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ESYO Symphony Orchestra Returns to Carnegie Hall for First Time Since 2017

More summer fun to look forward to after ESYO season closes in June

Schenectady, NY - They’ve practiced, practiced, practiced, and Empire State Youth Orchestra’s (ESYO) Symphony Orchestra has made it to Carnegie Hall. The ensemble will perform a joint concert with Norwalk Youth Symphony on June 4, 2023 at 2:00 pm. 

This concert marks the first time ESYO has performed at Carnegie Hall since the beginning of the pandemic. ESYO Music Director and Symphony Orchestra conductor Etienne Abelin said, "We are so excited to conclude our season at Carnegie Hall with Tchaikovsky's extraordinary fifth Symphony and Verdi's Nabucco Overture! We have worked on playing together more and more as one big chamber ensemble over the course of the year, and I'm so proud of how far we have come, and how our young musicians have stepped up. This is very emotional, powerful music and it's moving to see how deeply the musicians identify with and express it. It's just mind blowing."

Looking ahead to 2023-2024, Abelin says: "Next year's theme, across all of ESYO’s performing ensembles, will center on breathing and the element of air. I can't wait to explore and develop this topic together.”

I can feel the joy bubbling inside me as I anticipate the incredible opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall with the ESYO Symphony Orchestra,” said principal double bass Orin Carlson-Lee. “It's the perfect culmination to an extraordinary season, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of it. The mere thought of standing on that iconic stage, surrounded by passionate musicians, fills me with excitement beyond words. This momentous occasion is not just a concert but a celebration of hard work, dedication, and the magic of music. As we wrap up the year with this unforgettable performance, I am filled with gratitude and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment to have been a part of ESYO for these precious past few years.”

The Carnegie Hall concert will close ESYO’s 2022-2023 season, but looking forward, there are no shortage of ESYO events this summer. On June 17, graduating ESYO students will be celebrated at Encore Stage, an event designed to showcase the senior class. Senior-led groups perform throughout the afternoon scholarships are awarded, and an alumni speaker offers words of wisdom to the graduating members. This year, alum and founder of Bassworks, Colin O’Bryan, will offer the keynote address. 

Starting July 31, ESYO’s Summer Sessions begin, and include myriad activities, from week-long intensives to workshops to concert picnic outings. Some events are open to the public, and invite  everyone to come together to make music. More information and registration can be found at 

Another summer highlight involves four talented CHIME musicians, who have been selected to participate in National Seminario Ravinia: Jazlyn Bronson (cello), Ayden Chrisman (violin), Ian Chrisman (violin), and Zoe Daniels (flute). These students will travel to Chicago in July, where they will participate in several days of rehearsals and coachings with renowned conductor of the Baltimore Symphony,  Marin Alsop, the dynamic Jonathan Rush, and members of the Chicago Philharmonic, culminating in a side-by-side concert with the Chicago Philharmonic on July 8. Over 250 students from many programs across the country were selected through a highly competitive nominating process. 

Those interested in attending the Carnegie Hall concert or signing up for a summer opportunity, can find more information at Online audition applications are now open for the 2023-2024 ESYO season, and prospective students who are interested in applying can find more information at