Music Director Carlos Izcaray leads the American Youth Symphony, which closed on March 15 after 59 years.

In Monday’s (3/18) San Francisco Classical Voice, Janos Gereben writes, “The American Youth Symphony, which shut down on Friday, is—or rather was—one of the few large national organizations involved in the vital transition between studying and starting a career in music. ‘After 59 years of offering exceptional fellowships and training to talented young adults, the American Youth Symphony (AYS) will permanently cease operation effective March 15, 2024, as a result of financial challenges and the inability to sustain operations,’ said the organization’s announcement….. Said Board Chairman Kevin Dretzka, ‘COVID-19 amplified AYS’s unsustainable financial infrastructure. We … hope the larger orchestral industry … will shore up important preprofessional orchestras like AYS which directly benefit them.’… Carlos Izcaray, who served as AYS’s music director for the past nine years, said … ‘I am proud of the work that the staff did under incredible pressure and will remain in awe of the progress our fellows … Many of them joined some of the best orchestras in the country, and several others became top studio musicians, composers, administrators, and entrepreneurs in the field….’ Established in 1964 by conductor Mehli Mehta—the late father of Zubin and Zarin Mehta—AYS … was open to students in high school through doctoral programs, as well as to those who had completed their education.”