American International Youth Symphony Orchestra

American International Youth Symphony OrchestraConcert and Culture Tour 2010

For high school and college students

July 12-28, 2010

Applications Due April 1, 2010 

  • A unique orchestral performance opportunity and experience of Chinese culture ancient and modern
  • Generously underwritten and instructed by the International Confucius Institute in Beijing
  • Travel to the Great Wall, Beijing and Forbidden City, Yellow Mountains, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai
  • Concerts with prominent guest artists in major venues including the Beijing National Theatre
  • Sponsored by the Confucius Institute and Department of Music at Valparaiso University 

Dennis Friesen-Carper, Music Director
Reddel Professor of Music, Valparaiso University
Principal Guest Conductor, Zhejiang University Symphony

Jianyun Meng, Tour Director
Director, Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University

Letter from the Music Director (pdf)

Application Form (pdf)

Audition Information (pdf) 

Recommendation Form (pdf)

Letter from the Music Director



A unique opportunity to combine outstanding orcherstal performance experience with a thorough introduction to Chinese culture and history.

The International Confucius Institute in Beijing, in cooperation with the Department of Music and Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, is providing substantial underwriting for the AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH SYMPHONY’s two-week performing and educational tour of China in July 2010. High school and college instrumentalists are invited to apply to participate in the orchestra as we perform in the Beijing National Theatre and other concert venues in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Nanjing, collaborating with professional and student performers on Western and traditional Chinese classical instruments. Friends, family, and non-performing students may also participate in the tour. Instructed by specialists from the Confucius Institute, we will learn about and explore three dynastic capitals, the legendary Yellow Mountains, Great Wall, Forbidden City, Confucian, Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, and Christian sites in Beijing, Nanjing, and Hangzhou, finishing with cosmopolitan Shanghai.

Our repertoire will include works of similar difficulty to the Prelude to Die Meistersinger and movements of Tchaikowsky violin and piano concerti with internationally acclaimed concert artists. Musicians who can play these works capably will have the greatest benefit and enjoyment. Some easier works, including Chinese music collaborations, will enable us to include some less-experienced players as well. Accepted members will learn music in advance, and prepare through two intensive days of rehearsal on the Valparaiso University campus, July 12 and 13. Acceptance and seating will be on the basis of auditions. Information is available on the website.

Over several trips and a four-month residency in China, I’ve had the pleasure of conducting professional orchestras in Nanjing and Hangzhou, and working at several schools including the Shanghai Conservatory. It is my pleasure to serve as Principal Guest Conductor of the Zhejiang University Symphony and Artistic Advisor for the Youth Choir of the Zhejiang Symphony. I am very confident that the amazing hospitality and tremendous hunger for Western classical music (evidenced by the millions of students playing violin, cello, piano, etc.) that I have experienced will be a revelation and joy to the musicians on this tour. And the opportunity to try Chinese instruments, collaborate on Chinese music, and experience this ancient beautiful and rising culture first hand will be unforgettable!

Details and additional forms are available through the website below, under Youth Programs.

Warmest Regards-

Redell Professor of Music, Valparaiso University Symphony Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor, Zhejiang University Symphony