The Edinburgh Youth Orchestra was founded by Herrick Bunney and Margaret Rennie Moncrieff, with James Loughran as its first Conductor.


First foreign tour. EYO travelled to West Germany with Conductor Tim Reynish and soloist Rosemary Eliot (flute). Concerts were given in Lohr, Munich, Heidleberg and Bonn. The programme included Elgar – Cockaigne Overture, Mozart – Flute Concerto in G Major, Harper – Bartok Games, Dvorak – Symphony no 8, Walton – Crown Imperial March, Arnold – Scottish Dances , Neil Gow – Scottish Fiddle Tunes, Rossini – Soirees Musicales, Tchaikovsky – Waltz of the Flowers, Vaughan Williams – Fantasy on Greensleeves.


Fiona Donaldson took over as General Manager.


California Tour. Conductor Christopher Adey and Violinist Edward Dusinberre travelled with the EYO to California. The programme included Bruch – Violin Concerto no 1, Chausson – Poeme, Stravinksky – Ballet Suite from the Firebird, Tchaikovsky – Suite from Swan Lake, Rachmaninov – Symphony no 2 and Golden City, a work commissioned from David Dorward especially for the Tour. The orchestra played concerts in San Diego, San Jose, Cupertino, Salinas and Pebble Beach. They also visited San Fransisco, San Diego Sea World, Monterey Aquariam and Disneyland.

Whilst in California, the orchestra rehearsed a number of Offenbach works which were performed in Her Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival a few days after their return to Scotland.


Marjory Dougal took over as General Manager of the orchestra.


Central and Eastern European Tour. The Orchestra travelled for three weeks with conductor Alexander Myrat to Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. The programme included Malcolm Arnold – Scottish Dances, Shostakovich – Symphony no 9 and Tchaikovsky – Symphony no 5. Concerts took place in Munich (where the orchestra was joined by Sir Malolm Arnold), Eisendtadt at the Esterhazy Palace, the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Cracow and Prague. The EYO won trophies for Best Orchestra and Best Radio Recording at the 22nd Vienna International Youth & Music Festival.


Scandinavian Tour. Conductor – Hilary Davan Wetton, Soloists – Donald Gillan – Cello, Scott Dickinson – Viola, Carolina Bengtsdotter Ljung – Contralto.  The programme included Elgar – Cello Concerto, Walton – Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Tchaikovsky – Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet, Brahms – Academic Festival Overture, Arnold – Four Scottish Dances, Elgar – Pomp and Circumstance no 1, Tchaikovsky – Eugene Onegin – Olga’s Aria, Saint-Saens – Aria from Samson and Delilah, Auld Lang Syne.

Concerts in Denmark – Odense Concert Hall, Kolding Theatre, Copenhagen Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen Tivoli Gardens. Sweden – Uppsala Cathedral, Rattvik Dalhalla Amphitheatre, Stockholm Storkyrkan.


Italian Tour. Two weeks travelling with Christopher Adey (Conductor), Sarah Oates (violin), Andee-Louise Hypolite (mezzo soprano). The programme included Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto, Mendelssohn – Oh Rest in the Lord (Elijah), Lyadov – Baba Yaga, Delius – Walk to the Paradise Garden, Elgar – Sea Pictures, Holst – The Perfect Fool, Bizet – Carmen Suite no 1 and Rachmaninov – Symphony no. 3. Concerts in Padova, Brescia, Fiesole, Massa Maritime, Florence, Fiesole again (this time in joint concerts with Irish and American youth orchestras), Perugia and Spoleto. The orchestra also visited Rome, Venice, San Gimignano, Sienna and Pisa on sightseeing days.


UK Tour. With En Shao (Conductor), Murray McLachlan (piano) and Pierre Doumenge (cello). Concerts were given in Edinburgh, Manchester, York and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Programme included Rimsky-Korsakov – Cappricio Espagnol, Elgar – Cello Concerto, Edward Gregson – Piano Concerto and Malcolm Arnold – Scottish Dances.


Baltic Tour. With En Shao (Conductor), Tommy Smith (saxophone) and Evelyn Glennie (percussion). Concerts were given in in Helsinki, Pärnu, Tallin, Riga, Pskov and St Petersburg. The programme included Eddie McGuire – Prazdnik (a commissioned work written for Evelyn Glennie and the EYO) and Tchaikovsky – Symphony no 5. A highlight was the orchestra coming under the baton of Neeme Järvi during the Estonian leg of the tour. The definite lowlight was the seven-hour enforced delay at the Latvian/Russian border!


