SHANGHAI, Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On December 10, the National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China) hosted a press conference in Shanghai to announce its inaugural summer training residency and concert tour, as well as the commencement of its application season for the Class of 2017. The event was joined by several esteemed guests and supporters of the program, including the Honorable Gary Locke – the former US Ambassador to China, Secretary of Commerce, and Governor of Washington. Mr Locke helped introduce the program, voicing his belief that, "Just as ping pong diplomacy helped bring [China and the United States] together, so will NYO-China."
Several others also voiced their support of the program. "The growth of music in China is astounding; it is going to be a central part of what defines music in the 21st century. NYO-China will be a beacon of excellence and something that everyone aspires to," commented Sir Clive Gillinson, the Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall and the principal architect behind NYO-USA. Deputy Consul General Meifang Zhang from the Consulate General of China in New York, which had previously served as an enthusiastic proponent of NYO-USA during its 2015 China Tour, mentioned how, "Through its music, NYO-China will continue to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of China and the United States."
Created in 2016, NYO-China was inspired by the myriad National Youth Orchestras of the world and their collective mission to nurture and promote young classical musicians. "There is tremendous musical talent rising in China, and it is our hope that the the best instruction and performance opportunities are available to the student musicians living there," says Vincent Accettola, NYO-China's Managing and Creative Director.
Approximately 100 high school-aged musicians will be selected from a projected pool of thousands applying from all across China to join the upcoming Class of 2017. The group will convene on the campus of Western Connecticut State University for an intensive two-week training residency. They will be joined by a suite of extraordinary teaching artists recruited from among the principal members of the world's finest orchestras, led by NYO-China's Guest Conductor Ludovic Morlot – the Grammy Award-winning Music Director of the Seattle Symphony – and NYO-China's Music Director Jindong Cai – the Music Director of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra.
Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music at Yale University, who also serves as NYO-China's Senior Global Advisor for Artistic Affairs, mentioned how "[this] is a venture that will inspire, educate, and prepare China's most gifted young orchestral musicians for their future roles as leading arts and cultural leaders across the globe."
NYO-China will debut at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, July 22 featuring Musical America's 2017 Artist of the Year Yuja Wang, followed by an international concert tour of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou featuring Olga Kern, the winner of the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Both internationally acclaimed pianists are Steinway Artists. NYO-China's premiere in New York will take place one day after that of Carnegie Hall's own NYO-USA.
Ronald Losby, the CEO of Steinway & Sons, also offered his support: "NYO-China gives students an opportunity to perform for large audiences what they have practiced for so long. There's nothing quite like a concert experience, and it will live within them for many years to come."
NYO-China is committed to ensuring educational opportunities for students regardless of their financial capacity. To that end, the entire program – including tuition, travel, and housing – is entirely free, underwritten by NYO-China's generous sponsors. Members will be selected via a meritorious online audition process, overseen by a panel of professional musicians in the United States. All Chinese citizens aged 14 to 19 (strings, percussion, and harp) or 14 to 20 (woodwinds and brass) at the time of the program's conclusion (July 30, 2017) are eligible. The online application portal and additional program details are available at www.nyochina.org.
The National Youth Orchestra of China was founded and developed by Athena Education Group, an education development corporation based in Midtown Manhattan that is dedicated to delivering superior learning solutions for our next generation of global citizens. It is made possible thanks to the generous financial and institutional assistance of the US-China YES Foundation, an organization based in New York and Shanghai that is known for its support of internationally oriented education projects for young people living in either the United States and China.
Eric Ashenberg (English)
Peggie Zhong (Chinese)
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SOURCE National Youth Orchestra-China