Album Cover History

Much has been written about the artistic achievements of the Australian Youth Orchestra both within Australia and on its many successful overseas tours as young music ambassadors for Australia.

Much less is known about the commercial recordings made by the Orchestra. It was only two years after the AYO’s inaugural concerts in Sydney, in March 1957, that the Orchestra made its first commercial recording. This was recorded live from ABC Youth Concert held at Sydney Town Hall on 30 May 1959. Sir Bernard Heinze was conductor and the young WA violinist Geoffrey Michaels was soloist in the Mendelssohn concerto.

In 1970 the Orchestra performed at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan, its first of many overseas tours. John Hopkins, who was to have a long association with the Orchestra, conducted works by Dvorak and Berlioz and these were recorded for commercial release. John Hopkins presided over two further recordings with AYO: an LP recorded live from the Perth Concert Hall, Western Australia, in 1974 at the XI Congress of International Society for Music Education and of the American Bi-Centennial Tour in 1976.

The Orchestra achieved its most notable success to date when it was invited for the first time to tour Europe and the UK in July and August 1984, with memorable concerts including those at the Proms in London and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with conductors Sir Charles Mackerras and Ronald Zollman. These moments were captured on a commercial recording and a video appropriately named The Ambassador's Symphony...

Len Amadio





1984 (inside cover)