National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America returns to Asia

Following a three-week intensive training residency at Purchase College NY, and a concert at Carnegie Hall on 19 July, the 106 members of NYO-USA 2018 will travel to Asia for the orchestra’s second tour of the region.

The five-date tour sees the orchestra give debut performances in Taiwan and South Korea, as well as returning to Shanghai and Beijing. Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and joined by soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the orchestra will perform a new Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by Ted Hearne, Sibelius Symphony No. 2 and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F Major.

The orchestra’s performance of the same programme at Carnegie Hall last night was met with great praise from critics:

“… something unexpected happened for me during the middle of Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, performed by the ensemble under Michael Tilson Thomas on Thursday evening at Carnegie Hall. I forgot I was listening to teenagers. Instead, I was concentrating on the work’s brooding transitions, and thinking about the second movement’s route between delicate pizzicato phrases and heights of bombast. You didn’t have to make the usual youth orchestra apologies: This was creditable as a richly imagined, fully professional performance.”
Seth Colter Walls, New York Times, 20 July 2018

2018/19 Carnegie Hall Perspectives artist MTT talks about Sibelius’ Second Symphony in the video below:

Tour dates

  • 24 July, National Concert Hall, Taipei
  • 27 July, Shanghai Symphony Hall
  • 29 July, National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing
  • 1 August, Lotte Concert Hall, Seoul
  • 3 August, Daejeon Culture & Arts Centre

We first toured NYO-USA in 2015, for their debut performances in China, and have since had the pleasure of touring the group to both Europe and Latin America. Next year, NYO-USA will return to Europe with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.

Launched in 2013, one of the key raisons d’être of the NYO-USA programme is that it’s free for all participants. In a recent interview with The Green Room, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director Clive Gillinson said: “We want these youth orchestras to be based on the ability to play not the ability to pay.”

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