On behalf of the Australian Youth Orchestra Board, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Kimbali Harding to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Kimbali takes the reins from Colin Cornish AM, who has accepted the position of Chief Executive at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra after 17 years at the helm of AYO.

During his time with AYO, Colin made an indelible mark on our organisation and an exceptional contribution to the Australian orchestral community and young musical minds, which has been widely recognised and honoured.

We are excited to embark on a new chapter at AYO under Kimbali’s direction, in what is a timely appointment as we celebrate our 75th year.

Kimbali is an exceptional musician, conductor and educator who has devoted a significant part of her career to the growth and development of young musicians – and it is this devotion that is in tune with the AYO and our mission and strategic direction.

She has impressive credentials as a trained concert pianist, has conducted world premieres with thousands of musicians and choral voices, and has played alongside some of the most notable names in orchestral music.

Kimbali is also is deeply committed to enhancing AYO’s role as a pre-professional training ground for the next generation of Australian professional musicians – whether they work in leading ensembles in Australia or around the world.

We are confident that she will both deliver against this strategic direction and push us and our participants, to even better outcomes. This includes capitalising on our recent innovations such as the Momentum Ensemble for pre-professional performers, hosting the Richard Gill-founded National Music Teacher Mentoring Program, and continuing to strengthen the AYO training pathway, including the long-standing contributors to Australian musical life, such as National Music Camp and the flagship Australian Youth Orchestra.

Please join me in welcoming Kimbali to the AYO family.

Ben Rimmer
Chair, AYO Board