Auckland Youth Orchestra

AYO Panel Image


Saturday, 7th October 2017

Venue:  John Dalton Theatre

Tickets:  $25.00 Adults; $20.00 Sen Citz; $12.00 Students (18 & under)

Duration:  100-120 mins (incl. interval)

Not recommended for young children 









BEETHOVEN – Egmont Overture

JOHN WELLS – Organ Concerto No. 2 (Premier)

BERLIOZ – Symphonie Fantastique





Be inspired by the heroism of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.

Be excited by the glorious sounds of the organ in the premiere of a new organ concerto by Auckland’s John Wells.

Be drawn into a world of turbulent emotions and the feverish dreams of a romantic poet, with the fantastic symphony of Berlioz.

AYO’s finest young Auckland musicians are talented, skilful players, brimming with energy, enthusiasm and passion. Under the baton of Maestro Antun Poljanich, the orchestra opens the door on spine‐tingling music-making!

This October, AYO is performing one of the most thrilling pieces of symphonic music in the world – Bizet’s ‘Symphonie Fantastique’, together with Beethoven’s ‘Egmont Overture’ and a world premiere of John Wells’ 2nd Organ Concerto.

 Symphonie Fantastique, by Berlioz

The composer’s infatuation with an actress whom he had never met drove him to compose this mesmerizingly romantic, autobiographical work. The symphony was a resounding success and two years later the actress finally agreed to be introduced to Berlioz; the result? – marriage!

Being revolutionary at the time, it still stuns audiences with its gigantic scale, wild and beautiful melodies and orchestrations.    Written for a huge orchestra, (when did you last see two tubas, two sets of timpani, two harps and four bassoons together on stage?), the music vividly conveys the ecstasy and despair of Berlioz’s unrequited love.

Organ Concerto No.2, by John Wells    Premiere

Wells needs little introduction to NZ’s concert-going public and is highly-regarded internationally for his work in connection with the organ as performer, composer, teacher and examiner.  As Auckland’s City Organist, he instigated the project to rebuild the Auckland Town Hall organ (John tells us that the largest pipe there can reputedly hold 3,466 bottles of wine!)  but the out-of-Auckland performances will use an amazing Roland C330 digital organ with its incredibly authentic pipe organ sound.  Wells is an accomplished composer and his organ compositions reflect his personal mastery of the instrument.  This recently-completed new organ concerto is sure to thrill audiences.

 Organ Soloist – Rebecca Lee

South Korean-born Rebecca Soojung Lee immigrated with her family to New Zealand in 2007.  She began to learn the violin in 2009 and she obtained her ATCL Diploma in piano in 2013 along with  Grade 8 violin.

Towards the end of 2014, Rebecca was captivated with the sound of the organ and began her organ studies under Miran Park, continuing her studies with Dr John Wells in 2016. Rebecca graduated from Westlake Girls High School in 2016 and currently studies organ at the University of Auckland under James Tibbles.

MUSIC DIRECTOR   Antun Poljanich

Born in Croatia, Antun studied piano and theory at Dubrovnik School for Musical Education then studied conducting at the University of Ljubljana. Following post-graduate studies in Austria, he won a scholarship which took him to Leningrad for a three-year Master Course in Conducting at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. He has since worked with the Leningrad State Symphony Orchestra, the Veneto Philharmonia, the Slovene and Croatian National Orchestras and other prominent orchestras in Russia and Europe.   Antun is the Orchestra’s fourth Musical Director.

 2016 Kerikeri Sitting


Flash Gordon Photography



















“The Thames Music Group excelled itself today with a wonderful concert in St George’s by the 80 player Auckland Youth Orchestra – back here for the first time since 1998. The 100 or so who attended were entertained to a varied programme including the Tchaikovsky’s  Romeo & Juliet Overture, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.”  Bill Barclay, BillBarcBlog

“The Auckland Youth Orchestra once again delivering so much more than expected As one concertgoer said at the end of the Auckland Youth Orchestra (AYO) concert in the Whitianga Town Hall last Saturday evening, “I come every year, and these guys [the AYO] blow my mind every time!”     Suzanne Hansen, Mercury Bay Informer


View AYO here