Carnegie Hall to Establish Youth Orchestra

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 06:04 PM

Carnegie Hall Carnegie Hall (wallyg/flickr)

Carnegie Hall is establishing a youth orchestra called the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.

The New York City music venue made the announcement Wednesday.

It'll be called the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. It will have 120 musicians, ages 16 to 19.

Its first season will be in 2013.

The orchestra will have a two-week residency on the Purchase College campus of the State University of New York.

It will perform there and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., before going on a tour to Moscow, St. Petersburg and London.

Each year, it will tour different cities and have a different conductor.

The first season's conductor will be Valery Gergiev, music director of St. Petersburg's Marinsky Theatre.

The orchestra's first performance at Carnegie Hall will be in summer 2014.

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Comments [7]

beaglelady from Connecticut

"Having unmarketable skills at about age 40 is not a very enviable prospect."

True, but no matter what you study your job will be outsourced. And after a certain age, nobody wants to hire you anyway.

Perhaps getting a double major would be a good strategy for aspiring musicians.

Jan. 20 2012 01:06 PM
Michael Meltzer

David:
I don’t have exact numbers, but anecdotal feedback from my years in the music business tells me that in point of fact, the majority of kids in the All City High School Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, orchestras of the Preparatory Divisions at Juilliard, Manhattan and Mannes, go on to college and enter the sciences, medicine, law, teaching, the whole spectrum. The ones who continue in music are the ones who cannot be talked out of it, and believe me, everyone around them tries do exactly that. Even when things were going “well” in music there were always thousands of musicians in New York for jobs numbering in the hundreds.
These are special, wonderfully gifted kids, often multi-talented, and their playing skills and experience often earn them scholarships even when they are not ultimately music majors, at large universities which like to maintain a community orchestra. It’s the equivalent of football and basketball, it gets you from here to there, and improves the quality of everyone’s life. Why not?

Jan. 14 2012 05:24 AM
David from Flushing

Frankly, I would feel a bit guilty about encouraging any young person to pursue classical music at this point. Having unmarketable skills at about age 40 is not a very enviable prospect.

Carnegie Hall would probably do a greater public service by establishing a National Orchestra of Laid Off Musicians.

Jan. 13 2012 04:26 PM
James from Staten Island, NY

I nominate Michael Tilson Thomas. I had the opportunity to work with him at the Hollywood Bowl Summer Festival when maestro Bernstein was still alive. He was wonderful with the students. He spoke about music in the contexts of culture, literature and history, as well as its relationship to the other art forms. His conducting technique exhibits both precision and heartfelt expression. His interpretations were often informed by a thorough study of the composers' intentions and imbued with his own joy for making music. The people of San Francisco are fortunate to have him, although I believe his place is in NY. He has also directed the New World Youth Symphony and, more recently, the YouTube Symphony.

Jan. 13 2012 01:44 PM
Alonso Alegria from Lima Peru

Interesting to note how good ideas breed. Many years ago (1975) Venezuelan maestro Jose Antonio Abreu began what would in time become the huge venezuelan 'sistema' of youth symphony orchestras. The most notable --but not the only-- great product of this pioneering organization is Gustavo Dudamel, no less. A couple of years ago Juan Diego Flórez pioneered the establishment in Lima of an equivalent system, which is doing very well indeed. Glad to hear the United States is now following suit, but... Gergiev? I'm not so sure: the job seems to need a special temperament and the U.S. needs an American conductor for this. Ah, by the way, Juan Diego will be in Lima singing with the Youth Orchestra next tues, January 18.

Jan. 13 2012 10:48 AM
Eileen from Upstate, NY

I know music is an i"international language" but I agree totally with Mr. Meltzer - the first season should have an American Conductor - after, all it does say "Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, does it not? Let's give someone new a chance!

Jan. 13 2012 09:19 AM
Michael Meltzer

Has Maestro Gergiev applied for a Green Card?
Most of us thought that America's inferiority complex and Europe-worship were past and done with. Is there no American conductor of international stature willing to take this on?
For shame!

Jan. 13 2012 04:53 AM

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