National Youth Orchestra of the USA

© Chris Lee

The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, or NYO-USA, is still a young ensemble. Founded in 2013 at the initiative of New York’s Carnegie Hall, it unites the best young musicians of the entire USA each summer. The orchestra spends three intense weeks rehearsing on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, north of New York City. In addition to intensive sectional and tutti rehearsals, the residency includes chamber music activities and workshops on musical and non-musical subjects. Each summer culminates in a concert at Carnegie Hall, followed by a tour to cultural capitals. In summer 2018, NYO-USA undertook a tour of Asia under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, performing in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul and Daejeon. Having made its debut at Young Euro Classic in 2019, NYO-USA makes a welcome return to Berlin’s Konzerthaus this summer.

August 5, 2022 8 PM

Konzerthaus, Berlin

Daniel Harding

© Julian Hargreaves

Originally from Oxford, Daniel Harding found early mentors in Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado. Since his debut as a 21-year-old in 1996, he has returned frequently to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic. Harding is currently chief conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, having held leading positions in London and Paris previously. After a voluntary hiatus from conducting, during which Harding pursued a career as a professional pilot, he has now returned to all the world’s major concert stages: this season, invitations have taken him to Dresden, Milan, London, Paris and Geneva. Moreover, he conducts the summer festival tour of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, whose conductor laureate the 46-year-old is. The palette of his CD recordings ranges from Mozart to Mahler, Britten and Lutosławski. As an opera conductor, Harding has appeared at the Salzburg Festival several times; another regular focus are his opera productions at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence.


Alisa Weilerstein

© Marco Borggreve

This spring, she turns 40 – yet the American cellist Alisa Weilerstein can already look back on a 35-year career. At the age of only four, her parents fulfilled her wish for a cello, and six months later, she gave her first public performance. At 13, Weilerstein made her solo debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, playing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. Ever since, the musician has carved out her place among the best cellists of the younger generation. Apart from the grand concerti by Dvořák, Elgar and Shostakovich, she has also recorded a solo recital with sonatas of the 20th century by Kodály, Cassadó and Bright Sheng. The cellist has also performed J. S. Bach’s six solo sonatas in the USA, in Asia and in London, Barcelona and at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Together with Daniel Barenboim, she recorded the cello concerti of Edward Elgar and Elliott Carter. Championing contemporary music, Weilerstein regularly plays works by Osvaldo Golijov, Lera Auerbach and Joseph Hallman, but also gave the New York premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s cello concerto Reflections on Narcissus in 2014.



Cello-Concerto in E-minor Op. 85 (1919)


Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp-minor (1901-1903)

Opening Remarks:

Franziska Giffey
Die Regierende Bürgermeisterin von Berlin,
Schirmherrin von Young Euro Classic

Willi Steul
1. Vorsitzender Deutscher Freundeskreis europäischer Jugendorchester e.V.

About the concert

In 2019, the National Youth Orchestra of the USA made its debut at Young Euro Classic under Antonio Pappano’s baton, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that it is quickly rising to the ranks of the world’s leading youth orchestras. This summer, the young musicians from all over the USA, from Alaska to California, Texas and New York, return to Berlin to open the festival – and once again, their motto is “Think Big!” Mahler’s expansive and stirring Fifth Symphony, with the famous Adagietto at its heart, is a wonderful way of showing off a full range of orchestral qualities. Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto also delves deep into emotions – the brilliant American cellist Alisa Weilerstein takes centre stage in this riveting work.


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