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  • New York String Orchestra Seminar

  • "It was one of the defining moments for me as a teenager. The passion of people your own age is very important; it puts you in touch with a larger world, beyond schooling and everything else you do."

    —Yo-Yo Ma, cellist, participant in the 1971 New York String Orchestra Seminar

    2021 New York String Orchestra Seminar (NYSOS)

    The New School’s College of Performing Arts is pleased to announce the 53rd annual New York String Orchestra Seminar, conducted by Jaime Laredo

    This nationally acclaimed program will host 37 string players ages 16–24 in New York City from Sunday, December 19, through Friday, December 24, 2021, with a performance presented by Carnegie Hall on Friday, December 24, at 7:00 p.m.

    There is a $25 fee to apply to the program.

    There is no participation fee for those accepted to the program. Every accepted student receives free tuition, housing, meals, and local transportation (total value more than $3,750). Participants pay only their travel costs to and from New York City.

    The health and safety of our participants is our priority, and we will follow all relevant guidelines from New York City, New York State, and the CDC.

    Due to ongoing health and safety concerns around coronavirus, this year’s seminar will be slightly different from past programs.

    • The seminar will be shorter than usual, taking place December 19–24, 2021.
    • Carnegie Hall is presenting the participants in one concert on December 24 at 7:00 p.m.
    • We are unable to include wind, brass, and timpani players this year. (Because of this regrettable situation, Maestro Laredo will keep the expanded age limits for next year’s applicants.)
    • All applicants will need to submit proof of full vaccination status.
    • Those who pass the initial mp3 audition will be invited to submit a video audition, rather than to attend a live audition.

    Despite the changes, we have many wonderful things planned for this special year .

    2021 Application Period: August 2-October 4

    You can access the application for the 2021 Seminar beginning August 2, 2021, by clicking the red Apply button on the right. We recommend you read all of the audition and application information available before you begin your application. The application does not need to be completed in one sitting.

    The New York String Orchestra Seminar application and audition is a two-step process.

    1. Submit your application, proof of full vaccination status, recorded audition (application and recorded audition repertoire information available here on August 2), and $25 application fee by the October 4, 2021 deadline.

    2. On the basis of the technical ability and musicianship demonstrated in the recorded audition, a selected number of applicants are invited to submit a video audition. Repertoire requirements for the video audition differ from those for the mp3 audition. Video audition requirements can be found here.

    During the seminar, young musicians prepare for a concert to be presented by Carnegie Hall on December 24 at 7:00 p.m. by taking part in intensive orchestral rehearsals with Jaime Laredo and soloist Rubén Rengal and attending chamber music workshops with some of the country's most celebrated artists. Seminar participants are introduced to a musical philosophy that emphasizes self-expression beyond technical mastery.

    All accepted students must commit to being present from 1:00 p.m. Sunday, December 19, through 10:00 p.m. Friday, December 24, 2021. No exceptions can be made. Housing will be provided to all accepted participants.

    All participants are required to stay in the housing provided by the New York String Orchestra Seminar.

    History of the Seminar

    Arts administrator and artist manager Frank Salomon created the seminar in 1969 for Alexander Schneider, one of the most important musical figures of the 20th century. Schneider was deeply committed to young artists and was an inspiration to generations of musicians. He believed that music has to "come from your heart and your soul, or it has no meaning." The New York String Orchestra Seminar was designed to offer professional training to gifted string, wind, brass, and timpani students who have reached a formative point in the development of their musical understanding and professional goals.

    Acclaimed conductor, soloist, and chamber musician Jaime Laredo, Schneider's personal choice as successor, has led the orchestra since 1993. Laredo has introduced some of the country's most gifted young musicians to new musical ideas, offering them chamber music coaching from members of the world's top ensembles and giving them the challenge of performing at a professional level onstage at Carnegie Hall.

    The seminar's more than 2,400 alumni are found in every state of the country. We are proud to include conductors and soloists such as Marin Alsop, Pamela Frank, Karina Canellakis, Cho-Liang Lin, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Oundjian, Gil Shaham, and Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg; chamber musicians in groups as diverse as Brooklyn Rider, the Silkroad Ensemble, and the Dover, Emerson, Kronos, Orion, and Takacs string quartets; and concertmasters and principals in every major U.S. orchestra, including the concertmasters of the Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia orchestras and the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics. We are equally proud of the many alumni who are contributing to the musical lives of young people on the faculties of major conservatories and in the classrooms of public schools.

    Our Supporters

    The New York String Orchestra Seminar is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the support of the Alexander Schneider Foundation, an anonymous foundation grant, and many individual supporters. Our thanks to all. Please contact us at if you are interested in sponsoring a student participant.

  • Make a Donation

  • Contact Us

    Rohana Elias-Reyes, Director
    New School Concerts
    55 West 13th Street, room 929
    New York, NY 10011
    Phone: 212.229.5873
    Fax: 212.229.5306

  • Upcoming Concerts

    Friday, December 24, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.

    Tickets are available for purchase through the links above or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.274.7800.

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