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Special Reports

MA 30 Movers & Shapers: Douglas Beck

December 5, 2017 | By Richard S. Ginell

Director, Artist Training Programs
Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall

Douglas Beck came to Carnegie Hall in 2011 and lists among his accomplishments the 2012 launch of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), which, since its 2013 debut, has evolved into a multi-pronged international initiative. NYO-USA hosts an intensive two-week summer residency of training for gifted young musicians ages 16-19 as selected from online audition videos and written essays. Following the residency, at SUNY Purchase in Harrison, New York, the orchestra embarks on a national or international tour, which over five summers has taken it to Europe, China, and Latin America. Celebrity conductors have been Valery Gergiev, David Robertson, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, and Marin Alsop, with faculty drawn from first-desk players in leading American orchestras. 

In summer 2016, Beck and his team launched NYO2, a second orchestra for musicians ages 14-17 in partnership with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Next summer a new NYO Jazz program will be added to the mix.

Beck also oversees all of the Weill Institute’s workshops and master classes for young professional artists, including The Song Continues with Marilyn Horne, and programs with Joyce DiDonato, Jonathan Biss, the Tallis Scholars, Kronos Quartet, and many more.

Prior to Carnegie Hall, Beck was executive director of the late Lorin Maazel’s Châteauville Foundation, based in Castleton, Virginia, overseeing a program that grew from five chamber concerts in 2002 to, by 2011, wide-ranging full-year offerings, from symphonic concerts and opera productions to an annual summer festival, young artist residencies, and various education and outreach activities. During this period (2002-11), he also served as general manager/producer for Maazel’s opera, 1984, at a number of major European houses. Previously he was executive director of the inaugural Maazel-Vilar Conductors Competition (in 2000) and, before that, worked with ICM Artists (now Opus 3 Artists). He is a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied history and literature and served as both classical music director and program director of WHRB-FM, a University-owned commercial radio station that serves the Boston metropolitan area.


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