Founded in 1936 in Berkeley, California, Young People’s Symphony Orchestra (YPSO) is the oldest youth orchestra in California, and the oldest independent youth orchestra in the nation. For nearly 80 years - and counting - YPSO has developed the musical talents and skills of students in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, many YPSO alumni are internationally distinguished musicians and prominent community members.
Our mission is to guide young musicians to achieve excellence within an orchestral setting. We provide an educational environment that fosters accomplishment, serves as a cultural resource for the community, and builds future audience by instilling a passion for music. We encourage young people to become exemplary musicians, and young musicians to become exemplary people.
Music Director/Conductor David Ramadanoff, in his 31st season with the orchestra, leads a team of master teachers who provide specialized sectional coaching each week, addressing technical and musical issues unique to their instruments. Student applicants audition for placement into YPSO in May and August for the season, which begins in September. Our 100+ members range in age from 12-22, and represent 28 cities and six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result of YPSO's intensive sectional coaching program and Mr. Ramadanoff's extensive background in orchestra building, the orchestra has grown substantially in quality and size and has gained a reputation throughout and beyond Northern California as an outstanding youth ensemble.
YPSO has performed in locations including Carnegie Hall; the Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA; San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House; Weill Hall at the Green Center, Sonoma, CA; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University; the Sydney Opera House, Australia; the Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinium, Prague, Czech Republic; the Slovak Radio Concert Hall, Bratislava, Slovakia; the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, Vienna, Austria; as well as in venues in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska; Scotland; the People's Republic of China; and New Zealand.