The AMERICAN YOUTH SYMPHONY was founded in 1959, and organized in its current form in 1964 by Mehli Mehta. AYS has attained a reputation as one of the nation's most prestigious artistic institutions for young people, a rigorous training program for some of the country's best pre-professional musical artists, and one of Southern California's most honored cultural treasures. Talent and potential are the only criteria for membership in the orchestra. Countless AYS alumni are currently members of some of the finest professional orchestras worldwide.
Under the musical direction of Alexander Treger, AYS continues to flourish and nurture young musicians while holding them to the very highest artistic standards. Blending traditional repertoire with innovative programming and world-class soloists, AYS concerts take place throughout the year at some of California's most prestigious concert halls, including UCLA's Royce Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. During its 2004/2005 season, AYS received the rare honor of an invitation from Carnegie Hall to make its New York debut, as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration.
Through its renowned orchestral concert series, conducting assistantship, and other programs, AYS is committed to offering premium artistic opportunities to the most qualified young musicians, and to providing a vast and growing spectrum of outreach and music education activities to the people of Los Angeles.