David Loebel, Music Director
Hugh Wolff, Resident Conductor
Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3:10–6:00pm in Brown Hall
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, and Rio de Janeiro and Musikverein in Vienna.
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.”
2014-15 Repertoire Highlights include:
Elgar - Enigma Variations
Gandolfi - Garden of Cosmic Speculation
Mahler - Symphony No. 1
Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade
2014–2015 YPO Concerts
- November 20, 2014 at 8pm in Jordan Hall
- February 19, 2015 at 8pm in Jordan Hall
- May 6, 2015 at 7pm - Next Generation Performance at the Boston Ballet
- May 29, 2015 at 8pm in Jordan Hall
Current Members should visit the current members page for more information regarding seating auditions, schedules, concerts, and tours.
YPO tours biannually with trips that span all corners of the globe. YPO will be embarking on a 10 day tour of Iceland in June 2015. This international concert tour will include orchestra concerts in Akureyri, Isjafurdor and Reykjavik. The tour will conclude with a final performance in the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall on June 28, 2015.
They are currently planning a tour will tour again in June 2017.
Please note that during a tour year, it is mandatory for YPO members to go on tour.
Technical Requirements: Open by audition to highly advanced pre-college players. Admission to YPO is extremely competitive. Students placed in YPO generally play at a level which will gain them admission to selective conservatories. While orchestral assignments are made by level, not age, most members of YPO are in grades 10–12. Younger college-age players are sometimes invited to fill vacancies due to the absence of qualified pre-college players. Special scholarships are available to Bassoon, Viola, Trumpet and Double Bass players at the advanced levels.
Spring Large Ensemble Auditions
Large Ensemble (Orchestra) entrance and advancement auditions take place each May. For more information, click here.
Current YPO members do not need to re-audition if they would like to remain in YPO for the following year.
PLEASE NOTE: YS members and new students who are interested in joining YPO MUST prepare the senior orchestra excerpts in addition to the standard repertoire requirements: 2 contrasting pieces and 2 scales.
Fall Seating Auditions
All new and returning members of YPO must take a Fall (Seating) Audition to determine placement within the orchestra. For more information regarding Fall Seating Auditions, click here.
For information on how to report an absence, please click here.
Still have questions?
E-mail the YPO Manager, or call (617) 585-1128.