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  • Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) to Tour Alongside LA Phil in Barcelona and Paris
  • Apr. 23, 2024
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    MAY 24 - 31, 2024 

    High-School Seniors from the YOLA Institute Symphony Orchestra to Join with Their European Counterparts in Barcelona’s International Youth Orchestra Summit and Celebration, Conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, and in Paris’s Youth Leadership Day Events

    LOS ANGELES (April 23, 2024) – Twenty-three high-school musicians from YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) will be participating in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2024 international tour, in events in Barcelona, Spain, and Paris, France. These 12th-grade students play in the YOLA Institute Symphony Orchestra, the enhanced musical training program for advanced YOLA musicians who want to pursue a musical pathway for their field of study or career. They will represent Los Angeles at two international youth events: Chords of Harmony: the International Youth Orchestra Summit and Celebration, a collaboration between LA Phil, Acción por la Música, Gran Teatre del Liceu,  Palau de la Música Catalana,  and Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña (ESMUC) with a culminating open rehearsal conducted by LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel at the spectacular Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, and Paris’s Youth Leadership Day, in collaboration with the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Dance.

    This will be the 10th year that YOLA students have toured alongside the LA Phil, sharing YOLA’s hopeful message of music’s transformative power with international audiences. The 2024 cohort includes students from four of the five YOLA sites across Los Angeles: YOLA at EXPO Center (South LA), YOLA at HOLA (Rampart District), YOLA at Torres (East LA), and YOLA at Camino Nuevo (Westlake). 

    Gustavo Dudamel said, “My mission has always been to demonstrate how music can create positive change in the world. Nowhere is that more evident than with music education programs and expanded opportunities for young musicians. This experience gives these students the chance to see how music leaps over borders, as they share and connect with their young peers from across Europe.”

    Elsje Kibler-Vermaas, LA Phil Vice President of Learning, who oversees YOLA, said, “YOLA was created to make access to music education more equitable and to inspire future generations of musicians. In that spirit, we are proud to continue this invaluable tradition of introducing YOLA musicians to new cultural destinations, while showcasing their talent at some of the world’s greatest music venues.”

    Since its inception 17 years ago, YOLA has benefited thousands of young musicians across Los Angeles, many of whom would not otherwise have had access to arts education. For the past 10 years, select students have been able to tour alongside the LA Phil, not only to travel and perform but also to enjoy artistic, educational, and cultural experiences that have been carefully curated with partner organizations. Tokyo, Fukushima, Seoul, Mexico City, Edinburgh, London, and Boston are among the previous touring destinations visited by YOLA students.

    Chords of Harmony: International Youth Orchestra Summit and Celebration

    Barcelona, Spain (May 24-27)

    Bringing together musicians from Spain, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Greece, and France, as well as YOLA musicians and educators from Los Angeles, the International Youth Orchestra Summit and Celebration, from May 24 through 27, will be led by Gustavo Dudamel. A group of 75 musicians, aged 15-20, will build community through cultural exchange, receive mentorship from an international faculty, and participate in leadership and learning activities in Barcelona at the iconic Gran Teatre del Liceu,  Palau de la Música Catalana,  and Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña (ESMUC). The cultural immersion includes rehearsing with their international peers and singers from the Palau Choirs, as well as Deaf performers from El Sistema’s Coro de Manos Blancos (White Hands Choir) who collaborated with the LA Phil on the production of Fidelio touring Spain, France, and the United Kingdom. The events will culminate with an open rehearsal and community celebration at the Palau de la Música Catalana led by Gustavo Dudamel on May 27, 2024 at noon, which will be free and open to the public. 

    Youth Leadership Day

    Paris, France (May 30)

    In Paris, YOLA will host a Youth Leadership Day on May 30 in collaboration with the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, focusing on the topics of cultural unity, interculturality, and building bridges through music. The 23 YOLA musicians will be joined by peers from community music schools based in Paris for a day of leadership workshops, masterclasses, and music-making. 

    LA Phil 2024 Tour

    The LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel will tour Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu (May 26 & 27), Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana (May 28), the Philharmonie de Paris (May 30 & 31), and London’s Barbican Centre (June 2 & 3) with two programs. The first program features the semi-staged production of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio created for both Deaf and hearing audiences. The project became a reality through the combined vision of Gustavo Dudamel through the Dudamel Foundation, which he co-chairs with his wife, actress María Valverde, director Alberto Arvelo, and Deaf West Theatre’s Artistic Director DJ Kurs with the support and collaboration of the LA Phil, the Tony Award®- winning Deaf West Theatre, and Deaf performers of El Sistema of Venezuela's Coro de Manos Blancas (White Hands Choir). The tour’s second program features the young violinist María Dueñas in the European premiere of Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz’s violin concerto Altar de cuerda (2022), commissioned by the LA Phil. John Williams’s Olympic Fanfare and Theme, written for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World,” complete the program. Approximately 170 musicians, cast, and choir members will participate in the 2024 European tour, which will mark the LA Phil’s first European performances since 2019.




    Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.  


    Through Gustavo Dudamel’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) program, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its community partners provide transformational and equitable access to music education​ for young people from marginalized communities ​to support their personal development, ​their communities, and beyond. YOLA gives each student, from 6 to 18, a strong musical and social foundation through free participation in up to 18 hours of programming each week. 

    With YOLA sites in Inglewood, South L.A., the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East L.A., YOLA engages students from more than 200 schools in L.A. County. Music study is complemented by leadership development opportunities, parent workshops, and performances. YOLA’s young musicians have performed on great stages all over the world, including the LA Phil’s iconic Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall, in many other locations throughout Southern California, on national and international television broadcasts, and alongside the greatest artists. 

    In addition to YOLA’s local programs, YOLA National provides an ever-growing number of opportunities for young musicians, teaching artists, program administrators, and other stakeholders to learn from and create community with one another.

    On October 15, 2021, the Los Angeles Philharmonic opened the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood, designed by Gehry Partners, LLC, the first permanent, purpose-built facility for YOLA. 

    For more information, please visit

  • Contact:

    Lisa Bellamore, Crescent Communications, 323.500.3071,