The Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), which is currently playing the last dates of its international summer tour, with concerts in Toulouse on 21 August, Santander on 22 August and San Sebastian on 23 August, will perform, as the grand finale or the tour, a Gala Concert at Centre for Fine Arts BOZAR in Brussels on 5 September 2017.
Conducted by co-founder and Artistic Director Richard Pontzious, and with violin soloist Sarah Chang, the AYO will perform:
THE ASIAN YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The AYO was founded by Yehudi Menuhin and Richard Pontzious.
Its 100 members 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.
Cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Steven Isserlis, Wang Jian and Alisa Weilerstein, violinists Gidon Kremer, Gil Shaham, Elmar Oliveira, Young Uck Kim, Stefan Jackiw and Cho-Liang Lin, soprano Elly Ameling, the Beaux Arts Trio, pianists Alicia de Larrocha, Cecile Licad, Leon Fleisher and Jean Louis Steuerman are among those who have performed with AYO under the direction of principal conductor James Judd, music director emeritus Sergiu Comissiona, Alexander Schneider, Tan Dun, and the orchestra's co-founders, Yehudi Menuhin and Richard Pontzious.
Since its inaugural performances in 1990, the award-winning Orchestra has played some 366 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 programme 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 Hong Kong'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.