After 59 years of training young musicians, the American Youth Symphony (AYS) will permanently cease operation effective March 15, 2024 as a result of financial challenges and the inability to sustain operations, the organization says in a press release.

« Despite our best efforts, the challenges of maintaining our operations have become insurmountable,” said Kevin Dretzka, Board Chairman. “COVID-19 amplified AYS’s unsustainable financial infrastructure. We have exhausted every effort and hope the larger orchestral industry and classical music philanthropic community take note to shore-up these important pre-professional orchestras like AYS which directly benefit them.”

Carlos Izcaray, who served as AYS Music Director since 2015, said, “It is extremely regrettable that an organization of the caliber and history of AYS has to shut down. I am proud of the work that the staff did under incredible pressure, and will remain in awe of the progress our fellows showed throughout the last years.

AYS was established in 1964 by the conductor Mehli Mehta.

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