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The Bunschoten Fund supports unique initiative aimed at youth: the Amsterdam Young Philharmonic

Imagine: an orchestra whose young members decide for themselves what they want to perform and how the concerts are organized. In a nutshell that is AYPhil (pronounced as ‘I feel’). This new project for high school students is an initiative of the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra | Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The Bunschoten Fund was immediately charmed by the unique assumptions of the AYPhil and supported the first concert with a € 5,000 contribution.

AYPhil is an Amsterdam symphony orchestra for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 and performs three to four concerts during each season. They are professionally coached by the musicians of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. The Bunschoten Fund was immediately impressed by AYPhil’s goal to primarily give concerts meant for the peer group of the orchestra’s members — in other words, a new and especially young audience. This perfectly suits the principles of the Fund.

The AYPhil, in full the Amsterdam Young Philharmonic, operates as follows: once a year a program is executed for which students can enlist. If you are hired, you are automatically invited to play the next time as well. Director is Jacob Slagter, former solo horn player in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and lecturer in conducting at the Sweelinck Conservatorium.

The AYPhil’s baptism of fire was Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. A unique happening, because Amsterdam did not have a top-level orchestra that played the major symphonic repertoire. The new Amsterdam youth orchestra is housed in the NedPhO-Koepel in Amsterdam-East. Corine Haitjema, one of the founders: ‘If you’ve had private lessons for a couple of years, performing in an orchestra with people your own age is the crown on the many hours of study. Suddenly making music becomes social. Plus, it is a great opportunity to learn symphonic repertoire “from within”.’