Monday, February 10, 2014

National Youth Orchestra of the USA

On Friday I found out that I have been honored with a spot in the clarinet section of the 2014 National Youth Orchestra of the USA.  I think I've only been this excited twice in my life.  The other was last year when I won the CSO competition.

The National Youth Orchestra is a recent phenomenom.  Last year, Carnegie Hall's Artistic Director, Clive Gillinson, founded the NYO, which debuted at Carnegie Hall and toured London, Moscow and St. Petersburg.  They played Shostakovich 10 and the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with Joshua Bell, as well as a modern piece composed for the orchestra called Magiya by Sean Shepherd.  The orchestra played under the baton of Maestro Valery Gergiev, and they were pretty amazing.

I have found that I really connect with the people I play with in my youth orchestras, Midwest Young Artists and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.  The same applied when I went to Interlochen when I was in middle school.  With my orchestra friends, I can be really open about my passions and beliefs and ideals, about who I really am, and I can count on their understanding and acceptance.

So I am really excited to have this amazing opportunity to play with some of the best young musicians in the country.  We will be playing under the direction of David Robertson of the Saint Louis and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and we have the privilege of accompanying world class violinist Gil Shaham in the Britten Violin Concerto.  This year's program will consist of the following repertoire:

Samuel Carl Adams - New Work
Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Britten - Violin Concerto, op. 15
Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel's orchestration)

And we will be performing in the following venues:

New York, NY - Carnegie Hall in New York City (July 22)
Lenox, MA - Ozawa Hall in the Tanglewood Music Festival (July 24)
Boone, NC - Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts in the Appalachian Summer Festival (July 26)
Chicago, IL - Jay Pritzker Pavilion in the Grant Park Music Festival (July 28)
Teton Village, WY - Festival Hall in the Grand Teton Music Festival (July 30)
Rohnert Park, CA - Weill Hall at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center (August 2)
Los Angeles, CA - Walt Disney Hall (August 4).

I can hardly wait!

Here is a link to the BBC Proms Performance from last year.


  1. Hello Torin. Congratulations on NYO! That is a huge accomplishment and you definitely deserve it! I have a few questions to ask you. Is there an email account I can reach you at?

    1. Hello Amer, you can reach me at