Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra


The Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, founded as an independent organization in 1945, cultivates in its member’s discipline, fine musicianship and an overall appreciation for excellence. PYSO members bring a sense of amazement and excitement about classical music to diverse audiences-young and old, novice and seasoned. Through their impressive performances, dedication, and commitment they also serve as role-models for aspiring younger musicians and students; and, through their demanding tours in the U.S. and internationally, they have become outstanding cultural ambassadors of the Pittsburgh Region, Pennsylvania, and the United States.


The Orchestra is typically comprised of 80 to 90 students from various public schools, charter schools, private schools, universities and colleges in the western Pennsylvania area (mostly Allegheny County), as well as a number of homeschoolers. The average age range is 15 to 20. Most of the students are in high school, but PYSO also admits college-age students.



  • Weekly rehearsals at Heinz Hall.
  • Music Director and Coaches are members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO).
  • Performances at Heinz Hall are free and open to the public.
  • Additional performances on various concert series, such as Music in a Great Space and/or the Tiffany Concert Series.
  • Chamber music opportunities via collaboration with TRYPO in the Youth Chamber Connection (YC2). Last year twenty chamber music groups in YC2 presented over 100 community outreach performances to an estimated audience of almost 20,000.
  • Montgomery Fellowships with Chamber Music Pittsburgh.
  • Concerto competition.
  • Annual auditions for new members. There is a turnover of approximately one-third of the orchestra each year.
  • PYSO tours every three years. Tours include Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, & Germany (2005), China (2008), Italy (2011), Austria, Slovakia & Czech Republic (2014), and Spain (2017).



  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Clarinet
  • Bassoon
  • French Horn
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Harp
  • Piano (not always needed)



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