Episode #1966

The National Orchestral Institute & Festival

« previous episode | next episode »

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Every summer 100 gifted young players, selected through rigorous, nationwide auditions, assemble at the University of Maryland College Park, to participate in the National Orchestral Institute.

The Institute was founded in 1988 by the late Leon Barzin who designed it to prepare outstanding young musicians for symphonic careers. Barzin’s pioneering work led to the establishment of many training ensembles around the country. For each of the four weeks that student players are on campus, they are coached by a different set of conductors and faculty mentors, working in intensive sectional and full rehearsals. At the end of the week, they then give public concerts as the National Festival Orchestra. The students are also trained in effective community service and engage in various outreach at schools, community centers, and retirement villages. 

Program playlist:

Recorded on June 21, 2014

Richard Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28

Gustav Holst: The Planets – Mercury, the Winged Messenger; Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity.

--The National Orchestral Institute & Festival

--Christopher Seaman, Guest Conductor

--University of Maryland, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

--College Park, MD


Recorded on June 21, 2014

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Paul Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis on themes by Carl Maria von Weber

--The National Orchestral Institute & Festival

--Leonard Slatkin, Guest Conductor

--University of Maryland, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

--College Park, MD

Comments [2]

Don Reinhold from Wichita, KS

Need to get the facts straight...Leon Barzin had nothing to do with the founding of the National Orchestral Institute. You're confusing it with the National Orchestral Association, a New York-based organization that existed around the time the NOI was founded in 1988 at the University of Maryland College Park. I don't recall being aware of the NOA until after we began the NOI. I directed the NOI from its founding through 1999 while working in the Office of Summer Programs under its dean, Mel Bernstein, and with my colleague George Moquin who was Director of the Rossborough Festival and the various International Competitions named in honor of William Kapell, Marion Anderson, and Leonard Rose that existed at the time. In 1998 the NOI program was moved to the University's School of Music where it continues to flourish today.

Oct. 14 2015 12:40 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

Long may this Institute continue. Those unfamiliar with the late Leon Barzin's unimpeachable credentials and experience in classical music should read the obituary in "The New York Times" linked on this post. Institutes like this are doing yeomen's service against the state of affairs described in the post "The Music Americans Dislike the Most".

Oct. 14 2015 09:54 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.