• Youth Ensembles
  • European Union Youth Orchestra

    Askonas Holt is delighted to be collaborating with the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) on its ‘Capital Sounds’ project to mark their 40th anniversary.

    ‘Capital Sounds’ will be composed of 28 events in the coming years, each event a performance in a different EU capital.  The events will include a keynote speech by a significant cultural figure of that country, a concert featuring the EUYO, and performances by young people – separately curated in each country – to reflect the musical tradition of that country. The ‘Capital Sounds’ project is presented in association with Askonas Holt, and is being developed jointly with the EUYO’s network of 28 National Associate Partners and 28 grant-giving organisations in all the EU’s member states.

    It launched in Bratislava on 7 August 2016, in a joint celebration of the EU Presidency and the 40th anniversary of the Orchestra’s founding. The 2017 focus was in the Baltic region with concerts in Latvia and Lithuania. In April 2019, Askonas Holt brought the orchestra to Luxembourg as part of their Capital Sounds project.

  • Youth Ensembles
  • I, CULTURE Orchestra

    Askonas Holt is delighted to be working with the ‘I, CULTURE Orchestra’ – one of the most dynamically developing youth orchestras in the world. An international ensemble of young musicians, its progressively masterful performances has received praise from music aficionados, journalists, experts, and eminent soloists. Founded on the idea of solidarity, the Orchestra postulates bridging cultural and political divides.

    The Orchestra was established by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in 2011 as a unique meeting platform for young musicians from Poland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In rehearsing, performing, and touring together, the young musicians gain invaluable experience in building relations, collaborations, and communities based on mutual trust.

    Since its founding, the I, CULTURE Orchestra has played over 41 concerts in more than 25 cities, performing at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals in Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Lithuania, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, with a total of over 600 young musicians participating in the project.

  • Youth Ensembles
  • National Youth Orchestra of China

    The National Youth Orchestra of China (NYO-China) brings together one hundred of China’s finest young musicians for a month-long summer festival and international concert tour. Students are selected through a competitive and meritocratic audition process open to all Chinese citizens aged 14 to 21 years old. The best, who represent leading conservatories from all across China and abroad, gather for an intensive training residency with faculty drawn from the principal players of top-tier orchestras. Then, these students are given the opportunity to perform in premier international venues alongside a world-renowned conductor and soloist. In doing so, China’s most promising young musicians are able to serve as ambassadors for both their country and their generation on a global stage.

    Inspired by Carnegie Hall’s own National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO-China provides Chinese musicians access to the same exceptional education and performance model developed by its American counterpart. The entire program is provided at no costs to students. All expenses, including tuition, travel, and housing, are covered to ensure that no talented musician is ever turned away for lack of funds.

    NYO-China was founded in 2017 and that summer, the musicians gathered in the USA for the training residency before debuting in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall and embarking on a three-city tour of China.

    Askonas Holt is delighted to have worked with NYO-China on their inaugural tour in 2017 and on their European tour in 2019.

  • Youth Ensembles
  • National Youth Orchestra of the USA

    Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together 120 of the brightest young musicians, aged 16-19, from across the United States to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA).  Following a comprehensive audition process and a two-week training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, with a faculty made-up of principal players from top American orchestras, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world, serving as dynamic musical ambassadors.

    Launched in summer 2013 to great critical acclaim, the first-ever NYO-USA presented concerts with famed conductor Valery Gergiev and renowned violinist Joshua Bell for enthusiastic audiences in Washington DC; Moscow and St Petersburg; and at the BBC Proms, London.  The New York Times remarked: “The performance exuded vitality and confidence.”  The 2014 orchestra, led by dynamic American conductor David Robertson with virtuoso violinist Gil Shaham – made its debut at Carnegie Hall, New York, followed by a coast-to-coast US tour.

    In 2015, NYO-USA embarked on an historic tour of China, collaborating with conductor Charles Dutoit and pianist YUNDI on a programme to include music by Beethoven and Berlioz, plus a new work by Tan Dun commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the orchestra.   After a concert at Carnegie Hall, the tour saw the NYO-USA performing at major arts centres in Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Suzhou, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

    2016 saw the NYO perform in Europe with Valery Gergiev, returning in 2019 with Sir Antonio Pappano. The 2017 tour brought the orchestra to Latin America for the first time.

  • Youth Ensembles
  • NYO Jazz

  • Youth Ensembles
  • NYO Jazz

    With its formation in summer of 2018, Carnegie Hall brings together the finest teen jazz musicians from across the United States (ages 16-19) to form NYO Jazz. Selected through a comprehensive audition process, these remarkable musicians from cities and towns across the US engage in a rigorous two-week training residency in New York with world-class jazz masters. F ollowing its residency, NYO Jazz performs at New York City’s Carnegie Hall with a celebrated guest artist before embarking on a tour to some of the world’s great music capitals.  The musicians serve as dynamic music ambassadors as they share this uniquely American musical genre with people around the globe.

    NYO Jazz builds on the success of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and NYO2 – created by Carnegie Hall in 2013 and 2016, respectively – which draw together outstanding young classical musicians from across the country each summer for training, performances, and international touring.

    Askonas Holt is delighted to add this exciting ensemble to its touring roster.

    Read more about NYO Jazz, including interviews with Sean Jones and Carnegie Hall’s Doug Beck and Clive Gillinson, in the article below, from Issue 2 of The Green Room:

  • Youth Ensembles
  • San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

    The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) is recognised internationally as one of the finest youth orchestras in the world. Founded by the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) in 1981, the SFSYO’s musicians are chosen from more than 300 applicants in annual auditions. The SFSYO’s purpose is to provide an orchestral experience of pre-professional calibre, tuition-free, to talented young musicians from the greater Bay Area. SFSYO members have the opportunity to work with many of the world-renowned artists who perform with the SFS. SFS Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, SFS Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Simon Rattle, Kurt Masur, Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Midori, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Sarah Chang, and many others have worked with the SFSYO.

    Askonas Holt has worked with the SFSYO since 2008, arranging summer European tours to some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls such as the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Smetana Hall, Prague, and the Philharmonie, Berlin.

  • Youth Ensembles
  • Simón Bolívar National Youth Choir of Venezuela

    The Simón Bolívar National Youth Choir of Venezuela was established in 2006 as an initiative of Maestro José Antonio Abreu to create a high-level choral group consisting of El Sistema’s young singers from all over Venezuela.

    Directed by Professor Lourdes Sánchez, the choir boasts an impressive repertoire ranging from renaissance to 20th century works, with the great symphonic literature as its pillar. In January 2012, the Simón Bolívar Symphonic Youth Choir was the leading choir in the stunning performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 as part of the Mahler Festival held in Caracas, directed by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

    Askonas Holt toured the Simón Bolívar Symphonic Youth Choir around the United Kingdom in 2014 for a string of concerts including Liverpool, London or Gateshead and Cardiff, also featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Most recently, the choir completed an extensive tour of Europe in the Spring of 2016.