Help young musicians take flight

Dear AYO Friend,

A little over twenty years ago, I had a life-changing experience which directly set me on the path to becoming a professional musician. This was the AYO International Tour to Europe in 1994 during which we had a two-week residency in Amsterdam, played an open-air concert in an Italian piazza and performed in the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall. As a 17 year old, I was working with some of Europe’s most talented orchestral professionals, playing in some of the world’s most exquisite venues and being repeatedly taken out of my comfort zone and pushed to my limits. I cannot put a dollar value on those experiences nor on the impact they had on me at the time and when I saw our AYO performance billed adjacent to the Berlin Philharmonic, I knew then that we were international musicians.

The sense of unity that was created on tour through being 100 young musicians all playing at our peak made me feel what I imagine it’s like being on the Olympic team. Even now when I listen to recordings of that tour with a professional ear I can hear that we were playing at a standard surpassing all expectations.

That is what you get with AYO, every time. The format of giving young Australians intimate access to a network of phenomenal international artists, of placing them under the leadership of experienced conductors who treat them with respect as the professionals they are, of making them cultural ambassadors for Australia. I hope that generations of musicians will have this experience for decades to come.

I urge you to help the next generation of musicians take flight by making a donation today to AYO's next big adventure to Europe and China in 2019. The below map shows the global impact AYO has had in nearly 50 years of touring. What you can’t see – what it is impossible to show – is just what impact this adventure has on the individuals who embark upon it.

With thanks for your support,

Kirsty Hilton
Principal Second Violin,
Sydney Symphony Orchestra



How to donate

ONLINE      Click here to donate via our secure online form

PHONE        (03) 8420 5710 / (02) 9356 1408

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All donations above $2 are tax deductible.


AYO Tour Destinations 1970-2019