The New York Youth Symphony is the most awarded youth program of its kind in the nation, 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 12-22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in jazz, chamber music, conducting, composition, and musical theater songwriting, with performances at world class venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Joe's Pub at the Public Theater. Through its commissioning program, First Music, the NYYS has commissioned over 160 works from young composers since 1984.
In addition to the 6 core programs, the NYYS hosts several workshops that are accessible to all music students. Workshops enable music students to do a deeper dive into specific areas of interest or improvement such as auditioning, applying for college, and exploring career options in the performing arts.