Carnegie’s NYO2: recruiting for diversity among musicians

Posted on: July 7, 2016

“Diversity is suddenly the watchword at American symphony orchestras, and it is high time,” writes James R. Oestreich in Wednesday’s (7/6) New York Times. In addition to the League of American Orchestras “devoting much of its annual conference to the topic of diversity in June,” and ongoing diversity work by the Sphinx Organization, Carnegie Hall has “redoubled its efforts” after establishing the National Youth Orchestra of the USA in 2013. “Carnegie already put forward a second, younger ensemble, NYO2—78 players, ages 14 to 17, with diversity as a stated goal— in joint enterprises with the Philadelphia Orchestra … Carnegie has applied great effort to find ‘talented students from communities underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field.’ … ‘We did not select for diversity; we recruited for diversity,’ Sarah Johnson, the director of the Weill Music Institute, Carnegie’s educational arm, which administers the program, said…. NYO-USA this year is 43 percent white, 30 Asian, 8 black/African-American, 6 Latino/Hispanic and 13 other/mixed. NYO2 is 27 percent white, 22 Asian, 22 black/African-American, 24 Latino/Hispanic and 5 other/mixed. … Carnegie turned up a remarkable array of young talent for NYO2’s first outing, with fine string players galore and superb soloists.”

Posted July 7, 2016