We are thrilled to announce that AYO will be returning to international touring in 2025 after a six-year hiatus!
Established in 1970, AYO’s international touring program holds an incredible legacy in the Australian performing arts landscape: AYO was the first orchestra in the country – youth or professional – to tour China in 1979.
International touring has become a hallmark of AYO’s training programs. These tours expose aspiring professional musicians to new possibilities on a global scale. Alumni of this program go on to become Australia’s finest musicians, taking their places on the world stage.
‘The AYO International tours were seminal experiences for me, shaping the rest of my life and career. My first tour was in 1984 where I was on the back desk of the second violins, and on the 1988 tour I was leading the section! From day one of the 1984 tour it was a life changing experience. To travel the world and experience all it has to offer, to play wonderful music on the international stage with amazing conductors and soloists – I thought, I want to do this forever! And I have!’
Belinda McFarlane, violinist in London Symphony Orchestra.
‘The Ambassador’s Symphony’ – Tour of European Festivals in 1984.
Performances in Melbourne, Australia; Dubrovnik & Ljubljana, Yugoslavia; Paris, France;
Amsterdam, the Netherlands; London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, UK.
‘I learned that the standard of Australian music making, and the young players of the AYO are seriously amongst the best in the world – even with the weight of European tradition hanging over our heads, we held our own and I think really showed the world what Australia and Australian musicians are capable of! The audience response to our performances was so amazing, and really made me feel proud to be an ambassador for our country.’
Glenn Christenson, violinist in Desutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
AYO is committed to creating a transformative return to international touring for our brilliant young musicians. The cost of our 2025 International Tour will exceed $2 million, with fees and government support contributing around half of the cost. We are halfway to our goal but need your support to embark on this life-changing experience.
We’ve assembled an incredible team of tutors and guest artists for this first tour in six years. The conductor of the 2025 tour will be David Robertson, a highly sought-after podium figure in the worlds of opera and orchestral music. He is recognised as an adventurous programmer who champions living composers and passionately advocates for the artform.
The performance repertoire of the tour will be both ambitions and challenging, designed to showcase the very best AYO has to offer. Alongside a selection of two symphonies, two concerti, and two overtures, we will present a newly commissioned work by an emerging Australian composer.
Callum Hogan, an oboist in the renowned Sydney Symphony Orchestra, took part in the 2013 and 2019 international tours. He considers them the ‘culmination of years participating in AYO and a celebration of the quality, excitement, and passion that young musicians bring to the classical music scene.’
Cellist Charlotte Miles has been a part of eleven AYO programs including the 2019 International Tour. Charlotte was 16 years old when she went on the tour, and has since gone on to graduate from Australian National Academy of Music and begin her Masters in cello at Hochschule für Musik ‘Franz Liszt’ in Weimar, Germany. ‘I will always be grateful to AYO for my experiences on the 2019 Tour and to everyone who gives generously to make those truly formative experiences possible for many young Australian musicians.’
Play your part and invest in Australia’s most talented young musicians; the creative leaders of our future.