Meet violinist and New Providence resident, Kingston Ho, 16, who has won a coveted seat on the roster of young musicians in Carnegie Hall’s 2018 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). He is one of only five musicians from New Jersey to be selected for the highly competitive 100-member ensemble. A junior at the Academy for Allied Health Sciences in Scotch Plains, Kingston studies violin with New York Philharmonic’s Duoming Ba and serves as co-concertmaster for the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS).
He is also a member of the NJYS String Quartet which is coached by Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet and frequently performs throughout the Garden State. This summer will mark Kingston’s second year with NYO-USA. Last summer, he performed with the orchestra at Carnegie Hall and toured Mexico, Ecuador, and Colombia under the baton of Marin Alsop. In 2016, he was selected to be the concertmaster of the inaugural NYO2 orchestra. He was a semifinalist at the 2018 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players and held the position of concertmaster of the New Jersey All-State Orchestra from 2014-2016. As a soloist, Kingston has appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center. From 2015-2017, Kingston was the concertmaster of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, a full scholarship youth orchestra.
Says Kingston, “To be a part of NYO-USA again is very exciting. This year we will be working with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano, and we will perform at Carnegie Hall and other venues in Asia including Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, and Daejeon.”
When asked what he likes best about music, Kingston responded, “I enjoy chamber music because of the collaboration with other players and everyone has a part. I like playing with the New Jersey Youth Symphony because the level is very advanced and I am friends with many players in the orchestra. And NJYS is also very convenient as I can walk from home to rehearsals in several minutes!”
Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), a free program for all participants. Following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as dynamic music ambassadors. In 2018, the orchestra travels to Asia with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing a new Carnegie Hall–commissioned work by Ted Hearne alongside works by Sibelius and Gershwin. The tour kicks off with the orchestra’s annual concert at Carnegie Hall, continuing with stops in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, and Daejeon. In 2019, NYO-USA returns to Europe with conductor Sir Antonio Pappano and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
As part of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, the New Jersey Youth Symphony has a rich history of fostering musical talent for nearly 40 years. Each of its 15 ensembles offers participants a different, yet fully rounded experience. The family of orchestras serves students from 3rd to 12th grades. NJYS is committed to providing the finest ensemble musical training led by our staff of experienced and renowned conductors, and is known for its high standard of excellence throughout the United States and internationally.