Youth Philharmonic Orchestra

David Loebel, Music Director

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.

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. 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. Most recently, YPO embarked on a 10-day tour of Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest in June 2019. 

Rehearsals: Saturdays, 3:10–6:00 PM


2021 - 22 Repertoire highlights include:

Brahms: Symphony No. 2

Dvořák: New World Symphony

Vaughan Williams: Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet 


2020 - 21 Repertoire highlights included:

Beethoven: Symphony 7

Vivaldi: Le quattro stagioni

Piazzolla: Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas

O'Connor: The American Seasons


2019 - 20 Repertoire highlights included:

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Pathèthique)

Respighi: Fountains of Rome

Mussorgsky: Picture at an Exhibition

Placement and Seating Audition Information

NEC Prep will be reviewing all large ensemble auditions via video. For more information, please click here

Entrance 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.

Seating Audition Sign-up: After placement into YPO, all students will take a seating audition. Seating audition information is sent to all registered YPO students. The deadline for submitting your seating audition to Embark is August 19th.

Spring Calendar

January 15

January 22

January 29

February 5

February 12 - No Rehearsal

February 19

February 26

March 5

March 12

March 19

March 26

April 2

April 9

April 16 - No Rehearsal

April 23

April 30

May 7

May 14

May 21

May 24 - Dress Rehearsal

6:00-9:00 Jordan Hall

May 26 - Concert



  • Attendance is required at all regularly scheduled classes, rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and performances be it virtually or in-person. Students are expected to be ready to begin on-time. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each session.
  • Anyone arriving/logging-in more than 30 minutes late or leaving/logging-out 30 minutes early will be considered absent from the entire rehearsal or class.
  • No more than 3 absences per semester are allowed and notice must be given at least two weeks prior by submitting an Absence Request Form to the NEC Prep offices. Absence request forms can be submitted to the Ensemble Manager at youth. or to Adam Kohlbus, Large Ensemble Manager at
  • Read our full attendance policy here:


Still have questions?

Contact Adam Kohlbus, Large Ensemble Manager, by email, or call the NEC Prep hotline at  (617) 585-1160.

During the academic year, YPO members can also contact the YPO student manager.