Now underway in Washington, D.C. is the National Symphony Orchestra’s four-week Summer Music Institute for high school, conservatory, and university students, in its 25th year. Musicians in the 2018 program performed the first of two free full-orchestra concerts on July 15 at Kennedy Center Concert Hall, and a second is set for July 29. Abel Pereira, the NSO’s principal horn, is conductor for both concerts, which include Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“New World”), and Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. The institute’s 61 participating students come from 19 states, four countries, and Puerto Rico, and receive coaching by NSO musicians; master classes with NSO principal musicians; and classes in entrepreneurship and ensemble skills. In addition to full-orchestra concerts, students perform four chamber concerts and at the finals of the institute’s concerto competition. Eleven participants this year were recruited through the Kennedy Center’s Young Artists of Color National Training Initiative, for talented young musicians of African America, American Indian, and Hispanic descent. Four institute musicians are also participants in the NSO’s Youth Fellowship Program, a full-scholarship career development program for middle- and high-school instrumentalists in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Posted July 17, 2018