The Australian Youth Orchestra announces the 2013 international tour.

Hon. Simon Crean with Christoph Eschenbach and Joshua Bell

News that the Australian Youth Orchestra will tour internationally in 2013 with one of the greatest conductors of our time Christoph Eschenbach and Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell has been greeted with great excitement; “I plan to lock myself in the bedroom and restrict my activities to sleeping and practising until the auditions for 2013 (with maybe a couple of pauses for eating and drinking)”, posted violinist Hannah Buckley on the AYO’s Facebook page on the day of the announcement.

Eschenbach, visiting Sydney with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, took time out from his performance schedule to join in the exciting announcement. “I have wonderful memories of touring once before with the Australian Youth Orchestra. Wonderful young musicians, perfectly prepared.” The tour to which he is referring took place in 1988, with a then 21-year-old Colin Cornish (now CEO of the AYO) sitting in amongst the violin section. “When Eschenbach conducted the AYO, for me the experience was life-changing. At that age, being able to learn from someone of his level was an extraordinary and invaluable opportunity.” Colin is proud of the fact that Eschenbach has decided to rejoin the orchestra in 2013. “Being able to secure artists like Eschenbach and Joshua Bell is a tribute to the calibre of Australia’s national youth orchestra.”

For the musicians, it will be a long, slow burn of excitement until 2013. “When I read the email, I screamed and ran around the room,” Hannah Buckley elaborated when she spoke to the AYO. “I rang 10 of my friends who hadn’t heard the news yet. It’s just the best thing ever.” French horn player Sebastian Dunn was present at the announcement. “I’ll still be just young enough to audition,” he said. “I really hope Eschenbach chooses some big repertoire, so lots of us can go!”

The Hon. Simon Crean MP, Minister for the Arts, launched the international tour at the Sydney Opera House. “The Australian Government is a proud and longstanding supporter of the Australian Youth Orchestra,” Mr Crean said. “As an elite arts training ground, the Australian Youth Orchestra provides young musicians with the opportunity to grow into the cultural leaders of tomorrow. The Australian Youth Orchestra’s 2013 International Tour will again demonstrate Australia’s position as a creative and productive nation to the world.”

Repertoire and venues for the tour are currently being prepared and we look forward to sharing more exciting news of this incredible tour with all AYO supporters in the new year.