Ten young Filipino musicians received scholarship grants this year, for passing the screening of the Asian Youth Orchestra (AYO), Asia’s premier pre-professional orchestra, offering opportunities for advanced study, performance and international concert touring with celebrated artists and conductors.
Philippine delegates who made it were: Violins - Alain De Asis, Ian Levi Mora, Jose Marie Eserjose and Victor Jan Luigi Torres; Violas - Joven Edward Aquisap and Mhaze Danniel Lim; Cello - Paul Benjamin Natividad; Double Bass - Marloe Kyril Maruyama; Clarinet - Andrew Constantino; and Percussion - Alexis Constantino.
Each youth participant is entitled to a US$22,500.00 worth of scholarship which pays for their airfare, accommodation, meals, local transportation, tuition and other expenses during the rehearsal camp and tour. As members of AYO, they will be attending the Summer Festival/Rehearsal Camp from July 20 to August 8 in Hongkong. Then, they will perform on a concert tour in Mainland China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan from August 9 to September 1.
Out of thousands who auditioned from China, Hongkong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macao, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore, only 105 students made it, as announced by AYO last April. The group takes in Asia’s brightest young musicians providing them exceptional opportunities for study and performance in an international environment.
On 2016, AYO founder Richard Pontzious, received Hong Kong’s Silver Bauhinia Star for his work in creating and guiding the Asian Youth Orchestra from its founding 26 years ago to the international status it now enjoys.
The Silver Bauhinia Star (SBS) is the second rank in the Order of the Bauhinia Star in Hong Kong, awarded to people who have taken a leading role in public affairs or voluntary work over a long period.
“Wherever I traveled and worked, students asked me how they might study abroad. An innocent question, the consequence of which is that many who leave Asia never return. Creating an orchestra that might unite the region, celebrate the excellence of young Asian musicians and encourage this new generation of talented individuals to build on what they have at home was my objective when I wrote the first draft of a plan for founding the Asian Youth Orchestra,” AYO founder Richard Pontzious remarked in recollection.