Singapore National Youth Orchestra

The Singapore National Youth Orchestra demonstrates the extraordinary capability of our inspired youth.

Formally established in 1980, we have welcomed generations of youths to the life-changing experience of playing orchestra music, performing locally as well as representing Singapore at prestigious concert halls and music festivals overseas. Over the years, the SNYO has performed in concert venues and music festivals across Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Today we are 180 youths aged 10 to 21, from more than 60 schools across Singapore. The SNYO family consists of a main orchestra and a junior orchestra, where they are guided by professional musicians in rehearsals, sectionals and masterclasses.

The SNYO remains a warm and inviting community for youth who love playing music together, where meaningful friendships are made for life. Our programme is accessible to talented youth musicians with selected individual lesson subsidy and travel grants for tours as well as participation in exchange programmes.

Since 2018, Joshua Tan assumed the position of Principal Conductor for the SNYO and Peter Stark was appointed as its first-ever Principal Guest Conductor.

We are recognised by the Ministry of Education as a National Project of Excellence, and part of the Singapore Symphony Group — the arts charity that also manages the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

VISION
To inspire a lifelong love for music and a dedication to exceptional orchestral performance

MISSION
Through the playing of orchestral classical music, we nurture future generations of musicians and build a vibrant music community for Singapore

PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR

JOSHUA TAN

Joshua is presently Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.

Second Prize winner of the 2008 Dimitri Mitropoulos International Competition, Singaporean conductor Joshua Tan’s rise to prominence on the international scene has been marked by recent successful debuts in Carnegie Hall, Philharmonie Berlin, Mariinsky Hall, Bunkamura, Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan. Joshua was featured as the top Singaporean musical talent to watch for in 2009 by the Singapore newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao. He has won numerous awards and scholarships, including the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Award, NAC-Shell Scholarship, SSO/MOE Scholarship and is the first ever recipient of the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize from the Juilliard School for outstanding achievement. In 2011, he received the Young Artist Award of Singapore.

Joshua has come to the attention of the leading conductors of today and has studied with James DePreist, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman and Kurt Masur. Other conductors he has worked with include Michael Tilson Thomas, Ingo Metzmacher and George Manahan.

Orchestras he has conducted include the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra, Beethoven Bonn Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra, Urals Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Okayama Symphony Orchestra, Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Yokohama Sinfonietta, Russiche Kammerphilharmonie, Macau Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra. Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Obihiro Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Toho Orchestra, AACA Orchestra, Kaoshiung City Symphony Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg State Symphony amongst others.

Equally at home with both symphonic and operatic repertoire, he has conducted La traviata, L’elisir d’amore, Tosca, Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Cenerentola, Der Fliegende Holländer, Lohengrin, Un Ballo in Maschera, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, Cosi fan Tutte, Turandot amongst others. He was also cover conductor for Christoph Eschenbach and Lorin Maazel. Also adept at working with film/multimedia and music, Joshua is a Disney-approved conductor and gave the Asian premiere of Fantasia. He has also conducted for the BBC’s Planet Earth Series, Disney’s Pixar and Dreams Come True. Ballet productions include the premiere of Marco Polo, Swan Lake and Giselle.

He had a successful stint as Resident Conductor of the National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra from 2009 to 2012 with numerous televised concerts and was Principal Conductor of the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra from 2013–2017. Highlights of the 2017/18 season include Giselle in Tokyo, Sleeping Beauty, L’elisir d’amore, Bernstein’s Mass and a performance of the complete West Side Story with film for the centenary in Singapore amongst others. Overseeing a special initiative, Joshua is also Director for the Asia Virtuosi since 2017, an annual festival orchestra which comprises of leading professional orchestral musicians from different orchestras in Asia. Joshua is a graduate of The Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music (High Distinction).

ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR

LIN JUAN

Associate Conductor Lin Juan works closely with musicians of the Singapore National Youth Sinfonia, preparing them for the challenging and rewarding journey ahead in the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.

As a student Juan was Principal Cellist of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (2000-2002), and later on with the orchestras of the Royal Northern College of Music, where he graduated with both Bachelor's and Master's degrees.

He regularly freelances as section cellist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra; as Principal Cellist he also regularly freelances with the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra, The Philharmonic Orchestra, and Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, among other ensembles.

Juan has been featured in solo appearances that has seen him collaborate with groups as diverse as The Philharmonic Orchestra, re:mix, Ding Yi Music Company, The Arts Fission Company and Wild Rice. He is also active in chamber music performances, appearing regularly with established Singaporean and international musicians.

