Asian Youth Orchestra Malaysia Programme - June 8th – 29th, 1997

As its first kick-off programme, the Malaysian Youth Orchestra Foundation hosted the world-class Asian Youth Orchestra’s (AYO) three weeks intensive rehearsal camp at the Mines Beach Resort. The Camp began on June 8th and culminated in a gala preview performance in Kuala Lumpur, before they embarked on a rigorous tour throughout Asia, namely China, Korea, Japan and Singapore.

The AYO 1997 rehearsal Camp and Gala Performance, collectively known as the AYO Malaysia Program, was fully funded by MYOF through the corporate sponsorships of Renong Berhad, Genting Resorts Berhad, Sime Darby Berhad, Southern Bank Berhad, Country Heights Group of Companies and DiJaya Corporation Berhad.

At the opening graced by the patron of MYOF, YABhg Datin Seri Dr. Siti Hasmah said, “This is the first time the AYO Rehearsal camp is being held in Malaysia and it provides a rare privilege for the Malaysian concert audience and young musicians. The 102 talented young musicians represent an amalgam of races and cultures from all over Asia including Malaysia. World-renowned musicians, Sergiu Commissiona (principle conductor) and Mark Churchill (AYO resident conductor) will tutor these young talents during these three weeks and have generously offered to conduct master classes for select groups of Malaysian musicians visiting the rehearsal camp.

The AYO was established a decade ago to showcase the finest young musicians in Asia and over the years has built a reputation as one of the world’s leading youth orchestras. Highly competitive auditions were held where close to 1,500 youths aged between 15 and 25 competed for the privilege to be a part of 1997’s AYO. Of the 102 members chosen, five (5) were Malaysians while other countries represented included China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The culmination of the three-week tuition-free rehearsals was the Malaysian Gala Performance & Dinner on June 29th, 1997 held at the Putra World Trade Centre. After the Gala Performance, the AYO embarked on a four-week tour of China, Korea, Japan and Singapore.

In Hong Kong, the AYO was given the honour to perform at the reunification of Hong Kong and China celebrations from July 1st to 4th, 1997.