Annual Partners enhance the impact of YOA and opportunities offered to musicians.


Orchestre de la Francophonie (OF) prepares young musicians, who have graduated from the world’s foremost institutions, for their future career in orchestras of national and international reputation. Three objectives are central to the Orchestra: learn, innovate and share. Collaborators since 2013, in 2015 YOA and OF joined forces in a historic 8-week tour partnership of Eastern Canada involving a jointly selected orchestra of top musicians from 25 countries.


The Orford Arts Centre and Academy (OAC) is among North America’s foremost summer centers for musical training. In 2015, YOA and OAC launched a partnership designed to strengthen international platforms for OAC participants, while enhancing opportunities in Canada for members of the YOA network.


NICH Belize, an initiative of the Government of Belize, is dedicated to the promotion of Belizean history, arts, and culture. Since the founding of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize in 2013, NICH Belize has underwritten a partial scholarship for one representative of this organization to join YOA in its international Residences & Tours.


Since 2013, Sistema New Brunswick has annually underwritten a partial scholarship for at least one Sistema NB Teaching Artist to join YOA in its international Residences & Tours. The mission of Sistema NB is to promote the collective practice of music through symphony orchestras in order to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential and to acquire values that favor their growth and have a positive impact on their lives and society.


Bridging the gap between conservatoires and professional life, the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme offers unique development and performance opportunities in the inspiring setting of the east coast of England. Each year, groups of YOA musicians and Global Leaders are selected to represent the Americas within the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme.


One of the world’s leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective, with an enrollment of about 165. Since 2013, the Curtis Institute of Music Concertmaster has served annually as Concertmaster of YOA Orchestra of the Americas. This unique scholarship allows a young musician at the helm of one of the world’s top conservatories the opportunity to develop leadership skills on tour with YOA in international settings.


To promote culture and support artistic and social development in Colombia, Fundación Bolivar Davivienda created the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia (FJC) in 2010 in partnership with Fundación Nacional Batuta and YOA Orchestra of the Americas. Inspired by the model of YOA, FJC is an unprecedented initiative within Colombia and has quickly become a national cultural symbol of Colombia around the world.


Since 2010, YOA Orchestra of the Americas and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, under the leadership of Architect Toshiko Mori, have worked on the development of a Portable Acoustic Concert Structure. Following extensive work by Harvard researchers, in collaboration with YOA, preliminary on-site testing of the Portable Concert Structure – ParAcoustica – began in 2013. The project has been presented at a variety of conferences, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


YOA Orchestra of the Americas is co-founder and a principal partner of Joven Filarmónica de la República Dominicana, a project led by Fundación Sinfonía. This orchestra holds annual auditions to select the most talented and deserving musicians from across the Dominican Republic, ages 15 to 30. The orchestra provides participants access on full scholarship to intensive training residences and professional concert experience working with musicians, coaches, conductors, and soloists of the highest caliber.


Launched in 2009 with support from a group of founding partners including YOA Orchestra of the Americas, the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica has become an emblem of social transformation in the Caribbean, with thriving centers throughout Kingston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods and beyond. Each year in Jamaica, YOA musicians mentor NYOJ youth in preparation for a joint side-by-side community concert. Annually, at least one musician from NYOJ is provided with a full scholarship to participate in YOA.

NYO Jamaica

The Nuclei of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of the State of Bahia (Neojibá) is an unprecedented initiative in Brazil of government policy aimed at integrating children and young people irrespective of social class by training them in orchestral and choral music making up to the highest possible standard. Since 2008, musicians, alumni, and faculty from YOA Orchestra of the Americas have served as coaches at Neojibá and contributed to the development of the program. Musicians from Neojibá have also been included in every major YOA tour.


The Organization of American States’ Orchestra Program in the Caribbean (OASIS) contributes through musical study to the reduction of risk factors that result in violent behavior among youths. The program redirects children and youths’ spare time to an activity that takes advantage of their inherent strengths and talents via a systematic orchestral and choral training program five days a week, two hours a day. Beginning in 2010, musicians and alumni from YOA Orchestra of the Americas, together with colleagues from Batuta (Colombia) and El Sistema (Venezuela), have helped to establish and guide OASIS training programs in Haiti, Saint Lucia, and Jamaica.


L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) and YOA Orchestra of the Americas partnered in 2011 to promote the most talented Canadian artists. Through this partnership, the Gold Medalist of the OSM ManuLife Competition is annually invited to perform in concert with YOA Orchestra of the Americas in a different part of the world. Since its inception in 1940, the OSM ManuLife Competition has served as a springboard for the careers of close to 300 prize-winners, including André Laplante, Angela Hewitt, Louis Lortie, Angela Cheng, Lyne Fortin, Angèle Dubeau, Jean-François Rivest, James Ehnes, Alexandre da Costa, Jan Lisiecki, and a number of OSM musicians, among them concertmaster Andrew Wan.


Esperanza Azteca is a network of orchestras and choirs involving more than 5,000 at-risk children and youth across Mexico. Since 2012, musicians, alumni, and faculty of YOA Orchestra of the Americas have provided ongoing support through 10-day teaching excursions to Mexico. This work is supported by Grupo Salinas, the Secretaría de Educación Pública de México, and 23 State Governments of Mexico.


The YOA Scholarship of the Americas, jointly sponsored by YOA Orchestra of the Americas and the Verbier Festival Music Camp, aims to offer one outstanding young musician between the ages of 15 and 17 with demonstrated financial need, the opportunity to experience an unparalleled orchestral training program that takes places in Verbier, Switzerland each year in the months of July and August. The award covers all necessary costs associated with participation including travel, medical insurance, tuition, activities, room, and board.


The Annual Sphinx Competition gives Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete, work with an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with professional musicians. Prizes include over $100,000 in scholarships and cash prizes, as well as solo performances with major orchestras across the United States. Each year a finalist of the Sphinx Competition is selected to take part in YOA Orchestra of the Americas. Many of the past laureates have gone on to either study at very prestigious schools or began careers in solo or orchestra playing. Notable judges include Anthony Elliot, Sanford Allen, Atar Arad, Paul Katz, and Kim Kaskashian.