August 10, 2018

August 9, 2018

THE award-winning Asian Youth Orchestra, recipient of Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and Nikkei Asia Prize, will perform on August 16 and 17, 2018, 8:00pm at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater). 

The Manila performance is part of its 2018 Concert Tour. This is the AYO’s third visit to the Philippines. The AYO performed at the CCP in August 1996 and August 2001.  

Counted “amongst the finest youth orchestras around the world,” the AYO’s Manila leg concerts feature internationally-awarded soloists Yu-Chien “Benny” Tseng on violin and Anna Tsybuleva on piano, with conductors James Judd and Richard Pontzious conducting classical masterpieces by Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Wagner, Barber, Enescu and Gershwin. 

Program for August 16 consists of Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 1, Barber’s Violin Concerto, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and Symphonic Dances with violinist Yu-Chien Tseng under the baton of James Judd, while Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger, Selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Gershwin’s An American in Paris will be performed on August 17 with pianist Anna Tsybuleva under the baton of Richard Pontzious.

Yu-Chien (Benny) Tseng is rapidly building an international reputation as an emerging young soloist of enormous promise praised for his grace, poise, and blistering virtuosity.  Following his win at the XV International Tchaikovsky Violin Competition in 2015, he has made a series of major debuts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Yu-Chien has appeared as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky theatre Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Belgium, OrquestaSinfónica de Navarra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan Philharmonic, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and many others.

Leeds International Piano Competition 2015 winner Anna Tsybuleva has performed with a number of important Russian orchestras, including St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Mariinsky Orchestras. In 2012, she won first prize in the International Gilels Piano competition in Odessa (Ukraine). The same year Anna was one of the winners of the Hamamatsu International piano competition in Japan. Her success at the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition in the United Kingdom has led to many important engagements both in the UK and internationally. 

British born conductor James Judd's music directorships have included Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lille in France and a groundbreaking 14 years as Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. James has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic, conducted in the great halls of Europe including the Salzburg Mozarteum and Vienna’s Musikverein, and made guest appearances with such prestigious ensembles as the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig, Prague Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, and the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg.

Richard Pontzious founded Hong Kong’s Asian Youth Orchestra in 1987 with distinguished violinist, conductor and humanitarian Yehudi Menuhin. In 2010, the Orchestra was awarded Japan’s PraemiumImperiale Grant for Young Artists, a global arts prize, and just this year Mr. Pontzious was named an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.  His work with the AYO has led to extraordinary collaborations with Yehudi Menuhin, Sergiu Comissiona, James Judd, Wang Jian, Yo-Yo Ma, Alisa Weilerstein, Elmar Oliveira, Gidon Kremer, Elly Ameling, Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Young Uck Kim, Stefan Jackiw, Jean Luis Steuerman and Alicia de Larrocha. He was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra in 2002, at the urging of Sergiu Comissiona.

Selected annually through a strict audition process, the 100-plus orchestra members represent mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. They are together for six weeks, initially for a three-week Rehearsal Camp in Hong Kong, then for a three-week international concert tour with celebrated conductors and solo artists.

Cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Steven Isserlis, Mischa Maisky, Wang Jian, Alban Gerhardt and Alisa Weilerstein, violinists Vadim Repin, Sarah Chang, Gidon Kremer, Gil Shaham, Elmar Oliveira, Young Uck Kim, Stefan Jackiw and Cho-Liang Lin, soprano Elly Ameling, the Beaux Arts Trio, pianists Alicia de Larrocha, Gerhard Oppitz, Cecile Licad and Leon Fleisher are among those who have performed with AYO under the direction of principal conductor James Judd, music director emeritus Sergiu Comissiona, Alexander Schneider, Tan Dun, and the orchestra’s co-founders, Yehudi Menuhin and Richard Pontzious.

Since its inaugural performances in 1990, the award-winning Orchestra, which made its Lucerne Festival debut this year, has played over 400 concerts in Asia, Europe, the US and Australia to an audience of more than one million concertgoers. Millions and more have seen and heard the orchestra around the world on CNN, CNBC, NHK and Radio and Television Hong Kong.

A staggering 25,000 musicians, ranging in age from 17 to 27, have auditioned for AYO. Those selected for the full scholarship program study with an exceptional artist-faculty of principals from the Baltimore, Boston, Minnesota and San Francisco symphony orchestras, the Bergamo Festival Orchestra (Italy), Milan’s La Scala Opera, Rome Theater, La FeniceTeatro Venice, Teatro Carlo Felice Genoa, Brussels’ Monnaie Opera, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Orchestra Della Radio SvizzeraItaliana, the Vienna Volksoper, the Triple Helix Trio and the Boston and Peabody music conservatories.

Ticket prices are Php1,000, Php800, Php400 and Php200 with discounts for CCP Members and Subscribers, Senior Citizens, PWD, Government and Military Personnel and Students.

For inquiries, call the CCP at 832-3704, 832-3706 or e-mail