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Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine

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Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Молодіжний симфонічний оркестр України
National youth orchestra
The orchestra in concert at the Casals Forum in 2024
Founded2017 (2017)
Principal conductorOksana Lyniv

The Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (Молодіжний симфонічний оркестр України)[1] is a Ukrainian national youth orchestra founded by conductor Oksana Lyniv in 2016. She has conducted the orchestra in major concerts halls and festivals in Europe.


The Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (YSOU) was founded in 2016 by conductor Oksana Lyniv.[2] A conductor with an international career, Lyniv was music director of the Oper Graz (appointed 2017)[3] prior to becoming the first woman appointed music director of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna in 2022.[2][4] She was trained at opera houses in Ukraine and at the Bavarian State Opera. The New York Times described her "as something of a pioneer in a field still heavily dominated by men."[2]

Lyniv modeled the YSOU after the Bundesjugendorchester, a German national youth orchestra.[5] She founded the orchestra with the support of this orchestra, and the support of both the Beethovenfest in Bonn and the broadcaster Deutsche Welle.[6] The first concerts were held in August 2017 together with the Bundesjugendorchester. This joint group played four concerts, in Lviv and Kyiv in Ukraine, and Bonn and Berlin in Germany. The performance in Lviv was part of the Mozart Festival LvivMozArt that Lyniv had founded.[7][8]

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the YSOU began an evacuation project for its musicians, called "Music for the Future".[9] It was carried out in collaboration with the Slovenian Youth Orchestra in Ljubljana.[10][11] A concert tour that summer, name "United for the future", included around 30 concerts at ten music festivals in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, including Herbstgold in Eisenstadt, Bachfest Leipzig, Munich Opera Festival, Young Euro Classic in Berlin, and Lucerne Festival.[1]

The YSOU was accepted into the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO) in June 2022.[1] The ensemble was awarded the 2022 Musikpreis der Stadt Duisburg from the Köhler-Osbahr Foundation, recognizing "outstanding achievement in the field of music".[12] The Berlin Philharmonic became patron of the YSOU as well as of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra in 2023.[13]

In 2023, Lyniv conducted the YSOU playing the German premiere of Odessa Rhapsody by Evgeni Orkin. This tone poem in four movements related to the city Odesa, was dedicated to Lyniv by the composer.[14][15] It was first performed in Paris the previous year and had earned the composer the European Composer's Prize.[14][15] The conductor contrasted the work with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in a concert of Young Euro Classic at the Konzerthaus Berlin. Reviewer Eleonore Büning wrote for Der Tagesspiegel that the players were in "professional top form".[14]

As part of their Spring 2024 tour, the YSOU gave a concert at the Casals Forum of the Kronberg Academy. Lyniv and the YSOU began that concert with Maria's City by Ukrainian composer Zoltan Almashi; a work named for the city of Mariupol. It was followed by Ravel's Pavane pour une infante défunte, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and Schumann's First Symphony. The solo violinist was Dmytro Udovychenko, a student of the Kronberg Academy. A reviewer from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted "lament, aggression and hope" in the concise opening piece and a refreshing view on Mendelssohn's concerto.[16]


  1. ^ a b c "EFNYO welcomes the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine as a full national member". EFNYO. 2022. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  2. ^ a b c Hernández, Javier C. (March 21, 2024). "With an Eye on War at Home, a Ukrainian Conductor Arrives at the Met: Oksana Lyniv, who is leading "Turandot" at the Metropolitan Opera, has used her platform to criticize Russia and promote Ukrainian culture". The New York Times.
  3. ^ "Oksana Lyniv verlässt die Bayerische Staatsoper". BR-Klassik (in German). 3 February 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  4. ^ Cappelli, Valerio (3 January 2022). "Oksana Lyniv: "Sono direttrice senza quote rosa. Voglio riportare in sala i giovani"". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 31 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Jugendorchester der Ukraine spielt mit Bundesjugendorchester". Deutsche Welle. 2 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukrainein concerto al Comunale di Vicenza domenica 24 settembre con la direzione di Oksana Lyniv". ViCult (in Italian). 22 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine" (PDF). youngartistsbayreuth.de (in German). 2024. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  8. ^ "Building Musical Bridges: Founding Concert of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine – Documentation". Deutsche Oper Berlin. 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  9. ^ Galla, Elisabetta (11 March 2022). "Conductor Oksana Lyniv: 'Raise your voices!'". Deutsche Welle.
  10. ^ "Young Ukrainian musicians to open Europe Week". Slovenian Press Agency. 5 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Almost 100 young Ukrainian musicians expected in Slovenia". Slovenian Press Agency. 6 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine receives €10,000 music prize". The Strad. 11 November 2022.
  13. ^ "Berlin Philharmonic announces patronage of Ukrainian orchestras". The Strad. 17 April 2023.
  14. ^ a b c Büning, Eleonore (23 August 2023). "Oksana Lyniv und das Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine: Ode an Odessa". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  15. ^ a b "Europäischer Kompositionspreis an Frankenthaler Musikschullehrer Evgeni Orkin". Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar News (in German). 17 September 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  16. ^ Zibulski, Axel (1 April 2024). "Aufbruch und Hoffnung". FAZ (in German). Retrieved 3 April 2024.

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