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Chamber Music


"[The Chamber Music Program] is truly a wonderful program for students of chamber music, exceptionally important to a student's growth as a musician as well as a human being." —André Watts, pianist

"The Chamber Music Program of the New York Youth Symphony has established itself as one of the most well-respected ensemble music training programs in the country...[The program] provides a range of opportunities to study, perform, and rehearse in a context that balances structure with flexibility, guidance and independence, and discipline with inspiration." —Chamber Music America magazine

The New York Youth Symphony's Chamber Music Program (CMP) was founded in 1983 to foster the growth of musicians in an intimate setting. Over 2,000 students between the ages of 12-22 have participated in the CMP since its inception and it has become one of the most comprehensive training programs in the country for strings, winds, brass, and piano. The CMP combines high standards, immersion in contemporary and core repertoire, and performances at venues including the National Arts Club and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, with development of extra-musical skill sets such as public speaking, networking, and advocacy to ensure students' growth as both musicians and citizens. 

Under the direction of violinist Dr. Lisa Tipton, approximately 80 students each season participate in competitive auditions adjudicated by CMP faculty, and form ensembles including string quartets, piano trios, woodwind and brass quintets, and more. The ensembles choose their repertoire in consultation with their coach, rehearse independently, and receive regular coachings every other week. Bi-annual assessments monitor each ensemble's progress. Ensembles participate in master classes with world class musicians from Juilliard, Orion, Tokyo, and Shanghai quartets, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Windscape, NY Woodwind Quintet, and Orpheus, as well as many alumni, including Fred Sherry, Masumi Per Rostad, Tara O’Connor, and Linda Chesis. Master classes that are free and open to the public are held at locations including Tarisio Auctions, School for Strings, and the DiMenna Center.


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

Note: Prospective applicants are urged to review the Musician Guidelines and check for scheduling conflicts before applying for an audition.

Director's Award for Commitment and Achievement

Each year, the Director recognizes individuals at the season's final concert for dedication to the Program and for musical advancement. The recipient of the 2018/2019 Director's Award was Syzygy, composed of:

  • Chelsea Xia, violin
  • Callia Liang, viola
  • Matthew Kendall, cello
  • Claire Shang, piano
  • Eileen Buck, coach



The Chamber Program's season culminates in performances at Scandinavia House and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.


Each group performs at two jury assessments during the year. It is a great way to hear the other ensembles in the program, as well as get to know the other groups at a post-jury reception.


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 2019/2020 season include:

*on leave

Workshops & Masterclasses

Students enjoy special evenings of sight-reading with coaches, workshops, informal performances, and social time.

Participants in the Chamber Program have the opportunity to play for Professional World Class Chamber Players in masterclasses.  Throughout the season, masterclasses are offered by members of the Juilliard, Orion, American, and Shanghai quartets, Windscape, International Contemporary Ensemble, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

First Music World Première

A major highlight of the CMP is the opportunity to study contemporary music. The CMP is celebrating 28 years of commissioning new works from emerging, young composers. One ensemble is selected to perform the world premiere at the final performance at Weill Recital Hall each year. Past commission winners include Timo Andres, Derek Bermel, Amanda Harberg, Chris Theofanidis, and Sean Shepherd.  In addition, CMP ensembles collaborate with students in the NYYS Composition Program, performing their works at the Composition Date concert at Symphony Space.

Community Concerts

New York Youth Symphony gives free community concerts performed by the orchestra, jazz, and chamber music programs for children and senior citizens at various facilities throughout the five boroughs of New York. The NYYS arranges these performances through its partners including Concerts in Motion, Grand Street Residence, Wintergarden, Lenox House, and Mt. Sinai’s KidZone, the Harmony Program, Orchestra of St. Luke’s Youth Orchestra at the Police Athletic League, and Sing for Hope. 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.

"I sincerely hope you will come back very soon to continue this great work. I want to personally thank each and every one of your young performers. I think often they cannot know how much they are helping with their effort." —Alessandro Ricciarelli, music therapist, Memorial Sloan-Kettering

Chamber Music Staff