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US national youth orchestra to contain 80 string musicians

March 4, 2013

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Eighty string players from across the US have been chosen to be part of the inaugural National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO–USA). The ensemble, which comprises 120 musicians in total, will include 40 violins, 16 violas, 14 cellos and 10 double basses. They will come together from 30 June to 23 July, with the orchestra’s debut performance taking place at the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, on 13 July.

Created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the orchestra has been created for musicians in the US aged 16–19. The new orchestra will rehearse its first programme at Purchase College, State University of New York, in a two-week training residency ahead of its first national tour. Valery Gergiev will conduct all NYO–USA concerts in its inaugural tour across the country. It will make its Carnegie Hall debut in 2014.

Speaking about the project last year, Carnegie Hall director Clive Gillinson said that students would receive mentoring from first-chair players at leading US orchestras while at Purchase College. ‘We are also looking at how these musicians can collaborate with other young talents around the world while on tour,’ he added, also stating that the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain had been a useful model for the new ensemble. As with the UK orchestra, none of the players in NYO–USA are studying full time at a college-level conservatoire or university music department. The full orchestra roster for 2013 can be found here.

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