David Loebel, Music Director
Hugh Wolff, Resident Conductor
Founded in 1962, the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO) is the senior-most orchestra at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. It is composed of 90 gifted young musicians between the ages of 14–18 who are selected annually from over 1000 applicants. In an unusual and rich artistic partnership between youth orchestra and college conservatory, the YPO is guided by Music Director David Loebel, NEC Associate Director of Orchestras, and Resident Conductor Hugh Wolff, Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras.
Sixteen international concert tours by the YPO have enriched audiences on four continents and established YPO as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world. Most recently the orchestra toured Argentina, performing concerts hosted by the prestigious Mozarteum series in Buenos Aires, Teatro Círculo in Rosario, and Chascomús, where they collaborated with La Fundación Sistema de Orquestas Infantiles y Juveniles de Argentina. In 2007, the orchestra traveled to China, giving concerts in several major cities and collaborating with young Chinese musicians. The orchestra has played in some of the finest concert halls of the world, including Santiago, Chile’s Teatro Municipal, and the Teatros Muncipal of Sao Paulo, the Rio de Janeiro and Musikverein in Vienna, and Reykjavik's Harpa Concert Hall.
Praising “the highly talented teenagers who fill the ranks of the YPO,” and their “expressively charged and technically accomplished performances,” Boston Globe music critic Jeremy Eichler has written: “One of the special pleasures of hearing a youth orchestra comes from knowing that many of its members have been encountering the music, even a cornerstone of the repertory like the Brahms [Fourth Symphony], for the very first time. As a result, the playing can sometimes brim with the visceral thrill of discovery. That was the case here.”
YPO tours biannually with trips that span all corners of the globe. YPO embarked on a 10 day tour of Iceland June 2015. This international concert tour included orchestra concerts in Akureyri, Isjafurdor and Reykjavik and a final performance in the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall.
YPO will tour internationally in 2017. Please note that during a tour year, it is mandatory for YPO members to go on tour.
Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3:10–6:00pm in Brown Hall
2016-17 Repertoire highlights include:
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
Verdi: La Forza del destino
2015-16 Repertoire included:
Haydn - Lord Nelson Mass in collaboration with NEC Prep Youth Chorale
Holst - The Planets
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 1
Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 with George Li
For information on how to report an absence, please click here.
Auditions for YPO are held in the spring for the following year. Additional audition times may be available in the fall for any remaining openings.
Technical Requirements: Open by audition to highly advanced pre-college players. Admission to YPO is extremely competitive. While orchestral assignments are made by level, not age, most members of YPO are in grades 10–12.
Click here for more information on how to audition for NEC Prep orchestras.
Still have questions?
E-mail the YPO Manager, or call (617) 585-1160.