Youth Orchestra of the Americas

YOA IS A WORLD-CLASS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA of gifted young musicians, ages 18 to 30, representing more than 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere.

YOA’S MISSION is to bring together energetic, talented musicians to pursue excellence and celebrate cultural diversity as a catalyst for social change. In ten years, YOA has become an international brand by bringing renowned artists— from Yo-Yo Ma to Paquito D’Rivera, from Plácido Domingo to Philip Glass— into the lives of young musicians and diverse audiences.

FREE AND OPEN AUDITIONS are held annually in January via YouTube, removing the cost of international postage, to ensure that any deserving and eligible musician can apply. Following adjudication by prestigious faculty, all musicians in the new orchestra participate on full-scholarship, to achieve the greatest equality and diversity possible.

THE SEASON CENTERPIECE is a July-August Residence and Concert Tour held each year in different regions of the world. Musicians, faculty, conductors, guest artists, and staff gather for a 2-week Residence of daily master classes, individual instruction, sectionals and full-orchestra rehearsals to prepare diverse and challenging repertoire to take on a month-long Tour.

SPECIAL INVITATIONS AND EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE bring together YOA musicians throughout the year. Programs range from chamber recitals to full-orchestra concerts. YOA musicians also serve as teaching artists in partner programs with conservatories and orchestras around the world.

YOA HAS PERFORMED more than 200 concerts since its 2002 Inaugural Tour in settings that range from the most prestigious concert halls of Europe and the Americas to outdoor venues not often associated with symphonic music. YOA has reached over 8 million people through live performances, television and radio broadcasts, CD recordings, print media, and documentary films.

THE IMPACT OF YOA stretches far beyond its programs. Participants return to their native countries to share experiences and gained knowledge with their communities. YOA connects musicians to institutions of higher learning and professional job opportunities. YOA is a model for music education programs in Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, the United States, and Uruguay.

About the author

Russell Rybicki
Russell Rybicki