New York Youth Symphony
Founded in 1963, the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) is internationally recognized for its award-winning and innovative educational programs for talented young musicians. As the premier independent music education organization for ensemble training in the New York metropolitan area, the NYYS has provided over 6,000 music students unparalleled opportunities to perform at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, Joe’s Pub, and TheTimesCenter, and to study with world-renowned artists. Beyond the instruction from accomplished musicians, students gain valuable life skills — commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration — and friendships that last a lifetime.
The NYYS is committed to partnering with traditionally underrepresented communities to create pathways for young people to find their way to music, and to a life in music. These community partnerships go beyond the stage to in-school residencies, free community concerts, and family involvement, and make music accessible to a wider and more diverse audience. The NYYS partners with organizations including the Harmony Program, Harlem School for the Arts, SongSpace, Maestra, KIPP Academy Middle School, the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Interlochen Arts Academy, BMI and ASCAP, plus offers fellowships to its current students and alumni/ae through the Vargas-Vetter/Ukena, Van Lier, and Orpheus Arts Management programs.
Executive Director Shauna Quill explains, “The New York Youth Symphony is proud of its 57-year history of providing outstanding music education to students through its six outstanding programs. We are committed to broadening access to the arts through our partnerships across the city as well as through fellowships which support students as they navigate the pathway towards college and perhaps a career in the arts. NYYS students and alumni become part of a community of musical citizens who engage with the arts for a lifetime.”
Now in its 57th season, NYYS is proud to continue its mission of educating and inspiring young musicians through its Orchestra, Jazz, Chamber Music, Composition, Musical Theater Composition, Apprenticeship Conducting, and First Music commissioning programs. This season includes seven world premieres of new works commissioned through the First Music program, composed for the Orchestra, Jazz, and Chamber Music ensembles. The season also features renowned and up-and-coming soloists including prodigy pianist Harmony Zhu, 2019 Sphinx Competition winner cellist Sterling Elliott, and leading young pianist Michelle Cann in the Carnegie Hall premiere of Florence Price’s recently re-discovered Piano Concerto in One Movement with NYYS Orchestra, as well as in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, celebrated saxophonist Steve Wilson, and trombone virtuoso Wycliffe Gordon with NYYS Jazz.
Photo by Chris Lee