Curating Institutions




YOA ORCHESTRA OF THE AMERICAS IS A WORLD-CLASS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA of 80 exceptional musicians, ages 18 to 30, representing 25 countries in the Western Hemisphere. YOA’s mission is to empower young musical leaders to transform lives across the Americas and beyond. YOA brings renowned artists— from Yo-Yo Ma to Valery Gergiev, from Plácido Domingo to Philip Glass— into the lives of diverse communities and audiences.

FREE AND OPEN AUDITIONS are held annually via YouTube to ensure that any deserving and eligible musician can apply. Following adjudication by prestigious faculty, all musicians participate on full scholarship to achieve the greatest equality and diversity.

THE SEASON CENTERPIECE is a July – August Residence and Concert Tour held each year in different regions of the world. Musicians, Faculty, Conductors, and Guest Artists gather for a 2-week Residence of daily full orchestra and sectional rehearsals to prepare diverse and challenging repertoire to take on a month-long Tour.

YOA HAS PERFORMED in settings that range from the most prestigious concert halls of Europe, China, and the Americas to outdoor venues not often associated with symphonic music. YOA has reached millions through live performances, TV broadcasts, Latin Grammy winning recordings, and award winning documentary films.

THE IMPACT OF YOA stretches far and wide. Participants return to their native countries to share experiences and gained knowledge with their communities. YOA connects musicians to institutions of higher learning and professional job opportunities. YOA has served as the model for music education programs in Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, the United States, and Uruguay.


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Among the most respected vocalists of a generation, German soprano Hildegard Behrens (1937-2009) is an inspiration to the Global Leaders Program. She was as at home on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera and the Salzburg Festival as she was performing in civic centers and remote venues where she worked to ensure that all communities had access to great art.

In this spirit, The Hildegard Behrens Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Behrens by ensuring that emerging musicians of the highest caliber pursue can artistic excellence, while also developing as civic leaders and social entrepreneurs. The Foundation has served as Lead Financial Partner to the Global Leaders Program (GLP) since the program’s founding. The Foundation’s support helps to subsidize a portion of all tuition costs for participants so that the GLP is kept affordable and accessible. The Foundation also provides the framework for four distinguished Global Leaders graduates each year to receive the prestigious HBF Global Humanitarian Entrepreneur Award in memory of Hildegard Behrens.

“The Global Leaders Program radically transformed my perception of the impact that music can achieve.”

Manuel Figueroa, Double Bass, Chile (2013 Cohort)
Founder – Chamber Music Festival of Chile