Asian Youth Orchestra’s Rich History


To achieve a higher goal or make a dream come true, one must proceed by taking a step in its direction. This first step leads to the achievement of higher goals and dreams start becoming a reality.  Music conductor and teacher, Richard Pontzious, dreamed of a music academy in Asia some time ago. With the coordination of the co-founder Yehudi Menuhin, he finally founded the Hong Kong –based Asian Youth Orchestra in 1987.


During his stay and work in Asian countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan, Richard Pontzious felt a need of an orchestra to unite the Asian regions. The reason: to bring forward the young musical talent on a global platform. As a result of Mr. Pontzious’s strenuous efforts, the Asian Youth Orchestra gained fame for its bright and artistic youth.  Mr. Pontzious was the first international musician to be invited to China after years of the Cultural Revolution in the 1980s. Over the urge of Sergiu Comissiona, he was appointed as the artistic director and conductor at the Asian Youth Orchestra. Furthermore, Mr. Pontzious’s outstanding conduction at the 20th anniversary of the Asian Youth Orchestra gathered 5000 music fans. Critics spoke of the Asian Youth Orchestra as the finest youth orchestra in the world! Since its establishment, Asian Youth Orchestra has collaborated with various international artists and musicians like James Judd, Wang Jian, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Elmar Oliveira, Gidon Kremer, Elly Ameling and many others.

Under the supervision of Mr. Pontzious and the gifted faculty, the orchestra was awarded the global arts prize in 2010. Moreover, having a successful past, the Asian Youth Orchestra continues to tour television and radio broadcasts, performing at Beijing’s National Centre for Performing Arts, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, the Xian Concert Hall, Kuala Lumpur’s Dewan Petronas Filharmonik and many others. The melodious and rich history of the  Asian Youth Orchestra reflects its shining success in the present days while continuing to bring innovative music to its listeners.

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