(July 7, 2022; New York, NY)—This summer, more than 100 outstanding teen musicians from 34 U.S. states will come together as the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following an intensive two-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY) and a concert at Carnegie Hall on July 29, this incredible group of instrumentalists (ages 16-19), led this summer by Daniel Harding, will embark on a four-city European tour, including performances at Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam (August 2); the Young Euro Classic festival at Konzerthaus Berlin (August 5); the Ravello Festival (August 7); and the Lucerne Festival (August 10).

Alongside renowned conductor Daniel Harding, celebrated cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins as guest soloist. The concert program to be performed at Carnegie Hall (July 29) and all tour venues includes Elgar’s Cello Concerto, featuring Ms. Weilerstein, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. This tour marks NYO-USA’s debut appearances in Ravello and Lucerne; the orchestra last performed at the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Young Euro Classic festival at Konzerthaus Berlin in 2019. The orchestra’s tour concert at the Konzerthaus Berlin will be webcast live on Friday, August 5 on medici.tv. This summer is the first time NYO-USA has been able to tour since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled that the National Youth Orchestra of the USA will return to touring this summer under the baton of Daniel Harding,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “Coming out of a very challenging two years, connecting through music with people from across all areas of the world feels more meaningful than ever. This summer promises to offer truly memorable life-changing experiences, as these young musicians perform on some of the world’s greatest stages and serve as dynamic ambassadors for our country.”

NYO-USA’s touring activities have been designed to allow America’s finest young musicians to share their artistry with international audiences while also experiencing the vibrancy of European culture. As part of their travel schedule, NYO-USA musicians will have the exciting opportunity to tour the cities in which they will be performing. The musicians will also continue the cultural exchange activities that have become a hallmark of Carnegie Hall’s national youth ensembles.

Nancy Szalwinski, Director of Cultural Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, applauded NYO-USA’s return to in-person touring. She noted that “international cultural exchanges like the upcoming NYO-USA tour of European capitals are a powerful way for people to connect across borders and for countries to build respect for each other.”

The members of the 2022 orchestra—ages 16–19, hailing from 34 US states—have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest players in the country following a comprehensive and highly selective audition process. This summer’s orchestra features 29 musicians who previously played with NYO-USA, as well as 33 musicians who gained experience through NYO2, a program for younger players ages 14–17. NYO-USA and NYO2 are offered free of charge, ensuring that all invited musicians have the opportunity to take part. Click here for a full list of musicians.

In preparation for their performances and tour, the musicians will arrive in mid-July from across the country for an intensive training residency at Purchase College, SUNY, just north of New York City. NYO-USA musicians will work with leading players from America’s top professional orchestras, and take part in full ensemble rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, master classes, private lessons, chamber music, and other seminars on essential music skills.

About NYO-USA and Summer 2022 Guest Artists

Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the finest young musicians from across the country (ages 16–19) to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a two-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), with faculty made up of principal players from top professional US orchestras, these remarkable teenagers perform at Carnegie Hall and embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as America’s dynamic music ambassadors. As part of their travel schedule, NYO-USA musicians also have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with local young musicians and experience the richness of other cultures.

Launched in the summer of 2013, NYO-USA performances have been praised for “exuding vitality and confidence” (The New York Times). Following annual concerts at Carnegie Hall, NYO-USA has toured in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and across the United States. The orchestra has been invited to perform at leading international festivals and on landmark stages around the world, including the BBC Proms in London; National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing; Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg; Lotte Hall in Seoul; Sucre National Theater in Quito; and the Tanglewood festival, among many others. Most recently, in the summer of 2021, the orchestra gathered in person at SUNY Purchase, marking the first time that most of the young musicians had been able to play in full ensembles since the start of the pandemic. In the nine years since the ensemble’s creation, NYO-USA has worked with incredible conductors and guest artists, including Sir Antonio Pappano, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, Joyce DiDonato, Marin Alsop, Michael Tilson Thomas, and others. NPR has raved that “Carnegie Hall may have created the best music camp ever.”

NYO-USA is one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth orchestras, comprising NYO2 for outstanding classical musicians (ages 14–17) and NYO Jazz for the nation’s finest jazz instrumentalists (ages16–19).

Born in Oxford, Daniel Harding began his career assisting Sir Simon Rattle at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, with which he made his professional debut in 1994. He went on to assist Claudio Abbado at the Berliner Philharmoniker, making his debut with the orchestra at the 1996 Berlin Festival. Mr. Harding is Music and Artistic Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris from 2016 to 2019, and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 2007 to 2017. He also holds the lifetime title of Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In 2018, Mr. Harding was named Artistic Director of the Anima Mundi festival. In 2020, he was named Conductor-in-Residence of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande for the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 seasons. Mr. Harding is a regular visitor to the Wiener Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, and Filarmonica della Scala. In 2011, he conducted Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci at La Scala, for which he was awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize. Closely associated with the Aix-en-Provence Festival, he has conducted new productions of Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin, and Le nozze di Figaro. In 2002, Mr. Harding was awarded the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and in 2017 was nominated Officier Arts et Lettres. In 2012, he was elected a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Music. He is a qualified airline pilot.

Alisa Weilerstein is one of the foremost cellists of our time. Known for her consummate artistry, emotional investment, and rare interpretive depth, she was recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship in 2011. Today, her career is truly global in scope, taking her to the most prestigious international venues for solo recitals, chamber concerts, and concerto collaborations with preeminent conductors and orchestras worldwide. The New York Times called her “a throwback to an earlier age of classical performers: Not content merely to serve as a vessel for the composer’s wishes, she inhabits a piece fully and turns it to her own ends.” “Weilerstein’s cello is her id. She doesn’t give the impression that making music involves will at all. She and the cello seem simply to be one and the same,” agrees the Los Angeles Times. As The Telegraph put it, “Weilerstein is truly a phenomenon.”

Ms. Weilerstein recently premiered Joan Tower’s new cello concerto, A New Day, at the Colorado Music Festival. The work was co-commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; The Cleveland Orchestra, with whom Weilerstein performed it last fall; and the National Symphony Orchestra, where she reprised it in May 2022. An ardent champion of contemporary music, she has also premiered and supported important new works by composers who include Pascal Dusapin, Osvaldo Golijov, and Matthias Pintscher. An authority on J. S. Bach’s music for unaccompanied cello, in spring 2020, Ms. Weilerstein released a best-selling recording of his solo suites on the Pentatone label; streamed them in her innovative #36DaysOfBach project; and deconstructed his beloved Suite No. 1 in G Major in a Vox.com video, which has been viewed more than two million times. Her discography includes chart-topping albums and the winner of BBC Music Magazine’s Recording of the Year. Other career milestones include a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.

NYO-USA – Summer 2022 European Tour

Daniel Harding, Conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, Cello

ELGAR Cello Concerto in E Minor
G. MAHLER Symphony No. 5

Tuesday, August 2 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Friday, August 5 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
Konzerthaus Berlin, Young Euro Classic
Berlin, Germany

Sunday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. CEST
Villa Rufolo, Ravello Festival
Ravello, Italy

Wednesday, August 10 at 7:30 p.m. CEST
KKL Concert Hall, Lucerne Festival
Lucerne, Switzerland