Viewed by many as the pinnacle of the AYO pathway to a professional career, the Australian Youth Orchestra seasons play a central role in the development of Australia’s young, talented musicians.
The AYO July Season is always an experience to remember for its talented musicians and captivated audiences alike. This year the orchestra took on a fresh, vibrant and joyously youthful feel under the formidable expertise of Simone Young and the abundant exuberance of the worldwide sensation, Ray Chen. These powerful influences combined to create a memorable concert at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre featuring the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor as well as works by the great Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Principal Flautist Michael Last, for whom this season was a first and last appearance in the concert hall with the AYO, reflected on the unique gift the program gives in providing the musicians with a chance to work not just with such esteemed artists, but with friends of many years to bring these works to life:
“When the musicians of the AYO come together, there’s an energy we generate that we each feed upon. I know when I hear that murmur in the double basses and Matty’s brooding bassoon solo in the first few bars of the Tchaik, the hair on the back of my neck will be standing up. When I hear Amy’s gorgeous soft clarinet solos, I’ll be inspired to push myself to play that next pianissimo with more delicacy and suppleness. And when Ennes shapes that delicious oboe phrase in the second movement with a sweeping gesture I’ll be dancing along next to him.”
Michael Last, Principal Flute
Read Michael’s blog in entirety here.