The mission of BYSO is to encourage musical excellence in a professional and supportive environment by providing the highest quality orchestra training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians, grades K-12, and making its programs accessible to underserved communities through financial assistance and outreach.

“Music making at the highest level is our goal.  That’s what we do.  We also believe that there is more that can be accomplished here at the BYSO.  A generous and passionate commitment to music among fellow young musicians will deepen the sensitivity, understanding and intelligence of our students for the arts while opening their eyes to the world.  This is a unique opportunity for growth as young human beings, regardless of one’s professional aim.”

– Federico Cortese, Music Director


Excellence in music-making at BYSO is, uniquely, both a goal and a means. Every year, hundreds of young musicians participate in ensemble and training programs coached by Boston’s finest musicians and educators. They perform repertoire that is above the level of any other youth orchestra in our country, both in difficulty, maturity and scope.

Simultaneously, something even more remarkable is happening.  Through BYSO, classical music ignites a passionate pursuit of excellence, perseverance, self-confidence and pride within our young musicians.  Our students have a deep and life-changing experience during their time at BYSO, which helps them develop into outstanding adults, whatever their life path.  Children are transformed by an experience this special and this unique, and that they take this transformation into all areas of their life—into their communities and subsequently passed on to future generations.

In the 65 years since its founding, BYSO has continuously elevated, enhanced and been driven to change, adapt and perfect to meet the dynamic needs of our students and communities.  Today we provide a rich and broad range of programs from chamber music to opera.  Our unique and extensive programming is rooted in quality and delivered in a nurturing environment.

Nowhere else in the world can a child experience classical music in the unique way they can at BYSO. Programs like our opera program exemplify the rare opportunity for a young musician to truly comprehend and appreciate an area of repertoire that will enhance their artistic understanding on a larger scale. In our Intensive Community Program, a kindergartner achieves artistic and personal success while progressively mastering a string instrument as part of a community based peer learning model. Through our family concerts in partnership with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a shared understanding is achieved when our children perform classical music for other children.

With more than a half century of history in the city of Boston, and thousands of alumni now grown into successful adults, the impact of BYSO can be seen in so many ways.