Skip to main content

Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

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.

YPO's Sixteen international concert tours 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.

During the summer of 2017, YPO will embark on a concert tour of Norway, visiting the cities of Oslo, Fagernes, Bergen and Stavanger. Please note that during a tour year, it is mandatory for YPO members to go on tour.

Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3:10–6:00 PM in Brown Hall

    2016-2017 Concert Schedule

    Saturday, November 12, 2016
    8:00 PM in Jordan Hall

    Sunday, January 29, 2017
    8:00 PM in Jordan Hall

    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    8:00 PM in Jordan Hall

    2017 Norway Tour Concerts

    Sunday, June 25, 2017
    7:30 PM at Oslo Konserthus (Oslo, Norway)

    Wednesday, June 28, 2017
    3:00 PM at Valdres Sommersymfoni Festival (Fagernes, Norway)

    Thursday, June 29, 2017
    7:30 PM at Grieghallen (Bergen, Norway)

    Saturday, July 1, 2017
    7:30 PM at Stavanger Konserthus (Stavanger, Norway)


    2016-17 Repertoire highlights included:

    Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor with David Coucheron

    Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

    Verdi: La Forza del destino 

    2015-16 Repertoire highlights included:

    Haydn - Lord Nelson Mass in collaboration with Youth Chorale

    Holst - The Planets

    Shostakovich - Symphony No. 1

    Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No. 1 with George Li

    Audition Information

    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.

    For those admitted into the orchestra program, seating auditions are held in early September. For information regarding fall seating auditions, please visit the Current Members page.

    Seating Audition Requirements: Students should prepare one solo work or movement of their choice. Additionally, students should prepare the required excerpts for their instrument which can be found below. All excerpts from Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 and Verdi: Overture to La Forza del Destino unless otherwise noted. 

    Click here for more information on how to audition for NEC Prep's orchestra program.

    YPO performs Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 6

    For Current Students

    Absence Requests

    For information on how to report an absence, please click here.


    This is the 2016-2017 calendar for YPO including all rehearsal, dress rehearsal, and performance dates.

    View full PDF


    Seating Excerpts

    Coming Soon!

    Still have questions?

    E-mail the YPO Manager, or call (617) 585-1160.