Skip to main content

Apprentice Conducting Program

Audition Info

Auditions for the 2018/19 season are now closed. We invite you to audition for the 2019/20 season - please check back in May 2019 for further audition information.

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for the New York Youth Symphony's apprentice conducting program.

“The orchestra has been a training ground for conductors who have gone on to bigger things.”  -The New York Times 

The world’s finest emerging conductors have found the Symphony’s podium to be an unparalleled opportunity to sharpen their craft, develop their talent, and gain exposure in front of New York's discerning audiences. The Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program gives aspiring orchestral conductors the opportunity to study the art of conducting through rehearsal technique, stick technique, score analysis, podium time, and observation, under the guidance of the NYYS Music Director and Assistant Conductor. More information about the program can be found on the Conducting Program page.

The Apprentice Conducting students will meet from 12pm-1:30pm approximately six sessions per concert cycle. Score discussion will largely focus on the repertoire currently being played by the Orchestra. In addition to its seminars, participants must attend a minimum of five Orchestra rehearsals and one Orchestra concert per cycle. Rehearsals are usually held on Sundays from 2-6pm at The DiMenna Center. Students will also attend at least one rehearsal of a professional orchestra in New York City during the year.


Students will have the opportunity to conduct small ensembles throughout the year. The Apprentice Conducting Program culminates with the apprentice conductors working directly with a composer of the NYYS Composition Program to prepare, rehearse, and perform a newly composed piece at the Composition Date Concert on May 16, 2019.

Conducting Audition Information

After filling out your online application, you will receive a link to sign up for an interview time. You must also e-mail additional application materials to the NYYS Artistic Operations Manager. Additional application materials include: 

  • Letter of intent (no more than one page) outlining why you are interested in the Apprentice Conducting program and your future goals as a musician/conductor.
  • Letter of recommendation (preferably from a musician).
  • Video clip link accessible online (YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, etc.) of your conducting. (Please note: If you do not have a video excerpt, you will still be eligible to participate in the program.)

Age Eligibility

New York Youth Symphony serves students between the ages of 12 and 22. In order to participate in a NYYS Program, the applicant's birth date must be no earlier than May 31, 1997 and no later than November 1, 2007, inclusive. Please do not apply if your birth date falls outside of these dates as you will not be eligible for the program and we are not able to refund your application fee.


A non-refundable application fee for the 2018-2019 season is $95. In addition to the application fee, there is a $150 Registration Fee upon acceptance into the program. Application waivers, financial aid and work-study opportunities are available for students to recoup the Registration and Audition fees. Download the work-study and scholarship application here.