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New York, NY - Now entering its 56th season, the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) is launching a Musical Theater Composition (MTC) program, to be led by newly-appointed director Anna K. Jacobs. In a partnership with the Harlem School of the Arts, this new program aims to diversify the world of musical theater by creating opportunities for young composers to have their compositions workshopped and performed by both peers and professionals. Additionally, students will explore various avenues of the genre with guest speakers who will share insights and experience from throughout their careers. The program will culminate in student-led performances at the Harlem School of the Arts, and Joe’s Pub. Ms. Jacobs teaches at Mannes College The New School for Music, and has received recognition for her own works with multiple awards and nominations. “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the NYYS team! I look forward to working with the students, and bringing their musical theater visions to life.”

The MTC program adds to five existing NYYS programs – Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, Composition, and Apprentice Conducting. The MTC program will be the sixth, and will further a strategic initiative to expand the impact of the NYYS within the music community. NYYS Board President Melissa Eisenstat is “extremely excited to add this program to the New York Youth Symphony. Our partnership with the Harlem School of the Arts is a crucial component to the opportunities and access it will provide NYYS music students aged 12 to 22.”

“In launching this new program we seek to open opportunities for students who might otherwise be unable to explore and develop their talents. Anna brings exceptional industry and educational experience in the genre to the program, and we are thrilled to have her leading this effort”, says NYYS Executive Director Shauna Quill. Auditions for the Musical Theater Composition program will be held in September. Applications are being accepted now. For more information on how to apply visit

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New York, NY - New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), is proud to continue its mission of providing an outstanding music education and performance opportunities to students between the ages of 12-22 by launching a new Musical Theater Composition program aimed at diversifying the world of musical theater. The new director and performance information is expected to be announced in summer 2018. Also new in 2018/19 the NYYS Orchestra and Chamber Music Programs will tour together for the first time ever to Spain in 2019, where they will explore cities including Madrid, Granada, and Seville.

The 2018/19 season will mark the 56th season of the NYYS Orchestra and the 35th Anniversary of the NYYS First Music commissioning program. Under music director Michael Repper, the orchestra concerts will feature all women soloists including guitarist Jiji, violinist Tai Murray, and world-renowned pianist Fei-Fei, furthering the organization’s commitment to equality and diversity. To celebrate the First Music program, which has commissioned over 150 original works for orchestra, chamber music, and jazz since 1984, NYYS Jazz director Andy Clausen has invited former NYYS Jazz directors Ryan Keberle and Matt Holman back as soloists on their favorite First Music commission at the March 12th performance at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Led by Dr. Lisa Tipton, the NYYS Chamber Music Program continues to provide coaching sessions and master classes with members of the Shanghai Quartet, The Juilliard Quartet, Orpheus and Imani Winds, and more. Dr. Kyle Blaha will continue as director of the NYYS Composition Program in its partnership with BMI and ASCAP, and host sessions with renowned composers including Paola Prestini, and more.

As the premier independent music education organization for ensemble training in the New York metropolitan area, the NYYS has provided over 6,000 music students unparalleled opportunities to perform at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center and to study with world-renowned artists, all tuition-free. Beyond the instruction from accomplished musicians, students gain valuable life skills — commitment, discipline, focus, collaboration — and friendships that last a lifetime.

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Performances for the 2018/19 Season include:

Michael Repper, music director
Three performances at Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage:
Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 2 PM
Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
Natalie Dietterich: light, beloved with Jiji, guitar (First Music world première)
Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 2 PM
Coleridge-Taylor: Ballade in A minor
Korngold: Violin Concerto with Tai Murray, violin
Theo Chandler: Electric Agitation Fanfare (First Music world première)
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “New World”
Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2 PM
Ryan Lindveit: Close Up at a Distance (First Music commissioned world première)
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor with Fei-Fei, piano
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Tour to Spain, June/July 2019
Theo Chandler: Electric Agitation Fanfare (First Music commission)
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor with Fei-Fei, piano
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “New World”
Additional chamber music performances to be announced

Andy Clausen, director
Three performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center:
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola:
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 7:30 & 9:30 PM with Roxy Coss, saxophone
Tenor Titans featuring the world premiere of Zachary Rich’s Old News (First Music commission)
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at 7:30 & 9:30 PM with Ryan Keberle, Matt Holman, guest conductors.
NYYS First Music Commissioning Series 35th Anniversary featuring the world premiere of Sam Wolsk’s Not a Day Missed (First Music commission)
The Appel Room:
Monday, May 6, 2019 at 7:30 PM with Arturo O’Farrill, pianist/composer
Afro-Latin Jazz: Past, Present, and Future featuring the world premiere of Dave Meder’s The Great Hill (First Music Commission)

