Skip to main content

Chamber Music Program

Audition Info

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for the New York Youth Symphony chamber music program.

"The Chamber Music Program of the New York Youth Symphony has established itself as one of the most well-respected ensemble music training programs in the country...[The program] provides a range of opportunities to study, perform, and rehearse in a context that balances structure with flexibility, guidance and independence, and discipline with inspiration."  —Chamber Music America magazine

The New York Youth Symphony's Chamber Program will celebrate its 35th Anniversary Season in 2016/17. The program is an excellent opportunity for players to enhance their musical abilities, improve their performance confidence, and develop interpersonal skills within small group settings. The Program makes every effort to place individual players into ensembles with whom they may feel most comfortable; pre-formed groups are also encouraged to apply.

Audition Requirements

Chamber Music applicants must prepare two (2) solo movements of contrasting styles (can be from the same work). Auditions for the 2017/18 season are now closed. Please check back in June 2018 for the 2018/19 season audition application form.

Age Eligibility

In order to participate in a NYYS Program, the applicant's birthdate must fall between November 20, 2005 and May 29, 1995, inclusive. Please do not apply if you are outside of these dates as you will not be eligible for the program and we are not able to refund your application fee.

Director's Award for Commitment and Achievement

Each year, the Director recognizes individuals at the season's final concert for dedication to the Program and for musical advancement. The recipients of the 2016/2017 Director's Award was Firefly, composed of:

Abigail Nishiwaki, violin
Jack Shigeta, violin
Andrew Hughes, viola
Mizuki Hayakawa, cello


The Chamber Program's season culminates in performances at the Tenri Cultural Institute, the National Arts Center, and Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall. 


Each group performs at two jury assessments during the year. It is a great way to hear the other ensembles in the Program, as well as get to know the other groups at a post-jury reception.


Instruction levels are incorporated within a two-tiered program, intermediate and advanced. Ensembles comprised of strings, winds, brass, guitar, harp, and piano meet weekly from October through April for individualized coaching sessions with a staff of outstanding professional musicians. The coaches for the 2017/2018 season include:

Workshops and Masterclasses

Students enjoy special evenings of sight-reading with coaches, workshops, informal performances, and social time.

Participants in the ChamberPprogram have the opportunity to play for Professional World Class Chamber Players in masterclasses.  Througout the season, masterclasses are offered by Members of the Juilliard, Orion, American and Shanghai Quartets, Windscape and the NY Woodwind Quintets, ICE and members of Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. 

Click Here to view the schedule of workshops and masterclasses.

First Music World Premiere

One ensemble in the Chamber Program is selected to perform the world première of a work commissioned through the New York Youth Symphony's First Music program, which commissions new works by young American composers. The work will have its première in Weill Recital Hall.

Mentorship Program

In selected seasons, a renowned performer will work closely with a selected group, performing with them at the final concert of the season. Past mentors have included Ida Kavafian, Daniel Phillips, Ron Arron, Paul Neubauer, Alan Kay, David Geber, Carmit Zori Wolfram Koessel, and Nicholas Tzavaras.

Performances for Special Audiences

New York Youth Symphony's Performances for Special Audiences are live performances for children and senior citizens at various facilities throughout the five boroughs of New York. This form of music education and exposure is vital to the future generations of students who do not receive arts education in their schools. Within the care facilities, music therapy can improve overall rehabilitation of the therapy recipients and increase their motivation to become engaged in their treatment, depending on the nature of the disability. This unique experience also enables our players to use their talents to make a difference in people’s lives.

"I sincerely hope you will come back very soon to continue this great work. I want to personally thank each and every one of your young performers. I think often they cannot know how much they are helping with their effort." —Alessandro Ricciarelli, music therapist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering