The National Youth Orchestra of Canada returns to touring for 63rd season. 

Performing live in seven cities under the baton of Maestro Sascha Goetzel 

Aurora 2023 

July 14 – August 2, 2023 

For Tickets (Visit: 


Toronto, ON – The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) is delighted to unveil its highly anticipated Aurora Summer Session 2023, followed by an exhilarating tour from July 14 to August 2. After three years of limited performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NYO Canada is back with a full session and tour, bringing incredible performances, mesmerizing compositions, and extraordinary young talents to audiences across the country. This summer, NYO Canada’s Aurora Summer Session will serve as a beacon of hope and a celebration of the return to in-person performances. 

From June 11 to July 14, this transformative experience will take place in the charming city of Kingston, Ontario, at the beautiful Isabel Bader Centre and the DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University. Talented musicians from across Canada will come together to collaborate, learn, and showcase their remarkable skills under the guidance of renowned conductors and instructors. 

Following the Aurora Summer Session, NYO Canada’s tour will mark a momentous occasion as the organization returns to the east coast after many years. The tour will captivate audiences in seven cities across Eastern Canada, including signature public concerts in Halifax, Saint John, and Charlottetown and stops in Quebec City, Mont-Laurier, and Toronto’s Koerner Hall. 

“My most memorable story is from our last concert in Toronto. We played more passionately with each show, and during the Toronto concert, I felt our energy level at its peak. While playing Saint-Saens’ Bacchanale, I realized our energy had positively influenced the audience, and they confirmed it with their enthusiastic cheers and applause afterwards. That moment I realized that music is more than just showing or sharing your art. It’s about capturing and moving the audience. It’s about making them feel something special. From this concert, I found a new passion for performing, and it is now my goal to move the audience with all my future performances. ” said Eric James Li, a Vancouver, B.C. bassoonist who will join the orchestra again this summer. 

To make these exceptional performances accessible to everyone, NYO Canada is introducing a revolutionary “Pay What You Can” pricing model. By allowing audience members to contribute something comfortable, NYO Canada aims to eliminate financial limitations and ensure that the joy of classical music can be shared with all communities. This ground-breaking approach to ticket pricing underscores the organization’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in the arts. Ticket pricing tiers range from $100 to $0 and vary depending on the average ticket price in the region. 

“We strongly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the transformative power of orchestral music,” says Emily Dunbar, Communications and Marketing Manager for NYO Canada. “By implementing the ‘Pay What You Can’ pricing model, we are removing financial barriers and inviting everyone to join us on this musical journey.” 

Prepare to be enthralled by an exceptional repertoire that combines classical masterpieces and modern compositions. The performances will feature works such as Jocelyn Morlock’s Juno Award-winning composition, “My Name is Amanda Todd,” paying tribute to a young girl who tragically lost her life due to online bullying. The tour will also showcase the 2023 Canada Council Michael Measures Grand Prize winner as the featured soloist in Brahms’ magnificent “Violin Concerto in D Major op. 77.” 

Additionally, NYO Canada will present the world premiere of “Glacial Titan,” a composition by Kalen Smith, the recipient of the 2023 SOCAN Emerging Composer prize commissioned by NYO Canada. The repertoire will also include Mussorgsky/Ravel’s mesmerizing “Pictures at an Exhibition” and other captivating pieces that showcase these young musicians’ remarkable talent and artistry, including works by Bizet, Rossini, Mendelssohn, and Strauss Jr., a truly ambitious and challenging programme for a young orchestra meeting for the first time only 6 weeks before presenting these masterpieces to audiences across Canada. 

“The NYO Canada Aurora tour promises to be an unforgettable experience for both seasoned classical music enthusiasts and newcomers alike,” said Christie Gray, CEO of NYO Canada. “We are thrilled to showcase the talent, passion, and dedication of some of Canada’s finest young musicians. Together, we will create extraordinary moments through the power of music.” 

NYO Canada’s Aurora Summer Session and tour tickets are now available online at Embrace the opportunity to witness the musical brilliance of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and make your own meaningful contribution through 

the “Pay What You Can” pricing model. Join us on this incredible journey and experience the magic. 

NYO’s 2023 season includes performances in the following cities: 

  • • Fri. July 14 @ 7:30 p.m. – Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, 390 King St. W., Kingston, ON 
  • • Sun. July 16 @ 2:30 p.m. – Espace Théâtre, 543 Rue du Pont, Mont-Laurier, QC 
  • • Tues. July 18 @ 7:30 p.m. – Palais Montcalm, 995 Rue D’Youville., Québec, QC 
  • • Sun. July 23 @ 7:30 p.m. – Confederation Centre, 130 Queen Street, Charlottetown, PEI 
  • • Wed. July 26 @ 7:30 p.m. – Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, 6101 University Avenue, Halifax NS 
  • • Sat. July 29 @ 7:30 p.m. – Imperial Theatre, 12 King Square South, St. John, NB 
  • • Wed. August 2 @ 7:30 p.m. – Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON 

Repertoire and featured artists will include: 

  • • Jocelyn Morlock (Canadian Composer) – My Name is Amanda Todd – a JUNO Award-winning orchestral work honouring 15-year-old singer and musician Amanda Todd who took her own life in 2012 following years of online bullying and harassment at school. 
  • • Johannes Brahms – Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 77 – 2023 Canada Council for the Arts Michael Measures 1st prize winner as the featured soloist 
  • • Kalen Smith – Glacial Titan (2023 SOCAN Emerging Composer prize commissioned by NYO Canada) World Premiere 
  • • Modest Mussorgsky/Arr. Maurice Ravel – Pictures at an Exhibition 

Tickets can be reserved here

For Media information: 

Emily Dunbar 

National Youth Orchestra 

Tel: 416-532-4470 x 225 

Toll-Free: 1-888-532-4470 x 225 


About Maestro Sascha Goetzel. NYO’s Music Director for 2023 is Music-Director Designate of the l’Orchestre National Des Pays Del La Loire and Principal Guest conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic. He is a frequent guest conductor with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, and he previously led the NYO and members of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) in the collaborative “Frenergy” concert tour of Ontario and Quebec 2019. Born and raised in Vienna, Goetzel trained as a violinist and began his conducting studies in Austria and with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy. He has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious and acclaimed conductors and was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival. 

The National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO Canada) recruits the best young classical musicians from across the country and prepares them for careers as professional orchestral musicians. Each year, NYO auditions more than 500 musicians between the age of 16 – 28. Mentored by world-renowned faculty of professional musicians and educators, orchestra members participate in the NYO Canada Chamber Fest 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.