NYO2 is an orchestral training program for talented young instrumentalists ages 14–17 created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Based on the success of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2 launched in the summer of 2016 with a particular focus on attracting talented students from groups underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field. Each summer, a group of young musicians comes together to interact with one another, learn from an all-star faculty in a variety of settings—including individual lessons, sectionals, and chamber ensembles, among others—and play under the direction of a celebrated conductor. Members of NYO2 will serve as musical ambassadors, representing their communities, schools, ensembles, states, and regions.
NYO2 is open to US citizens or fulltime US residents from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from those who will bring greater diversity to classical orchestral music and/or those who have not had access to highly selective training opportunities through youth orchestra programs, summer festivals, camps, or similar experiences outside of their communities. You must be between the ages of 14 and 17 during the summer of your participation. For 2018, this means that your birthdate must be between July 26, 2000, and June 30, 2004, without exception.
NYO2 is a summer program that will take place for several weeks between late June and late July. Because of the intensive nature of the program, no absences for any part of this period are permitted.
NYO2 is in residence at Purchase College, SUNY. Located on 550 scenic acres in Westchester County 30 miles north of New York City, Purchase College has outstanding rehearsal and practice facilities—including a conservatory music building and a highly regarded, multi-venue performing arts center—where all full orchestral rehearsals take place. The college’s newest residence hall (“Fort Awesome”) houses participants during the program.
Yes, NYO2 will perform in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage to conclude the program.
The audition and application process takes place online. Learn more about applying.
In line with its mission, NYO2 includes a broad range of qualified participants from across the country to reflect the exceptional diversity of the US. Applications are reviewed based on a variety of factors, including the applicant’s technical ability, musicianship, passion, willingness to collaborate, intellectual curiosity, and social and emotional maturity.
Any US citizen—regardless of their current place of residence—is eligible to apply for NYO2. Applications are also accepted from those who are living fulltime in the US as permanent residents (green card holders) or as dependent children of temporary workers who have been living continuously in the US for at least two years (typically H-1B visa holders). International students who are living in the US for school or other reasons are not eligible for NYO2.
NYO2’s symphony orchestra is made up of around 80 musicians. Applicants can apply on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, and percussion/timpani. Based on repertoire, there may be positions available for other instruments, including harp and piano/orchestral keyboard.
Yes, but a separate application is required for each instrument. Please note that auxiliary instruments such as piccolo, English horn, and bass clarinet do not require a separate application.
Yes, as long as you were born between July 26, 2000, and June 30, 2002. You will need to apply to each program separately. Please refer to the application instructions for NYO-USA for more information.
Yes, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. Please note that all applicants are required to re-apply and submit a new audition video each year.
Yes. A formal nomination from a teacher, ensemble director, school/band/orchestra administrator, or community leader is required as part of the application.
While you can select a three-minute excerpt from a longer work or recorded performance, please keep your solo submission as close to the three-minute mark as possible. We receive a large number of applications, and our review panel listens carefully to all auditions. It is not possible for the panel to listen to submissions considerably longer than the requested three minutes.
We prefer that you submit one continuous recording.
No, but it is helpful if at least one of them is. While general music teachers, orchestra directors, or private instructors are all acceptable as musical references, an academic instructor or other non-music mentor can also serve as a reference.
No, only two references are required. If you feel that another might add a different perspective to your application, you are welcome to include a third reference.
Yes, but we ask that they complete the separate recommendation form in addition to the nomination form.
No. We understand that not everyone has the means to provide a professional video recording, and our goal is to make NYO2 accessible to all who wish to apply. As long as the applicant is clearly visible and audible, the audition will be judged on its musical merits and not on its production value. Most auditions have been recorded using basic home video equipment.
We are unable to consider any supplemental application materials received after the application deadline.
In 2016 and 2017, Giancarlo Guerrero—music director of the Nashville Symphony and principal guest conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Miami Residency—conducted NYO2. The 2018 NYO2 conductor will be announced in late 2017.
Musical preparation during NYO2's residency will be overseen by a conducting staff led by NYO-USA orchestra director James Ross. Working with individual instrument groups will be a dream team of principal players from top American orchestras and professors from the finest conservatories and schools of music, who will coach sectional rehearsals, teach private lessons, coach chamber music, and share perspectives on their lives as professional musicians. The 2018 faculty will be announced early next year. Visit https://www.carnegiehall.org/NYO2/GuestArtists/ to view the 2017 faculty.
In addition to orchestra rehearsals and the opportunity to work closely with world-renowned faculty, NYO2 participants will have both musical and social opportunities with members of NYO-USA. Additional components of the program will be announced early next year.
NYO2 is a tuition-free program for all participants. The program provides room and board during the residency and covers all expenses related to instructional, rehearsal, performance, and other activities. There is no fee to apply. Financial aid is also available to help participants with the travel costs associated with participation in NYO2. Additional details will be available upon acceptance.