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Chamber Music Program

Audition Info

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program!

Applications for the 2020/2021 season are closed. Please check back in June 2021 for the 2021/2022 season application.

The Chamber Music Program, under the direction of Dr. Lisa Tipton, 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.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NYYS is allowing ensembles to decide with their coaches and families whether to rehearse and coach in-person or online this fall. We encourage social distancing guidelines be observed at all times. 

Applicants should review the guidelines on this page to make sure that they can fulfill the commitment to the program before applying. If you have questions, please contact the NYYS office at (212) 581-5933.

Audition Requirements

Auditions will be held virtually from September 8 - 20, 2020 via Zoom - please download the Zoom app for free here. Upon completing the online application, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to schedule your audition online. If you are unable to access Zoom for your audition, please contact Shauna Quill at squill(at)nyys(dot)org to make alternate arrangements.

Chamber Music applicants must prepare two (2) solo movements of contrasting styles (can be from the same work). Pre-formed groups must prepare one piece. 

Age Eligibility

New York Youth Symphony serves students between the ages of 12 and 22. In order to participate in the 2020/2021 season, the applicant's birth date must be no earlier than May 31, 1998 and no later than November 1, 2008. 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.

Fees & Financial Aid

There is a non-refundable application fee of $95. In addition to the application fee, there is a $415 registration fee upon acceptance into the program. 

The NYYS recognizes that the cost of application and registration fees may be prohibitive for some students, and that access to technology may be a barrier to participation in online activities. Financial aid, application fee waivers, work-study, and technology funds are available to help offset these expenses. Financial need is the major consideration when awarding assistance. We ask that students seek funding through their personal networks in addition to completing the financial aid application as funds are limited.

Application fee waivers require prior approval. 
Click here to request an application fee waiver. 
Please wait for a response before beginning your program application. You will receive a response within 48 hours of submitting your request.

Additional financial aid is available within the NYYS program application.


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 2020/2021 season include:

Workshops and Masterclasses

Participants in the Chamber Music Program have the opportunity to play for professional world class chamber players in masterclasses throughout the season. Recent master clinicians have included members of the Juilliard, Orion, American, Harlem and Shanghai quartets, Windscape, International Contemporary Ensemble, Sphinx, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Masterclass guests for the 2020/2021 season include:

  • Rebecca Fischer, violin (The Afield, Chiara Quartet, Mannes School of Music)
  • Hsin-Yun Huang, viola (Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School)
  • Ani Kavafian, violin (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Yale School of Music)
  • Dana Kelly, viola (Orpheus, Sphinx, Argus Quartet, The Knights)
  • Joel Krosnick, cello (Juilliard Quartet)
  • Anne-Marie McDermott, piano (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Vail Music Festival, Angel Fire)
  • Anthony McGill, clarinet (NY Philharmonic, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Bard College)
  • Danny Phillips, violin (Orion Quartet, The Juilliard School, Bard College, Queens College)
  • Orli Shaham, piano (The Juilliard School, Columbia University, Orli Shaham's Bach Yard)
  • Melissa White, violin (Harlem Quartet)


Each group performs at two jury assessments during the year. These assessments determine assignments in master classes and performances throughout the season. The December 2020 assessments will take place over zoom.


The Chamber Music Program season will culminate in performances at Scandinavia House on May 17 and 18, 2021, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on May 6, 2021. 

First Music World Premiere

One ensemble in the Chamber Music Program is selected to perform the world premiere 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 premiere in Weill Recital Hall.

Community Concerts

Chamber Music Program students perform 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.

Due to COVID-19, NYYS students will be participating in online community concerts only for the 2020/21 season.