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Michael Tilson Thomas' New World Symphony

Members of the New World Symphony rehearse.
Members of the New World Symphony rehearse.

Nestled among the beach bunnies and muscle men of Miami's trendy South Beach neighborhood is a group of 82 young classical musicians. They hail from all across the country, representing America's most promising new artists, and they come each year to participate in a unique training orchestra called the New World Symphony.

An intensive, three-year fellowship program, the New World Symphony offers performance and training opportunities with seasoned coaches, conductors and soloists. In the first of a three-part series following a year in the New World Symphony, NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the orchestra's famous artistic director, Michael Tilson Thomas.

Thomas established the New World Symphony in 1987. He is also the director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, but spends 10 weeks a year in Miami coaching the young resident artists. Having studied with the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein as a young musician, Thomas sees the New World Symphony as his own way of passing that training down to the next generation of great musicians.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.