Since 1973, Sydney Youth Orchestras (SYO) has provided an international standard of orchestral training to thousands of young musicians (6-25 years) and SYO is proud of its ongoing contribution to the vibrant cultural landscape of Sydney, particularly in its youth performing arts scene. In 2009, SYO manages 9 orchestras of 405 musicians who will give 50 concerts across Sydney and regional NSW.
The vital role played by the SYO in the training of young musicians is incontestable – it not only provides them with the diverse skills required for a sustainable career in the rapidly changing and competitive performing arts industries in the 21st century, but also inspires and incubates the audiences and creative artists for the future.
SYO alumni have leading careers as performers, conductors and composers both in Australia and overseas eg Richard Tognetti (ACO), David Pereira (cellist), Matt McDonald (Berlin Philharmonic), Jane Rutter (flautist), Guy Noble (conductor) and Katarina Kroslakova (music journalist). Recent SYO alumni employed in the Sydney Symphony include Shefali Prior (oboe), Kirsty Hilton (violin) and Ben Ward (bass - at 20 years, the youngest member).
SYO works hard to promote the performance of Australian repertoire and the development of new Australian compositions, with an annual ‘Composer-in-Residence’ program and a goal to develop its commissioning schedule to feature a minimum of two major compositions each year.