Germany Tour. Concerts given in Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig and Hamburg with Garry Walker (Conductor), Nicola Benedetti (violin). The programme included Malcolm Arnold – Tam O’Shanter Overture, Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto and Brahms Symphony no 4.


Scotland. An EYO String Ensemble of senior and former players gave concerts in Edinburgh, Stirling and Linlithgow with Julian Lloyd Webber as both director and soloist.


Ireland. Concerts were given in Dublin and Limerick with Garry Walker (Conductor), Sophie Cashell (piano), Karen Geoghegan (bassoon). The programme included Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto no 1, Weber – Andante and Hungarian Rondo for Bassoon and Orchestra, Malcolm Arnold – Irish Dances and Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet Ballet Suite.


Scotland. Aberdeen, Inverness, Dunfermline. As part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival EYO played for the opening ceremony (involving a vast number of National Anthems) and the opening concert of the festival with a programme that included Brahms – Symphony no. 4 and Strauss – Four Last Songs, with Garry Walker (Conductor) and Lisa Milne (Mezzo Soprano).


Easter Course. Featured Joanna MacGregor playing Bartok’s 3rd Piano Concerto. The programme also included Berlioz – Roman Carnival Overture and Shostakovich Symphony no 10, conducted by Sian Edwards.


Easter Course. Garry Walker (Conductor) and Philip Higham (Soloist), both of whom are former EYO cellists, joined the orchestra for a programme including John Williams – Olympic Fanfare, Dvorak Cello Concerto and Elgar Enigma Variations.

National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. Thanks to a lot of work by Marjory Dougal, the NYOI Management, and the British Council, the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq came to Edinburgh for their annual course. Sixteen of the EYO string players were privileged to join the NYOI for three weeks of rehearsals, followed by concerts in Glasgow, Edinburgh (as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe), and London, to a sell-out audience at the South Bank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Polly was lucky enough to be orchestral manager for the project. The orchestra was conducted by Paul MacAlindin and the orchestra was joined by Julian Lloyd Webber as soloist. NYOI founder, Zuhal Sultan, joined the EYO percussion section the following year. A truly incredible month for all involved. Many friendships were made and the orchestras remain in touch, keeping up to date with each other’s news via facebook. We very much hope that we can keep our connection and that some of the NYOI can join the EYO on future courses.


Our 50th Anniversary

2013 marked the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra’s Golden Jubilee! Our annual course culminated in a celebratory concert in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. The 135-strong orchestra were privileged to work with some extremely distinguished guests, including EYO vice-president, Dame Evelyn Glennie, patrons En Shao and Julian Lloyd Webber and former members Garry Walker and Donald Runnicles. A hugely challenging programme for the orchestra gained rave reviews and a very happy group of young musicians.


Cockaigne Overture

Donald Runnicles – Conductor 


Cello Concerto

Garry Walker – Conductor

Julian Lloyd Webber – Cello


Veni Veni Emmanuel    

En Shao – Conductor

Evelyn Glennie – percussion


Violin Concerto (1st Mvt)

Donald Runnicles – Conductor.

Jack Liebeck – violin.


Der Meistersingers Overture

Donald Runnicles – Conductor.


Happy Birthday EYO

Donald Runnicles – Conductor.



Easter Course. Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Garry Walker (Conductor) and Jack Liebeck (violin), and another huge EYO playing Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.


Summer Course. Two concerts in Edinburgh’s Greyfriar’s Kirk as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Soloist was pianist Daniel Rodriguez Hart, conductor Sian Edwards.


Easter Course.  

Edinburgh Youth Orchestra Easter Concert 2018

Conductor:  James Lowe

Soloist:  Julian Bliss

Programme:  Richard Wagner – Good Friday Music from Parsifal Carlo Maria von Weber – Clarinet Concerto No.2 in E major Lyadov – The Enchanted Lake John Pickard – Sea Change Manuel de Falla – The Three Cornered Hat Suites 1 and 2

Summer Course.

Conductor Sian Edwards. 

Soloist: Rhiannon Carmichael

Programme:  Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Weber Bassoon Concerto.  Graham Fitkin’s  Metal. Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony