Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fsyo logo 5.png
Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
Also known as  FSYO f/k/a Florida Symphony Training Orchestra
Origin Orlando, Florida, United States
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Youth Symphony Orchestra
Years active 1957–present
Website www.fsyo.org
Members Executive Director
Heide Evans-Waldron
Music Director
Hanrich Claassen

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra is a music education program consisting of five orchestral ensembles of nearly 300 student musicians. The organization is under the musical direction of Hanrich Claassen. FSYO is the oldest youth symphony in the state of Florida and believed to be the 4th oldest in the southeastern United States.


FSYO was founded in 1957 by Alphonse Carlo,[1] who was both the concertmaster of the professional Florida Symphony Orchestra and an associate professor of music at Rollins College. The first rehearsals were held at Rollins College.  From the very beginning through the late 1970’s, the youth orchestra was jointly supported & sponsored by both the Florida Symphony Society (which was the parent organization of the now-defunct Florida Symphony Orchestra) through its Women’s Committee and the Rollins College School of Creative Arts.  On November 29, 1959, FSYO had its first In public concert in Eustis, FL with 59 students. 1962, the ensemble gained structure & support under the wing of the Florida Symphony Orchestra and its music director, Henry Mazer.

FSYO later incorporated as an independent non-profit in 1982 and received its 501(c)(3) charitable tax status in 1984. Although it has been financially independent since 1977, FSYO remained closely associated with the Florida Symphony Orchestra until the professional orchestra ceased operations in 1993.

According to archive concert programs and other records, the youth orchestra changed its name 6 times in its first 20 years. A concert program from Nov 1959 shows the original name of “The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra.” In 1962, FSO Music Director Henry Mazer took over the youth program and rebranded it as the “Florida Symphony Youth Training Orchestra” and later called it the “Florida Symphony Training Orchestra.” After Mazer left, the name was changed back to the “Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra” for a brief time.  Next came new FSO music director, Herman Hertz in 1967, who promptly changed the name to the “Florida Youth Symphony” and then later changed it again to “Florida Youth Orchestra.”   In the mid 70’s the name was ironically changed back to the original, “Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra” and it has remained so for 40 years.  


  • Symphonic Orchestra A full orchestra for advanced students of difficult orchestral literature
  • Philharmonia Orchestra A full orchestra for intermediate to advanced students of orchestral literature
  • Prelude Orchestra A full orchestra for intermediate students of orchestral literature
  • Overture Stings A beginning to intermediate experience for strings only
  • Chamber Orchestra For advanced students seeking performance experience with literature written for chamber ensembles. Must already be a student of the Symphony Orchestra.
  • Sing-Song, String-Along An outreach program for primary school students wanting to explore playing the violin.


  • 2017 - Upcoming: Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague
  • 2004 - Washington, DC
  • 1999 - Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Prague
  • 1997 - Australia - Sydney Opera House
  • 1995 - Great Britain
  • 1993 - Basel, Switzerland and Barcelona, Spain[2]
  • 1991 - Boston - Symphony Hall
  • 1989 - New York City - Carnegie Hall
  • 1985 - New Orleans - New Orleans World's Fair

Music Directors[edit]

Years Music Director
2016–Present Hanrich Claassen
2015-2016 Matthew Davis (interim)
1998-2005 Andrew Lane[3]
2005-2007 Harold Levin
1998-2005 Andrew Lane
1994–1998 Jonathan May
1993-1994 Andrews Sill (interim)
1983-1993 Joseph Wise
1982-1983 Gordon O'Hare/Alfred Savia (interim)
1971-1982 Charles Gottschalk
1970-1971 Pavle Dešpalj
1967-1970 Herman Herz
1966-1967 Yuri Krasnopolsky/Ward Woodbury (interim)
1965-1966 Carter Nice
1963-1965 Joseph Kreines
1962-1963 Henry Mazer
1960-1962 Edgar "Jack" Williams
1957-1960 Alphonse Carlo


  1. ^ "Orlando Loses Music Pioneer". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  2. ^ "A Noteworthy Trip". Retrieved 2016-07-27. 
  3. ^ Sentinel, Orlando. "Andrew Lane resigns from Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra". Retrieved 2016-07-26. 

External links[edit]