Ahead of its final concert for the year, conductor Leonard Weiss talks about where the orchestra has been and where it’s going.

How has the Canberra Youth Orchestra evolved over its 50-year history?

By their nature, every orchestra continues to evolve; players change, new conductors arrive and those working behind-the-scenes can change, so the musical language, culture and visual identity of an orchestra can continue to develop. As with any organisation, the legacy of CYO is embodied by its members and alumni, whose careers have brought many of them to leading professional orchestras in Australia, overseas and, of course, in Canberra!

I believe that youth orchestras exist in part as a training ground for up-and-coming professional players (as well as a great social outlet and development opportunity for passionate musicians who are looking toward other careers) and I am confident that philosophy hasn’t changed during the orchestra’s history. Yet each conductor brings their own background and set of aspirations for the orchestra, so I’m honoured to join the ranks of those who have furthered CYO’s history.

Leonard WeissCanberra Youth Orchestra conductor Leonard Weiss

What ’s your own history with the CYO?

During my student...