Shreveport cellist Eliot Haas, 17, has been selected to play in the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. About 1,000 students applied for Carnegie Hall’s prestigious summer program for teenage musicians.
The 120-member orchestra will go on an all-expenses paid, eight-city tour playing venues coast-to-coast from Carnegie to Disney Hall. Haas, a senior at Caddo Magnet High, says he looks forward to learning from other teens who will hail from 33 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.
“Every time you go to something like this you learn so much more about what it is to be a musician -- how to play music, and make connections," Haas said. "I'll be meeting people whom I will see for all the rest of my musical career.”
Virtuoso violinist Gil Shaham will be the orchestra’s featured soloist. Shaham’s brother-in-law, David Robertson, will conduct the youth orchestra. Carnegie Hall’s director of artist training programs for its Weill Music Institute, Doug Beck, says Shaham is very committed to this one-of-a-kind experience for young musicians.
“Gil’s already expressed his interest in getting to work with the players, both on the concerto but also out of the concert hall with some chamber music. So we’re excited about that too,” Beck said.
Haas expects to receive the music next month, and he’s looking forward to practicing one selection in particular.
"One of the pieces we’re playing is 'Pictures at an Exhibition' by Mussorgsky. It’s a piece that my brother and I listened to when we were little and had all these interpretive dances. So, it will be really nostalgic," Haas said.
Tickets go on sale April 15 for the National Youth Orchestra’s Carnegie Hall debut on July 22. Meanwhile, Haas is waiting to hear back from seven colleges he applied to. His plan is to pursue a music degree.