About NYYS

Dedicated to showcasing the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians

About Hero Nyys

Our Core Values

What Makes Us, Us.

  • We value the excellence of our teaching and mentoring.
  • We encourage personal development, creativity, self-discipline, and working well with others.
  • No one is to be excluded on the basis of ability to pay.
  • We aspire to a culture of fairness and mutual respect.
  • We value performances in prominent venues.
  • We expect a strong commitment from all members of the NYYS community – musicians, teachers, staff, and Trustees.
  • We value the special relationship between our musicians and their audiences.
  • We strive to be an inclusive organization reflecting the diversity of, and actively reaching out to, the greater New York metropolitan community.
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Our mission is to educate and inspire young musicians through exceptional ensemble training and performance opportunities.

The New York Youth Symphony

Our History

The New York Youth Symphony is one of the most awarded youth programs of its kind in the nation, including the 2022 Grammy award for Best Orchestral Performance. It is recognized for its innovative, educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians ages 10-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, jazz, musical theater songwriting and our newest orchestra, Crescendo, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Through its commissioning program, First Music, the NYYS has commissioned over 170 works from young composers since 1984.


Rome Prizes


Guggenheim Fellowships


Grawemeyer Awards


Pulitzer Prizes

The New York Youth Symphony

World-renowned Alumni

The careers of world-renowned conductors, musicians, and composers have been assisted by their early experiences with the New York Youth Symphony. Our former music directors and program alumni include Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Myung-Whun Chung (Tokyo Philharmonic), Pedro Diaz (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Lawrence Dutton (Emerson Quartet), Joshua Gersen (New York Philharmonic), Miguel Harth-Bedoya (Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra), Gary Levinson (Dallas Symphony), Cho-Liang Lin (Soloist; Rice University), David Alan Miller (Albany Symphony Orchestra), Kenneth Mirkin (New York Philharmonic), Leonard Slatkin (Detroit Symphony Orchestra), Joel Smirnoff (Juilliard String Quartet), Michael Tiscione (Atlanta Symphony), and Fred Zlotkin (NY City Ballet), among many others.

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NYYS Partners

Our Partner Organizations

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Ways to Support

Donate today and help support our students continue their journey and become a part of our community of musicians and change the landscape of what the musical world look like today.


Unparalleled Performances

Experience all the hard work, practice and rehearsals that our students take on and show up to see them perform at one of our many concerts throughout the season.

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Apply Today

Take the plunge and give yourself an opportunity to become a part of our amazing community of musicians, songwriters, composers and conductors.

Apply Today