Asian Youth Orchestra
Asian Youth Orchestra © Gabriel Mara Isserlis
In August 1990 the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), which was founded by Yehudi Menuhin and Richard Pontzious, gave its inaugural concert. The ensemble comprises some 110 first-rate talents between the ages of 17 and 27, who have undergone a demanding selection process; they come from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Every summer the AYO meets for a three-week rehearsal phase in Hong Kong before going on tour. It partners with such top-ranking soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Mischa Maisky, Alisa Weilerstein, Gidon Kremer, and Gil Shaham. In the summer of 2017 Principal Conductors James Judd, Richard Pontzious, and Matthias Bamert will lead the tour, which includes stops in China, Japan, the United States, and 12 European cities. The AYO received the Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists in 2010 and the Nikkei Asia Prize in 2015.