Asian Youth Orchestra

© Asian Youth Orchestra

One of its founders in 1990 was the legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin; ever since, the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO) has given more than 400 concerts throughout the world, demonstrating its extraordinary abilities. The AYO was the first foreign orchestra ever to perform in Vietnam. The 95 musicians of the Asian Youth Orchestra come from approximately ten East Asian countries, including China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and others. Aged between 17 and 27, they meet every year in Hong Kong for six weeks of rehearsals, concluding with an international tour. The musicians are given full scholarships to work under the tutelage of outstanding orchestral musicians from Europe and the USA. During recent years, the AYO’s musical partners have included the violinists Gidon Kremer and Gil Shaham, the cellists Steven Isserlis and Alban Gerhardt and the pianists Alicia de Larrocha and Leon Fleisher. The Asian Youth Orchestra last appeared at Young Euro Classic in 2017; its chief conductor is the Frenchman Joseph Bastian, who took on this position in 2022.

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam
August 4, 2023 8 PM

Konzerthaus Berlin

Kai Wegner
Foto des Regierenden Bürgermeisters von Berlin, Kai Wegner

© Yves Sucksdorff

Governing Mayor of Berlin

Joseph Bastian

© Andrej Grilc

The French-Swiss conductor Joseph Bastian lives in Munich and has undergone a truly astounding artistic development. Trained as a cellist, trombonist and composer, he played trombone in the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) under Claudio Abbado and Pierre Boulez before being appointed principal bass trombone in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich in 2004. Bastian gathered his first conducting experience at the Abaco Orchestra of the Munich University. He acted as a last-minute substitute for the conductor Robin Ticciati in February 2016 and was mentored by chief conductor Mariss Jansons. He was subsequently invited to conduct orchestras all over Germany, including the RSO Berlin, but also in France and Spain and in Asia. In 2022, Bastian became principal conductor of the Asian Youth Orchestra. Starting in the autumn of this year, the 41-year-old will also become chief conductor of the Munich Symphony Orchestra.


Alban Gerhardt

© Kaupo Kikkas

Born in Berlin and living in Madrid today, Alban Gerhardt has been one of the world’s leading cellists for three decades. Early success in competitions and a debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Semyon Bychkov in 1991 paved his way to the international top. He has performed with “old masters” such as Kurt Masur, David Zinman and Christoph von Dóhnanyi as well as Vladimir Jurowski and Kirill Petrenko, Susanna Mälkki and Klaus Mäkelä. Gerhardt’s repertoire includes more than 70 solo concertos, including classics by Schumann, Dvořák and Elgar and rarities by Eugen d’Albert, Ernö von Dohnányi and Georges Enescu, all of which he recorded for the British label Hyperion. The cellist has also given world premieres of works by Unsuk Chin, Peteris Vasks, Brett Dean, Jörg Widmann and Matthias Pintscher, to name a few. Furthermore, he is a sought-after chamber musician and dedicates himself to social projects, performing regularly in schools and hospitals. Alban Gerhardt plays a cello built by Matteo Gofriller in 1710.


Lydia Teuscher

© Shirley Suarez

Originally from Freiburg, the soprano Lydia Teuscher studied at the Mannheim Music Academy and the Royal Welsh College of Music in Cardiff. Since then, she has made a promising name for herself in the concert and opera repertoire. She has sung Pamina in Mozart’s Zauberflöte at the Berlin State Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro in Dresden and at the Glyndebourne Festival and Ännchen in Weber’s Freischütz in Zurich, among others. Lydia Teuscher starred in Telemann’s Pastorelle en Musique at the Potsdam Sanssouci Music Festival; early music, in the form of Bach’s passions and cantatas, is an important part of her artistic work in general. In February 2021, the singer took on the soprano solo in Brahms’ Requiem at short notice in a performance in Zurich that was broadcast live on ARTE. Teuscher has also performed the solo parts in Mahler’s Second and Fourth Symphonies and in Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire.



Overture to “Ruslan and Lyudmila” (1842)


Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E-minor Op. 85 (1919)


Symphony No. 4 in G-major (1899-1901)

Words of Welcome

Kai Wegner
Governing Mayor of Berlin,
Patron of Young Euro Classic

Dr. Willi Steul
1st Chairman, Deutscher Freundeskreis europäischer Jugendorchester e.V.

About the concert

The Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), which opens this year’s selection of international youth orchestras at the festival Young Euro Classic, has certainly travelled the furthest of all the featured ensembles. Berlin’s audience last had the chance in 2017 to witness the high quality of the young musicians, who come from approximately ten East Asian countries and meet every summer for an intense rehearsal phase in Hong Kong. This year, the concert also has a particularly strong German note: the solo cellist Alban Gerhardt launched his international career from Berlin; the soprano Lydia Teuscher is from Freiburg. And the French conductor Joseph Bastian has enjoyed a close connection with Munich not just since his sensational conducting debut there! The festival audience can look forward to the AYO’s colourful, late romantic programme: the centrepiece is Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with its radiant soprano solo in the last movement; the concert opens with the impressive overture to Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Lyudmila. And Alban Gerhardt shines in Edward Elgar’s sumptuous Cello Concerto.

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