The Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO) has a reputation for being one of the world’s most prestigious and innovative training organisations for young pre-professional musicians.

Our training pathway has been created to nurture the musical development of Australia’s finest young instrumentalists and promising arts leaders across metropolitan and regional Australia: from the emerging, gifted, school-aged student, to those on the verge of a professional career. AYO presents tailored training and performance programs each year for aspiring musicians, composers, arts administrators and music journalists aged 12 to 30. As one of the nation’s eight leading arts training organisations, the Arts 8, AYO prepares young people for careers in the arts sector which contributes $122.3 billion to the economy annually.

When Professor John Bishop OBE and Ruth Alexander convened the first National Music Camp in 1948, they created an institution that would fire the imaginations of over 12,000 young Australian musicians, see its orchestras tour the globe and instill in its participants a love of music and a dedication to the highest standards of performance.

AYO occupies a special place in the musical culture of Australia, where one generation of brilliant musicians inspires the next, where aspiring musicians get a taste of life as professional musicians, and where like-minded individuals from all over the country gather for intense periods to learn from each other, study and perform. On the world stage, AYO has established itself as a cultural ambassador for Australia on twenty-three international tours since its first in 1970.

Today, countless AYO alumni are members of some of the finest professional orchestras worldwide and contribute to Australia’s cultural heartbeat.