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Richard Pontzious
Founder & Artistic Director 


Richard Pontzious founded the Hong Kong-based Asian Youth Orchestra in 1987 with the distinguished violinist, conductor and humanitarian Yehudi Menuhin.

The idea for the creation of an orchestra that would unite the region and celebrate the talents of East Asia’s brightest young musicians came as the result of Mr. Pontzious’ work as conductor, writer, teacher and mentor in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Critics have called AYO “astonishing” and the “finest among youth orchestras around the world.” In 2010 the Orchestra was awarded Japan’s Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists, a global arts prize.

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Joseph Bastian
Principal Conductor


The Asian Youth Orchestra warmly welcomes as principal conductor one of the most exciting talents of the younger generation, French-Swiss conductor Joseph Bastian.

The former bass 
trombonist of the Symphonie Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bastian burst into the international spotlight in February 2016, when he stepped in at the last moment to conduct the orchestra in three subscription concerts -- replacing an indisposed Robin Ticciati - with the blessing of his Chief Conductor and conducting mentor, Mariss Jansons. 

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Sophie Mok
Assistant Conductor


Sophie Mok is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Frost Symphony Orchestra. Described as "the most supple and prepared for the spontaneous happening", Mok won the 2nd prize at the International Conductor’s Competition at the 2019 Deutsches Musikfest. In 2022, she was selected to participate in Le Domain Forget Conducting Academy to work with maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and a finalist chosen among 300 candidates in maestro Riccardo Muti’s Italian Opera Academy with the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini. 



Sergiu Comissiona
Conductor Laureate

Jospeh Bastian                    Sophie Mok       
Principal Conductor                Assistant Conductor


Monnaie Opera Brussels

Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla, Spain
Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra (former)

Triple Helix Trio & The Boston Conservatory
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

Baltimore Symphony


London Philharmonic Orchestra (former), Donizetti Conservatory of Bergamo

Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, France  

Orchestra Della Radio Svizzera Italiana

Donizetti Conservatory of Bergamo, Italy


Orchestra Filarmonica della Fenice, Venice, Italy

Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, Italy

Orchestra Della Radio Svizzera Italiana


Conservatory of Parma, Italy

National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan



To Be Announced

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