On Friday, Feb. 1, sophomore Akshay Dinakar received long-awaited news during Chemistry Two. Dinakar had been selected for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA). As one of 30 violinists chosen from the U.S., Dinakar will spend three weeks this summer training, traveling and performing with the orchestra.
Dinakar auditioned for NYO-USA in October 2012. His father had discovered the orchestra, which was founded last fall, in September 2012. Dinakar spent a month preparing for the audition, which included several excerpts from Mozart concertos and a solo that he chose.
He spent an hour a day preparing the excerpts and the first Shostakovich concerto, his piece. After a month, Dinakar sent in recordings of each piece. His brother, Bhavish, along with his dad and teacher, aided him in preparing and making the recordings.
For the next three months, the Dinakars waited for a letter, an email or a phone call delivering results. But for Dinakar, the news came in an unexpected time.
“I was sitting in Chem, and the girl next to me turns to me and goes “Congratulations!”’ Dinakar said. “She showed me an email from Krawitz saying that I had made the orchestra. I freaked out… I just looked at Mr. Ogdon and then ran out of the room. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
Dinakar will join an orchestra of 120 musicians this summer for a series of rehearsals and performances. NYO-USA will send him the music for their performances — a combination of Tchaikovsky and original pieces by a contemporary composer. The orchestra will also get to play with renowned violinist Joshua Bell.
The orchestra will meet for two weeks in New York City this summer to train. They will then travel to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., London, St. Petersburg and Moscow, expenses paid, to play in some of the most famous venues in the world.
“I mean, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, these are some of the most famous venues in the world,” Dinakar said. “I’m beyond excited to get the chance to play there.”
Since he is not a part of the East orchestra, Dinakar is most excited about playing with a large orchestra.
“It’s going to be great,” Dinakar said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”