About the NRO

Changing Lives Through Music
For more than 50 years, the National Repertory Orchestra, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, has played an important role in preparing young musicians for careers in the orchestra world, while delivering outstanding musical performances for residents and visitors in Summit County.  Today the NRO has achieved unparalleled success and is at the forefront of the nation’s summer music festivals.

The Musicians
Every year the NRO auditions nearly 1,000 musicians between the ages of 18 and 29 in about 25 different cities across the country to fill the 88 tuition-free spots of the orchestra.  The United States is not the only country to be represented in the NRO, with many of our fellows originating from countries in Europe, Asia and South America.  So, while “National” is in our name, “International” is in our music. 

Most musicians have graduated college; some have completed graduate degrees.  They are professional musicians gaining the experience to help them secure their first big job in the music world.  After attending NRO, alumni are employed by virtually every professional orchestra in America and many around the world.

The Summer Music Festival
The National Repertory Orchestra is honored to reside in the beautiful and historic ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado and perform the majority of their concerts in the state-of-the-art Riverwalk Center.  In addition to this location, the orchestra also performs several run-out engagements within the state of Colorado.  During the eight week season, the NRO performs as many different concerts as a full time orchestra performs in a nine month season.   The NRO provides a unique opportunity for young musicians to gather invaluable experience playing a broad variety of orchestral works, led by Music Director Carl Topilow and joined with world-renowned guest conductors.

In addition, the NRO prepares these talented young people with real-world insights into today’s opportunities and responsibilities for symphony musicians.   Master classes are led by members of such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Leaders in the industry conduct seminars, engaging such subjects as music therapy, outreach and education.  Musicians reach out to new and under-served audiences performing chamber ensembles through the community engagement program.