About us

The South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation is the leader of the youth orchestral movement in the country, inspiring young musicians to pursue the highest standards of musical performance.


 In 1964 our first National Youth Orchestra course was held in Hartbeespoort under the auspices of the South African Society of Music Teachers. The Foundation of the National Youth Orchestra supports the training and development of South Africa’s young musicians through National Courses and National and International Tours within its annual programme. 71% of South African musicians currently performing with professional orchestras in the country have participated in the NYO courses.  There is a strong support group of volunteers from the alumni enrolled in programmes that support the orchestra.

The South African National Youth Orchestra is recognised for promoting successful careers for internationally acclaimed musicians and the National Youth Orchestra has performed on international platforms (Scotland, France, Israel, Germany and Russia) as well as across South Africa, in major centres as well as making sure to perform in places normally neglected by symphony orchestras. We have also had appearances on major news networks such as the BBC, Sky News and CNN.

We have performed with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Judith Sephuma, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir James Galway, Barbara Hendricks, Jimmy Nevis, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and Grammy Award winning artists Magnus Lindgren and Osmo Vanska, among many other notable artists and personalities.

Traditionally, the annual course takes place in a different large centre each year.
The aspirations of the board extend the scope of the Foundation through master classes, tours, workshops and networking nationally and internationally to assist all youth orchestra programmes in improving their function.
The Foundation has contributed to scholarship programmes from 2002-2016 for worthy musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds to continue their music studies and most of these recipients have now become members of professional orchestras.  The Foundation also inspired and provided start-up funding for the Field Band Foundation, now servicing 5000 disadvantaged youth between the ages of 7 and 25, nationally. Many other music initiatives nationwide have also been supported.
The SA National Youth Orchestra Foundation has –
A legacy of achievement  | International tour tradition | Efficient administration | International faculty | Wealth of experience in youth orchestral management| A Board of experienced and committed members in diverse fields of expertise including marketing, fund-raising, human resources, finance, legal and musical.

The South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation is a non-profit company (Registration No. 79/06497/08, and NPO 024-397)