Career Call for Young Musicians

AYO 2025 applications start soon. AYO has trained more than 12,000 young Australian musicians and is a jumping off point for musical high flyers.
May 29, 2024
AYO CEO Kimbali Harding

The Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO), one of the world’s most prestigious training grounds for young musicians, is inviting instrumentalists from around Australia to apply now for its 2025 programs.

Described as “one of Australia’s best orchestras” by musician and ABC Classic FM radio presenter Ed Le Brocq, AYO has trained more than 12,000 young Australian musicians and performed 23 international tours since 1948. AYO concerts bristle with youthful verve and tend to inspire newcomers and seasoned audiences alike.

Each year, The AYO offers inventive and tailored training and performance programs for aspiring musicians, composers, arts administrators and music journalists, aged 12 to 30.
CEO Kimbali Harding said the AYO training pathway aimed to nurture the musical development of young people across metropolitan and regional Australia.

Harding majored in piano performance at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Cortot Conservatoire in Paris, under the tutelage of renowned French concert pianist France Clidat, completed a musicology degree at L’Universite de la Sorbonne, and Masters through University of New England. She also studied at the prestigious Texas Piano International at the Van Cliburn Institute and toured internationally.

“From emerging, gifted, school-aged students, to those on the verge of a professional career, we are encouraging those with the right skills to apply for our programs,” she said.

“We would especially like to see more applicants from rural and remote areas of Australia, as well as First Nations people. For this reason, AYO will waive the application fee for any First Nations applicants.”

Ms Harding said the AYO had low student/teacher ratios and are delivered in purpose-built facilities to ensure the highest possible level of learning and training.

“Our close work with industry also leads to excellent employment outcomes, with many students going into orchestral and non-orchestral careers like sound production, orchestral management, or composition.

“Each of our programs caters to Australia’s finest young musicians at varying stages of their creative and professional development. Many participants start as young as 12 and follow the AYO training pathway from start to finish, while others select individual programs that complement their study schedule. We offer the flexibility to pick and choose the programs that suit you best, and we encourage you to apply for all the programs you are eligible for.”

Successful applicants to AYO are eligible to apply for financial assistance.

“We are committed to ensuring that all eligible musicians are able to participate in our programs, regardless of financial and geographic barriers,” Ms Harding said.

AYO boasts an extraordinary roll call of alumni, including ARIA award winner Nigel Westlake who has a string of film score credits to his name; Brett Yang and Eddy Chen of TwoSet Violin fame; and Justin Julian who, at 26, has just won the Principal Viola position with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

AYO applications open on 30 May and close on 31 July. For information on the AYO programs for 2025 and how to apply visit: