Festival and Summit

We are thrilled to announce the Chicago Youth in Music Festival and National Pathways Summit taking place in Chicago, April 9-11, 2022! The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, in collaboration with NIMAN, will host the Festival and Summit, bringing together students and institutional leaders from across the country for three days of musical learning, strategic conversations, and collaboration.

Photo courtesy of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Nouveau Program

The Festival

The Chicago Youth in Music Festival will feature the talents of BIPOC musicians from pathways programs nationwide. Young musicians will be selected through a competitive audition process to join the Festival Orchestra and will spend three days rehearsing with CSO Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice Lina Gonzalez-Granados leading up to an open side-by-side rehearsal in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Chicago Sinfonietta of Liszt’s Les Préludes led by CSO Zell Music Director, Riccardo Muti.

We thank our partners at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative for helping to bring this project to life.

The Summit

There are a growing number of pathways programs in the United States providing specialized precollege training to prepare young musicians for competitive collegiate programs and vibrant careers in classical music. As the field grows, the National Pathways Summit offers an opportunity to bring together leaders from programs across the country to define pathways programs, discuss their efficacy, and have conversations about long term sustainability. The Festival and Summit will celebrate the activities, collaboration, and impact of pathways initiatives while serving as a catalyst for collective action for the programs dedicated to supporting young musicians who have been historically excluded from opportunities in classical music.

If you represent a pathways program and would like to be involved in the Summit, please send us an email at info@niman.org.

The Festival Orchestra

Maestro Riccardo Muti conducts the Youth Music Festival Orchestra as part of the 2015 Youth Music Festival © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015

Pathways programs participating in the Festival and Summit will nominate young musicians to audition to take part in the Festival Orchestra. Hosted on Acceptd, application fees for all interested musicians will be paid by NIMAN. Please note that COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all participants.

The Audition:

  • Solo Works:  The solo may be any work of your choice and may be performed with or without accompaniment. 
  • Scales:  One major and one minor scale of your choice
    • Three octaves for violin, viola, cello, and harp
    • Two octaves for bass, winds, brass, and percussion
  • One standard orchestral excerpt of your choice

Applications close December 13
Questions about eligibility or applying? Email us at info@niman.org!

We partner with Acceptd to host our applications.
Please visit our landing page to learn more and begin an application.
We thank the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation for their generous support of the Festival and Summit
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