Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras
Federico Cortese, Music Director and Conductor
Widely regarded as one of the country’s finest youth orchestras, BYSO places musical excellence at the heart of all BYSO activities. BYSO’s mission is to encourage musical excellence in a professional and supportive environment by providing the highest-quality orchestra training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians, grades K-12, while making its programs accessible to underserved communities through financial assistance and outreach. BYSO offers a continuum of orchestra and ensemble training to hundreds of students ages 4–18. Each year BYSO auditions nearly 900 students and accepts approximately 500 musicians representing more than 140 communities from the New England area. Students are accepted into one of three full symphonic orchestras, two young string training orchestras, six chamber orchestras, a preparatory wind ensemble, and a chamber music program. The Intensive Community Program (ICP), a nationally recognized instrument training outreach program, provides rigorous musical instruction to students from underrepresented communities. Today, BYSO is recognized nationally as a model music and arts education organization. Federico Cortese assumed the post of Music Director in 1999, and in addition to leading the organization’s artistic vision, he is the conductor of BYSO’s most accomplished ensemble, the Boston Youth Symphony. During his tenure, Mr. Cortese has instituted several significant initiatives that have advanced the organization artistically including incorporating a robust opera program, introducing initiatives to grow the number of young children as audience members, significantly increasing the difficulty of repertoire performed, and strengthening the overall quality of all the orchestras. BYSO offers more than 20 performances annually at some of Boston’s finest venues including Symphony Hall, Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, and Jordan Hall. BYSO’s premier orchestra has built an international presence with tours and performances in world-renowned venues. In 2012, BYSO and Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) announced a new partnership for the future of classical music, “BYSO/BSO: Partnering for the Future.” This partnership is designed to explore innovative ways to foster the future of classical music by offering joint performance opportunities for young musicians, new audiences and the wider community, and by providing innovative training initiatives for young musicians.