Asian Youth Orchestra
The 100 members of the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) are among the finest young musicians in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Chosen through highly competitive auditions held throughout the region, they are together for six weeks each summer, initially for a three-week Rehearsal Camp in Hong Kong, then for a three-week international concert tour with celebrated conductors and solo artists.
Since its inaugural performances in 1990, the award-winning Orchestra has played some 351 concerts in Asia, Europe, the US and Australia to an audience of more than one million concertgoers. Millions more have seen and heard the orchestra around the world on CNN, CNBC, NHK and Radio and Television Hong Kong.
A staggering 20,000 musicians, ranging in age from 17 to 27, have auditioned for AYO. Those selected for the full scholarship program study with an exceptional artist-faculty of principals from the Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Minnesota and San Francisco symphony orchestras, the Bergamo Festival Orchestra (Italy), Brussels’ Monnaie Opera, the Triple Helix Trio, Harvard, and the Boston and Peabody music conservatories.
Recipient of Japan’s prestigious Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists, the Asian Youth Orchestra has played more concerts in more cities in China than any other orchestra based outside the mainland. AYO was the first international orchestra in 50 years to perform in Vietnam, played the world premiere performances of Tan Dun’s Symphony 1997 with cellist Yo-Yo Ma marking the territory’s reunification with China, has performed in the White House and at the United Nations, in New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Berlin’s Shauspielhaus, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Sydney Opera House, and across Japan and Southeast Asia.
A tuition-free cultural exchange summer program that involves Asia’s brightest young musicians in exceptional opportunities for study and performance in an international environment, the Asian Youth Orchestra is designed to ignite a pride for what can be achieved by Asian musicians in Asia, while affecting a positive influence on the brain and talent drain that continues to frustrate all Asian nations.
The Asian Youth Orchestra is a tax-exempt non-profit organization qualified under Section 88 of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Ordinance. Contributions from the United States are tax-exempt through Give2Asia.