Dr. Lisa Tipton, director
Three performances:
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7:30 PM at National Arts Club
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:30 PM at Scandinavia House
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:30 PM at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall
Baldwin Giang: brunetto (First Music commissioned world première)

Dr. Kyle Blaha, director
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7:30 PM at Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space
Featuring original student compositions performed by members of all NYYS programs

NYYS Orchestra, led by music director Michael Repper, kicks off the season on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 2 pm with the first of three performances at Carnegie Hall, with guitartist Jiji performing First Music commission light, beloved by Natalie Dietterich. Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances round out the program. The Monday, March 4, 2019 at 2 pm concert will feature violinist Tai Murray performing Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto. Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade in A minor, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, and First Music commission Electric Agitation Fanfare by Theo Chandler will complete the program. The season concludes on Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 2 pm with pianist Fei-Fei, joining the orchestra for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and First Music commission Close Up at a Distance by Ryan Lindveit will close out the program. The orchestra continues its free community concerts at Ansche Chesed (251 W. 100th Street) on Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2 pm and Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 2 pm.

NYYS Jazz, led by director Andy Clausen, will swing into the 2018/19 season showcasing both classic and contemporary arrangements of big band mainstays. The season opens at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on Tuesday, December 4, 2017 with Tenor Titans, sets at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. Rising star saxophonist Roxy Coss pays tribute to the great tenor titans of jazz, including Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and more. The program also includes original compositions from Ms. Coss’ critically acclaimed 2018 release, The Future Is Female. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the First Music commissioning program, Mr. Clausen invites former NYYS Jazz directors Ryan Keberle and Matt Holman to rejoin NYYS Jazz at Dizzy’s on Tuesday, March 12, 2018 at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, to conduct some of their favorite First Music commissions. The jazz season closes on Monday, May 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm at The Appel Room featuring pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill in Afro-Latin Jazz: Past, Present, and Future. The final program will include repertoire by Machito, Chico O’Farrill, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, and more.

World premières by Zachary Rich, Sam Wolsk, and Dave Meder will be performed on each program through the First Music commissioning program. The NYYS Jazz band will extend its free community concerts out to Brooklyn at Sir D’s Lounge on Monday, November 26, 2018 at 8pm Monday, February 25, 2019 at 8 pm, and Monday, April 29, 2019 at 8 pm.

NYYS Chamber Music program, led by director Dr. Lisa Tipton, offers young musicians an opportunity to explore the often complex dialogue between instruments as a metaphor for learning skills that emphasize open communication, harmony, and compromise. An Evening with Friends is the underlying theme of each performance. National Arts Club will host the first of three exhilarating chamber performances starting on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm, followed by Scandinavia House on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:30 pm. Baldwin Giang’s brunetto will receive its world premiere at Weill Recital Hall.

NYYS Composition program, led by Dr. Kyle Blaha, has broken new ground in its acclaimed sessions for younger composers to examine orchestration styles, techniques, and skills. The annual Composition Date 2019 performance, to be held at Symphony Space on Thursday, May 16, 2019, at 7:30 pm, will include original student compositions performed by members of the Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, and Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting programs.
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New York, NY – Five-time Grammy Award winner Maria Schneider will join director Andy Clausen and the NYYS Jazz at The Times Center on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 7:30, in a program that caps off Schneider’s extended residency with the ensemble, and spotlight a rich cross-section of music from across her storied career. The program will also feature the world première of First Music commission Torgbui by Jonathan Ragonese.

Through its First Music program, the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) has selected seven of America’s emerging orchestra, chamber music, and jazz composers under age 30 to write commissions for the 56th Season, which marks the 35th anniversary of the First Music program. The works will be premiered by NYYS Orchestra and NYYS Chamber Music Program at Carnegie Hall, and NYYS Jazz at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and in a new partnership with the Interlochen Center for the Arts, one grand prize winner will have its mid-West premiere by the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at the Interlochen Arts Camp. Called "invaluable" by The New York Times, the NYYS First Music commission program has been widely acknowledged as one of the leading forces in the United States for bringing the work of gifted young composers to the public’s attention for the past 34 years. Click here for full press release