Richard Pontzious
Artistic Director and Conductor


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.


Joseph Bastian
Guest Conductor


The Asian Youth Orchestra warmly welcomes as guest conductor this year 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. 



Sergiu Comissiona
Conductor Laureate

Jospeh Bastian                       
Guest Conductor              


Monnaie Opera Brussels

Real Orquesta Sinfonica de Sevilla, Spain

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Triple Helix Trio & The Boston Conservatory

Baltimore Symphony



London Philharmonic Orchestra (former), Donizetti Conservatory of Bergamo

Teatro Regio Orchestra, Parma, Italy

Orchestra Della Radio Svizzera Italiana

Bergamo Festival Orchestra, 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