Working with young people is a central part of Juan’s musical life. In addition to his work with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, he is also a cello lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and conducts the Raffles Institution String Ensemble as its music director.

PRINCIPAL GUEST CONDUCTOR

PETER STARK

Peter Stark’s performances as a conductor are exhilarating, imaginative and inspiring. At the heart of all his work lies a passion and commitment to the study and practice of music to profit humanity. Peter is Professor of Conducting at London's Royal College of Music and has taught over five hundred private students. His acclaimed courses in conducting have taken him across the world and his reputation as a teacher is renowned. In the last two years he has given masterclasses in conducting at the China Conservatory Beijing, the Shanghai Conservatory, and the State Conservatory in St Petersburg.

Whilst having performed with a number of the world’s leading ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter fosters a hunger to work with any orchestra that plays with spirit and enthusiasm.

Peter's growing media profile includes his appointment as series consultant to the popular BBC television series ‘Maestro’ and regular screen appearances as a mentor. For this role, Peter was responsible for the training of eight celebrity \ students’, as orchestral conductors. Peter has since made live ‘Maestro’ webcam commentaries for the BBC Proms and a subsequent TV series.

In addition to Peter’s work at the Royal College of Music in London, his career has focussed on the training of conductors and youth orchestras, He is Rehearsal Director of the European Union Youth Orchestra, has been Principal Conductor of the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra since 1994, and in 2017 was appointed Principal Conductor of the Arabian Youth Orchestra. His work with foreign youth orchestras has included Norway’s Young Philharmonic Orchestra the New South Wales Public Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and the Toyota City Junior Orchestra in Japan. Peter also holds the post of Principal Conductor of the Cambridge University Chamber Orchestra. Between 1985 and 2010 Peter was Conductor-in-Residence to the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Peter is honoured to have had the privilege of assisting many of the world’s finest conductors including Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Lord Menuhin, Sir Roger Norrington and Klaus Tennstedt. His numerous awards include the Tagore Gold Medal from the Royal College of Music and Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of the West of England in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music.

The 2017/18 season sees a return visit to conduct the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and trips to many European countries for European Union Youth Orchestra auditions and residencies, and teaching and performing engagements in China, South Korea and Japan. Peter is also researching and drafting the first of two planned books based on his experiences as a conductor and educationalist.

SINGAPORE NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA AUDITIONS

2020 Audition Date: 5 December

The Singapore National Youth Orchestra invites young musicians (aged 10 to 18) to join us!

Positions are available in all sections: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. Talented young pianists who are interested in mastering a second instrument are also welcome to audition.

Audition guidelines and requirements are stated in the application form, and you may also read the audition FAQ for more information.

Applications for the audition are open all year round. The deadline to be considered for an audition is one month before the audition date. Applications received after the deadline will be retained for consideration at the next audition. To apply, please refer to this link.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at snyo@sso.org.sg.

Over the years, the SNYO performed at various international music festivals and concerts:

  • 2018, December: Asia-Pacific Youth Symphony Orchestra Festival, Hong Kong
  • 2018, December: Xinghai Concert Hall, Guangzhou, China
  • 2016, December: Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • 2012, August: Young Euro Classic, Berlin, Germany
  • 2011, August: Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Scotland
  • 2008, July: Florence International Music Festival, Italy

Click here to view some of our past tours and overseas exchanges.

1980
The “Singapore Youth Orchestra” is established under the Ministry of Education with the appointment of its first Music Director Ms Vivien Goh.

1986
The “Singapore Youth Training Orchestra” was formed as a junior orchestra to the main orchestra.

1990
From 1990-2002, Mr Lim Yau helmed the orchestra as Music Director.

2001
The “Singapore Youth Orchestra” is renamed as the “Singapore National Youth Orchestra” (SNYO).

SNYO Conductors from 2002
2002-2004: Robert Casteels (Music Director/ Resident Conductor)
2005-2010: Lim Soon Lee (Music Director)
2011-2012: Darrell Ang (Music Director)
2011-2014: Tan Wee Hsin (Resident Conductor)
2014-2018: Leonard Tan (Principal Conductor)

2015
The SNYO is transferred from the Ministry of Education to Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra sets up the SNYO Integration Office to manage the consultation and operational processes for the handover.

2016
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra takes full operational and management control of the SNYO.

2018
The SNYO appoints Joshua Tan as its Principal Conductor and Peter Stark as its first-ever Principal Guest Conductor.