review the required application videos to make certain they represent your playing as effectively as possible.
A formal nomination from a teacher, ensemble director, school/band/orchestra administrator, or community leader is required as part of the application. NYO2 welcomes the nomination of musicians who have not had access to highly selective ensemble training opportunities through youth orchestra programs, summer festivals, camps, or similar experiences outside of their own communities.
- September 6, 2019: Application officially opens
- December 1, 2019: Deadline for nominations to be received by Carnegie Hall
- December 12, 2019: Application deadline
- January 3, 2020: Recommendation deadline
- February 13, 2020: Applicants notified of status via email; audition feedback provided shortly thereafter
- Mid–May 2020: Audition excerpts posted for 2021 program
- July 2020: Program begins
NYO2 will be accepting applications for the 2020 season on all standard orchestra instruments, including harp. Based on the repertoire, we do not anticipate accepting keyboard applications for the 2020 season.
- Audition Videos (see below)
- Biographical Essay: In approximately 300 words, describe your background and musical/educational experience. Also address how participating in this program would help you achieve your personal or artistic goals.
- Recommendations: You will be asked to enter email addresses for two required references; a third is optional. Each reference will receive a link to an online recommendation form after you submit your completed application. Please note that this email will be sent directly from Acceptd (not Carnegie Hall or NYO2). Your references will have until January 3, 2020, to complete and submit their confidential recommendations. References who can address both your personal and musical qualities, such as your music teacher(s) and/or ensemble conductor(s), are preferred.
All applicants to NYO2 are required to record a series of videos that include the content outlined below. Each performance segment must be recorded in one take with no editing (though you may select the best of several takes). All videos must be recorded within eight months of the application deadline. Professional equipment and/or studio space is not necessary for a successful application to NYO2. With attention to a few details, your music making can be conveyed using readily available consumer electronics. Many past participants have recorded successful applications using iPhones or other smartphones. Please refer to our Video Guidelines for additional information and suggestions for effectively recording your audition.
Required Video Segments:
- Introduction: Before performing your solo selection, please include a spoken introduction in which you state your name, instrument, hometown, and title of the solo work you have chosen.
- Solo Piece: The solo piece can be any work of your choice, or a movement/section of a longer work, provided that it is approximately three minutes in duration. If the piece is longer than three minutes, you may record an excerpt or submit an unedited three-minute section from a longer recording. You may also use a recent solo recording if it meets the NYO2 audition requirements, but please record and upload the spoken introduction separately. A work with piano accompaniment (except if you are applying on harp or percussion) is strongly preferred.
- Excerpts: Each instrument has two required orchestral excerpts. (Percussionists will be asked to play one excerpt on each of a few standard instruments.)
- Video Essay: Please record an answer to one of the following questions:
- What is a non-musical interest or activity that you are passionate about and why?
- What musician (of any genre) most inspires you and why (or how)?
- What is your favorite non-musical creative work (book, painting, poem, movie, etc.) and why does it speak to you?
Citizenship/Residency: NYO2 is open to US citizens or full-time US residents.
Age Limit: You must be between the ages of 14 and 17 during the summer of your participation. For 2020, this means that your birthdate must be between July 1, 2002, and June 30, 2006, without exception.
Grade Level: Participation in NYO2 is limited to middle and high school students within the age range above. You must be enrolled in middle school, high school, or the equivalent level of homeschooling during the 2019–2020 academic year to be eligible for the 2020 NYO2 program. Gap-year students who graduated from high school in 2019 (or earlier) are not eligible.