Photos: Peter Checchia

"It was one of the defining moments for me as a teenager. The passion of people your own age is very important; it puts you in touch with a larger world, beyond schooling and everything else you do." —Yo-Yo Ma, cellist, participant in the 1971 New York String Orchestra Seminar

This year the New School Concerts Department celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the New York String Orchestra Seminar. The program will bring 45 string players and 18 wind and brass players ages 16–23 to New York City from December 19 to December 28, 2014. No application fee is charged for the program, and costs for instruction, local housing, and meals, valued at more than $3,500 per student, are covered for all participants.

The 2014 New York String Orchestra Seminar application period is now open.

You can access the application using the links to the right. Please carefully read all instructions.

During the seminar, young musicians prepare for concerts to be presented at Carnegie Hall, taking part in intensive orchestral rehearsals with Laredo and renowned soloists and attending chamber music workshops with some of the country's most celebrated artists. Seminar participants are introduced to a musical philosophy that emphasizes self-expression beyond technical mastery.

History of the Seminar

Arts administrator and artist manager Frank Salomon created the seminar in 1969 for Alexander Schneider, one of the most important musical figures of the 20th century. Schneider was deeply committed to young artists and was an inspiration to generations of musicians. He believed that music has to "come from your heart and your soul, or it has no meaning." The New York String Orchestra Seminar was designed to offer professional training to gifted string, wind, brass, and timpani students who have reached a formative point in the development of their musical understanding and professional goals.

In 1993, acclaimed conductor, soloist, and chamber musician Jaime Laredo, who was Schneider's personal choice for successor, became artistic director and conductor of the seminar. Laredo has introduced some of the country's most gifted young musicians to new musical ideas, offering them chamber music coaching from members of the world's top ensembles and giving them the challenge of performing at a professional level onstage at Carnegie Hall.

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Alexander Schneider
Photo: Allen Cohen

Jaime Laredo

Members of the New School Concerts Department and the New York String Orchestra Seminar Advisory Committee include Mark Epstein, Fiona Fein, Bart Feller, Theodore Harris, Elisabeth Lorin, Frank Salomon, Linda Strommen, Jani Tree, and Helen Wright.

The New York String Orchestra Seminar is made possible in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the support of the Alexander Schneider Foundation, a grant from the D'Addario Foundation, and support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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