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(Image courtesy: NYO-USA)

Carnegie Hall to Host 2024 World Orchestra Week 

Over 700 young musicians from around the world will perform in nightly concerts at Carnegie Hall from August 1–7


Carnegie Hall’s World Orchestra Week, also known as WOW!, is a new summer concert festival that will see international youth orchestras unite for music-making and cultural exchange.

From August 1–7, 2024, the festival will feature ensembles from five continents: the National Children’s Symphony of Venezuela, the Africa United Youth Orchestra (AUYO), the Beijing Youth Symphony Orchestra, the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), and the Afghan Youth Orchestra

These visiting orchestras will be joined by Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) led by Marin Alsop, and NYO2 conducted by Teddy Abrams.

Additionally, eight musicians from Polyphony — the Nazareth-based educational program that brings together Arab and Jewish musicians from Israel in performance — will be joining NYO-USA for their New York training residency and Carnegie Hall performance. Following its New York concert, NYO-USA will embark on a South American tour.

Featured artists joining in the festival concerts include Gustavo Dudamel, Iván Fischer, Lü Jia, Tiago Moreira da Silva, Andrew Brady, Isata Kanneh-Mason, Anthony McGill, Demarre McGill, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Titus Underwood, Wu Man, and more. 

WOW! will begin on August 1 at 7 PM with a performance by NYO2, which comprises outstanding musicians aged 14 to 17. The program includes Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, and Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite (1919 version).

NYO2 will also perform the world premiere of a new wind concertante by Jasmine Barnes, featuring principal players from U.S. orchestras including flutist Demarre McGill, oboist Titus Underwood, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and bassoonist Andrew Brady.

On August 2, Dudamel will lead the National Children’s Symphony of Venezuela in John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, along with Latin American classics Mediodía en el llano (Midday on the Plains) by Estévez, and Ginastera’s Four Dances from Estancia. This orchestra comprises young musicians aged 10 to 17, who take part in Venezuela’s El Sistema program.

On August 3, the new AUYO (organized by South Africa’s national orchestra, the Mzansi National Philharmonic Orchestra) will make its North American debut in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, and South African composer Michael Mosoeu Moerane’s Fatše La Heso (“My Country”).

On August 4, Lü Jia will lead the Beijing Youth Symphony Orchestra — recently founded by China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA). The program will include both Western and Chinese orchestral works, including Zhao Jiping’s Pipa Concerto No. 2 with guest soloist Wu Man.

NYO-USA will perform on August 5 with Barber’s Symphony No. 1; Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue featuring pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist; and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

The EUYO conducted by Iván Fischer, will perform on August 6 with a program featuring Masquerade by Anna Clyne; Dohnányi’s Variations on a Nursery Tune, Op. 25 with pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason as soloist; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. Founded in 1976, the EUYO, comprises musicians aged 16 to 26, representing all 27 European Union countries. The group has served as the EU’s cultural ambassador with international performances for close to 50 years. Four young Ukrainian musicians will be joining the EUYO as special guests for this performance.

The festival’s closing concert on August 7 will feature the Afghan Youth Orchestra, a collective of Afghan young musicians aged 14 to 20 who were forced to flee their country in 2021, led by Tiago Moreira da Silva. The orchestra plays both Western and traditional Afghan instruments. Recent tours have taken them to Germany, France, Italy, Tajikistan, and Switzerland, including a performance at the 2023 UN Human Rights Council meeting. 

The festival will also include a play-in event including all festival participants; the WOW! musicians will be housed at New York University, a key partner in the program.

“We’re thrilled to bring these superb young musicians from around the world together this summer as part of World Orchestra Week,” said Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director, Clive Gillinson in the press release. “This special festival will celebrate the pivotal role that music can play in society, bringing so many of the finest young musicians from around the world together across languages, cultures, and backgrounds,” he added. “We know that these young people have extraordinary potential to become the leaders of tomorrow as musicians and also as changemakers in other important fields. This will be an inspiring week of collaboration as we truly bring the world together through music.”

WOW! builds off 10 years of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute convening young musicians from across the U.S. to form its three celebrated national youth ensembles: NYO-USA, NYO2, and NYO Jazz. The ensembles have performed across Europe, North America, South America, and Asia, and collaborated with renowned conductors and guest soloists. 

For WOW!’s full program line-up, click here

upcoming events

july 2024

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello Competition

august 2024

19augAll Day24Tibor Varga International Junior Violin Competition(All Day) Ferme-Asile, Promenade des Pêcheurs 10 1950 Sion SuisseEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Tibor Varga

22augAll Day01sepKloster Schöntal International Violin Competition(All Day) Schöntal Monastery, Klosterhof 6, 74214 Schöntal, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKloster Schöntal International Violin Competition

26augAll Day30London Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BS, United KingdomEvent Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competition

30augAll Day01sepBanff International String Quartet Festival(All Day) The Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive Box 1020 Banff T1L 1H5 Canada Event Type :Other Event TagsBanff International String Quartet Festival,string quartet


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