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. 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 in Brown Hall


2020 - 21 Repertoire highlights include:

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


2018 - 19 Repertoire highlights included:

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor

Bernstein: Fancy Free: Three Dance Variations

Mahler: Totenfeier

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D minor

Placement and Seating Audition Information

New this year, 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 gaining admission to the ensemble, all YPO students will take a seating audition.  Seating auditions occur in September. 


o   Module 1- ONLINE
August 29 – YPO Orientation 
Sept 4/5 Labor Day weekend - No YPO rehearsal
September 12 – Sectionals
September 19 - Sectionals
September 26 - Sectionals
October 3 – Beethoven Session
October 10 – Beethoven Session

October 17
October 24
October 31
November 7
November 14
November 21
November 28 - Thanksgiving No YPO Rehearsal

o   Module 3 ONLINE/Masterclass Module
December 5
December 12
December 19 
December 26/Jan 9 No YPO Rehearsal
January 16
January 23
January 30

o   Module 4 
February 6
February 13 – No YPO Rehearsal
February 20
February 27
March 6
March 13
March 20
March 27

o   Module 5 
April 3
April 10
April 24 
May 1
May 8
May 15
May 22 



  • 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 1 excused absence per module will be 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 or to Maria D'Ambrosio at
  • Read our full attendance policy here:


Still have questions?

Contact Maria D'Ambrosio, 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.