March 1, 2018

Interlochen Center for the Arts is thrilled to announce a new, long-term partnership with the New York Youth Symphony. Reflecting the two venerable organizations’ shared commitment to supporting young musicians from across the social and economic spectrum, the partnership will focus on two key areas: providing scholarships to young orchestral musicians from underserved communities and creating a new co-commissioning and programming initiative for young orchestral composers.

Through a newly launched program, each year the New York Youth Symphony awards need-based Vargas-Vetter/Ukena Fellowships to five of its members, all of whom are between the ages of 12 and 22. Valued at $5,000 apiece, these fellowships come with year-round mentorship, and help defray the cost of instruments, private lessons, transportation, and other expenses. Under the new partnership, Interlochen looks forward to matching the fellowships, so that all five young Vargas-Vetter/Ukena fellows are also invited to attend Interlochen Arts Camp each summer. There they will be eligible to apply for additional, merit- and need-based financial aid, and can look forward to receiving all the educational benefits of the celebrated and immersive six-week program.

Interlochen is also collaborating with the New York Youth Symphony on a major new co-commissioning project. Through the orchestra’s First Music program, which celebrates its 35th anniversary next year, the New York Youth Symphony hosts a competition for young composers between the ages of 18 and 30, awarding three prizes in the orchestral division, two in the chamber division, and one in jazz. The partnership now sees Interlochen and the orchestra endow a new grand prize of $3,000, awarded to one of the three winners in the orchestral division, who is then commissioned to write a new orchestral work. This will be showcased in two high-profile concerts; the New York Youth Symphony will give its world premiere performance at Carnegie Hall and Interlochen’s premier ensemble, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, will give its Midwest premiere at Interlochen Arts Camp, where the winner will be invited to attend both rehearsals and performance. Selected by a committee combining representatives of the orchestra with a member of Interlochen’s music faculty, the inaugural grand-prize winner is Ryan Lindveit (b. 1994), who is currently pursuing a master’s in composition at the Yale School of Music.

Trey Devey, President of Interlochen Center for the Arts, explains:

“We’re delighted about this new partnership with the New York Youth Symphony, an organization that shares many of Interlochen’s core values and mission to educate and inspire young musicians. The new admissions initiative builds on our efforts to welcome a more diverse range of students to the summer program. And by commissioning and prominently programming new music by young composers, we hope not only to provide valuable early-career assistance to the next generation, but also to help revitalize the orchestral literature.”

Shauna Quill, Executive Director of the New York Youth Symphony, comments:

“The New York Youth Symphony is thrilled to partner with Interlochen on these two initiatives, both of which will be elevated through the additional exposure to new audiences and opportunities. Our scholarship recipients, the Vargas-Vetter/Ukena fellows, are ready to pack their bags and head over to Michigan – the summer can’t come soon enough. Meanwhile, our grand prize commission winner, Ryan Lindveit, is already hard at work on his score. The opportunity to have not one but two premieres is a rare and special one for a young composer and we are excited to help bring his work to life!”

About Interlochen Center for the Arts

The nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the only organization in the world that brings together a 2,500-student summer camp program; a 500-student fine arts boarding high school; opportunities for hundreds of adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio services (classical music and news); more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; and a global alumni base spanning eight decades, from Lorin Maazel and Jessye Norman to Rufus Wainwright and Norah Jones.

About the New York Youth Symphony

The New York Youth Symphony is one of the most awarded youth programs of its kind in the nation, recognized for its innovative, educational programs for talented young musicians. Founded in 1963 as an orchestra to showcase the metropolitan area’s most gifted musicians between the ages of 12 and 22, its activities have since grown to encompass programs in chamber music, conducting, composition, and jazz, with performances at world-class venues including Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Through its commissioning program, First Music, which was founded in 1984, the NYYS has commissioned more than 150 works from young composers, who have included David Lang, Augusta Read Thomas, Julia Wolfe, and Aaron Jay Kernis.
High-resolution photos may be downloaded here.

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© 21C Media Group, March 2018