Mission Vision Mandate

The mission of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) is to recruit the best young classical musicians from across the country and prepare them for careers as professional orchestral musicians. Each year, NYO Canada auditions more than 500 musicians ages 16-28.

Under the guidance of our world-renowned faculty of professional musicians and educators, orchestra members participate in the NYO Canada Chamberfest and Orchestral Training Institute, including a recording session, and a concert tour with performances in Canada and abroad in some of the world’s finest concert halls.

As the bridge between music education and a music career, NYO Canada’s vision is to launch Canada’s next generation of professional orchestral musicians by offering a comprehensive program that encompasses a full range of skills and experiences, entirely tuition free. Additionally, each member of the orchestra receives a personal scholarship generously provided by our sponsors and donors.

The mandate of NYO Canada is to discover and inspire well-rounded and skilled orchestral musicians, to support and promote Canadian emerging composers and artists, and to build appreciation for classical music among audiences in every corner of the nation.

Our Story

Walter Susskind
Walter Susskind

NYO Canada is a not for profit charitable organization founded in 1960 by former Toronto Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Walter Susskind, to nurture outstanding young musical talent in Canada. At first, the orchestra’s emphasis was on a two-week concert tour. Since then, NYO Canada has evolved to become the most comprehensive instructional program in Canada. The Orchestral Training Institute now includes a chamber music festival, a series of workshops focusing onbusiness skills, audition preparation, injury prevention, as well as mental health and wellness. The tour is a vital and integral component of the program, showcasing Canadian talent around the world.

Since its inaugural tour, NYO Canada has performed in every major Canadian city including concerts in Europe and Asia, travelling to 12 countries and counting. In 2017, the Edges of Canada tour was selected as a Canada 150 signature project celebrating our nation’s sesquicentennial. 

Today, one-third of Canada’s professional orchestral musicians are alumni of NYO Canada.

I regard the formation of the National Youth Orchestra in Canada as the most important step we can take to help guarantee the successful growth and development of major symphony orchestras in this country.

Walter Susskind, Founder NYO Canada (photo)