Singapore National Youth Orchestra


The Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) occupies a special place in Singapore’s music community having produced a strong alumni contributing significantly to both seeding the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and other community orchestras in Singapore as well as teaching the next generation of budding musicians thereby boosting Singapore’s music and cultural scene.

As a leading orchestra dedicated to the training and development of young orchestral musicians in Singapore, the SNYO is recognised by the Ministry of Education as a National Project of Excellence. Entry into the SNYO is by a rigorous audition process. Members in mainstream secondary schools with sustained involvement in the SNYO will have their participation in the orchestra recognised in lieu of a school-based Co-Curricular Activity (CCA).

Since April 2015, the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) started a new chapter in its musical journey with the transfer of the management and operations from Ministry of Education to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. The impetus behind this change is to provide high quality leadership and artistic development for local musical talent to excel at the national level by drawing on the knowledge and expertise of Singapore's premier professional orchestra.

Currently led by Principal Conductor Dr Leonard Tan, the SNYO is made up of over 180 talented young musicians representing more than 60 schools across Singapore. The Orchestra boasts a unique music talent development programme where selected members receive individual instrumental tutoring from professional musicians such as those from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.


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


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

Find out more about the SNYO at

Principal Conductor

Leonard Tan

Singaporean musician Leonard Tan enjoys a rare career as a prolific conductor and internationally-known scholar in music education. He is Assistant Professor of Music at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, and Principal Conductor of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. Under his artistic and educational leadership, the orchestra benefits from a Comprehensive Musicianship approach to orchestral curriculum, and has been praised for performances of “rare blazing intensity.”

Tan earned his doctoral degree from the world renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied orchestral conducting with David Effron, Arthur Fagen and Murray Sidlin, and participated in seminars by Leonard Slatkin, Cliff Colnot and William Jon Gray. At the Jacobs School of Music, he conducted the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, University Orchestra and Conductor’s Orchestra in masterpieces by composers such as Brahms, Bartók, Beethoven, and Mahler. Additional conducting studies were through masterclasses with Leif Segerstam and Alexander Polischuk in Russia, where he worked with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, and with Johannes Schlaefli, where he conducted Academic Orchestra Zurich.

Performances under Tan’s direction have been lauded by local and international critics. Singapore’s The Straits Times described his performance of Corigliano’s Symphony No. 3 as “masterfully helmed,” while the American press lauded his “artful conducting.” He made his conducting debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at a SSO Children’s Concert, worked with artists such as the Boston Brass, and conducted performances at Vienna’s Golden Hall of the Musikverein, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and Sydney Opera House. He also guest conducted at the Indiana University Summer Music Festival. As tuba player, he has performed professionally with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and numerous other orchestras.

Tan’s conducting repertoire spans the entire gamut from the Renaissance to new music by living composers, music by Singaporean composers, and includes works such as Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. As music director of the Philharmonic Winds, he introduced several important works for wind orchestra to the audience in Singapore. In demand internationally as a conductor, pedagogue, and scholar, he has guest conducted, adjudicated, and lectured in several universities and festivals internationally. He actively contributes to knowledge through cutting-edge research in music education, and has published his scholarly writings in numerous top-tier peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of Research in Music Education and Psychology of Music. He has been invited to serve on the Editorial Boards of prestigious journals such as Philosophy of Music Education Review and Music Educators Journal, and has been awarded book contracts by Oxford University Press and Indiana University Press.

With his unique performance, education and scholarly background–possibly the first of its kind in the world–Tan designs his orchestral programme for the Singapore National Youth Orchestra with a vision to raise a new generation of passionate and well-rounded musicians. An alumnus of SNYO, he has served the orchestra for more than ten years in numerous capacities, including instrumental tutor, sectional tutor, conductor of the SNYS, associate conductor, and principal conductor of the SNYO. He loves the SNYO and cherishes every rehearsal and performance moment with the young, talented musicians.

Assistant Conductor

Lin Juan

Assistant 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.

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Over the years the SNYO has participated in several international music festivals. In recent years the participation included:

  • 2008 - Florence International Music Festival, in July
  • 2011 - The 39th Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF), in August
  • 2012 - Young Euro Classic Festival, Berlin, in August

Singapore Children’s Orchestra founded by Mr Edwin A. Brown, under the Department of Education.

Singapore Young People’s Orchestra.

Singapore Junior Symphony Orchestra.

Singapore Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Singapore Youth Orchestra, under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Education.

Singapore Youth Orchestra, under The Young Musicians’ Society.

Combined Schools Youth Orchestra.

Singapore Youth Orchestra.

Singapore Youth Orchestra, under the Centre for Musical Activities, University of Singapore.

Singapore Youth Orchestra, under the Ministry of Education.

Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO).

Singapore National Youth Orchestra Auditions

2018 Audition Dates:
10 March, 2 June, 1 September, 8 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 pianists who are interested in mastering a second instrument are also welcome to audition.

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 download and complete the audition application form. Audition guidelines are stated in the application form, and you may also download the audition FAQ for more information. If you have any queries, you may contact us at