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  • New York String Orchestra Seminar

  • "It was one of the defining moments for me as a teenager. The passion of people your own age is very important; it puts you in touch with a larger world, beyond schooling and everything else you do."

    —Yo-Yo Ma, cellist, participant in the 1971 New York String Orchestra Seminar

    2020 Online New York String Orchestra Seminar (NYSOS)

    December 19-23, 2020

    The New York String Orchestra Seminar is a highly selective training program for advanced 16- to 23-year-old orchestral music students. The ONLINE | 2020 New York String Orchestra Seminar is an application- and tuition-free program, ensuring that all participants are selected on the basis of talent and technical ability as displayed in the live audition rather than personal financial means. 

    Students invited for the 2020 Seminar will take part in remote online sessions with conductor Jaime Laredo, celebrated chamber artists, and fellow students from across the country December 19-23, 2020.

    For more than 50 years, the NYSOS has opened new musical worlds to some of the country’s most talented student musicians.

    Conductor/violinist Jaime Laredo and top artists in the chamber music, orchestral, and solo fields have offered insights and inspired participants to bring the individual commitment of chamber music into orchestra playing and personal expressiveness to chamber music. Past faculty has included members of such ensembles as the Emerson, Guarneri, Juilliard, and Orion String quartets and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; concertmasters and principals of major orchestras; and faculty from leading American music schools and conservatories.

    Although we cannot perform our traditional two concerts at Carnegie Hall this December, we invite audiences to take a peek behind the scenes at the 2020 New York String Orchestra Seminar. We will be live-streaming the following panels and sessions on Facebook and YouTube:

    December 20

    5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) Orchestral leadership panel with Margaret Batjer, concertmaster, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Richard King, former principal horn, Cleveland Orchestra; Priscilla Lee, associate principal cellist, Philadelphia Orchestra; Teng Li, principal viola, Los Angeles Philharmonic; Malcolm Lowe, concertmaster (retired), Boston Symphony; and Afendi Yusuf, principal clarinet, Cleveland Orchestra.

    December 21

    4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET) Emanuel Ax and Jaime Laredo are joined by violinist Pamela Frank in a discussion of the Brahms Violin Concerto. NYSOS participants play excerpts from the work.

    5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) Bassoonist Frank Morelli (Windscape and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) and violinist Todd Phillips (Orion String Quartet and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) discuss techniques and take questions from NYSOS participants on playing leaderless ensembles, from duos to conductorless orchestras.

    December 22

    4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET) Jaime Laredo and Emanuel Ax discuss Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6. Student participants play excerpts.

    5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) Members of the Emerson, Orion, and Guarneri Quartets and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio discuss chamber ensemble longevity and take questions from 2020 participants.

    December 23

    4:00-5:00 p.m. (ET) Jaime Laredo and Emanuel Ax are joined by composer Gabriela Lena Frank in a discussion of her work Elegia Andina and the rewards and challenges of introducing new work to student ensembles. Student participants play excerpts.

    5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) Acclaimed chamber artists (violinists Pamela Frank, Ida Kavafian, and Jaime Laredo; cellist Sharon Robinson; and bassist Kurt Muroki) discuss how to come to a consensus over a short period in ad hoc chamber ensembles. Student participants take part in a Q&A.

    These sessions will be available on Facebook and YouTube at the times noted above and on demand thereafter.

    In addition to these publicly shared sessions, students will take part in more than 50 sessions over the five days of the program, during which they learn from and play for a roster of renowned master artists.

    If you have questions, please contact us at

    History of the Seminar

    Arts administrator and artist manager Frank Salomon created the seminar in 1969 for Alexander Schneider, one of the most important musical figures of the 20th century. Schneider was deeply committed to young artists and was an inspiration to generations of musicians. He believed that music has to "come from your heart and your soul, or it has no meaning." The New York String Orchestra Seminar was designed to offer professional training to gifted string, wind, brass, and timpani students who have reached a formative point in the development of their musical understanding and professional goals.

    Acclaimed conductor, soloist, and chamber musician Jaime Laredo, Schneider's personal choice as successor, has led the orchestra since 1993. Laredo has introduced some of the country's most gifted young musicians to new musical ideas, offering them chamber music coaching from members of the world's top ensembles and giving them the challenge of performing at a professional level onstage at Carnegie Hall.

    The seminar's more than 2,400 alumni are found in every state of the country. We are proud to include conductors and soloists such as Marin Alsop, Pamela Frank, Karina Canellakis, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Oundjian, Gil Shaham, and Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg; chamber musicians in groups as diverse as Brooklyn Rider, the Silkroad Ensemble, and the Dover, Emerson, Kronos, Orion, and Takacs string quartets; and concertmasters and principals in every major U.S. orchestra, including the concertmasters of the Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia orchestras and the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics. We are equally proud of the many alumni who are contributing to the musical lives of young people on the faculties of major conservatories and in the classrooms of public schools.

    Our Supporters

    The New York String Orchestra Seminar is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the support of the Alexander Schneider Foundation, a grant from the Colburn Foundation, and support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

  • Make a Donation

  • Contact Us

    Rohana Elias-Reyes, Director
    New School Concerts
    55 West 13th Street, room 929
    New York, NY 10011
    Phone: 212.229.5873
    Fax: 212.229.5306

  • Upcoming Concerts

    Monday, December 24, 2018, at 7:00 p.m.

    Friday, December 28, 2018, at 8:00 p.m.

    Tickets are available for purchase through the links above or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.274.7800.

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