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Apprentice Conducting Program

Audition Info

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

Applications for the 2019/2020 season are closed. Please check back in May 2020 for the 2020/2021 season application.

“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 NYYS Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program to be an unparalleled opportunity to sharpen their craft, develop their talent, and gain exposure in front of New York's discerning audiences. Under guidance from NYYS Music Director Michael Repper and Assistant Conductor Alan Buxbaum, this program gives aspiring orchestral conductors the opportunity to study the art of conducting through rehearsal technique, stick technique, score analysis, podium time, and observation.

We encourage each applicant to 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.

Age Eligibility

New York Youth Symphony serves students between the ages of 12 and 22. In order to participate in the 2019/2020 season, 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.

Rehearsals and Performances

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 in May 2020.

Conducting Audition Information

Interviews will be held on September 10, 2019 at the NYYS offices at 110 W 40th Street, Suite 1503, New York, NY 10018.

After filling out your online application, you will receive a link to sign up for an interview time. You must also submit additional application materials within your application, including: 

  • 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 of your conducting (accessible online via YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, etc.). Please note: If you do not have a video excerpt, you will still be eligible to participate in the program.


A non-refundable application fee for the 2019/2020 season is $95. In addition to the application fee, there is a $155 registration fee upon acceptance into the program. Financial aid and work-study opportunities are available.

Apply for the 2019/2020 Season

Applications for the 2019/2020 season are closed. Please check back in May 2020 for the 2020/2021 season application.