PYP's inaugural three-concert tour took place 13-15 April 2018 and was preceded by four days of rehearsals 9-12 April. 



James MacMillan    The Confession of Isobel Gowdie

Sergei Prokofiev      Violin Concerto No 2 in G minor                                                                        Stephanie Gonley - violin

Béla Bartók              Concerto for Orchestra

Cadogan Hall

Friday 13 April 2018, 19:30

The official launch of PYP took place in Cadogan Hall, London, on Friday 13 April 2018.  

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The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Saturday 14 April, 19:30

The second concert of our tour took place in the magnificant and historic Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, on Saturday 14 April 2018.



…Underpinned by his philosophy of “Love” as a driving force in music, Boustany’s new professional youth orchestra delivered a committed and energetic performance…There was some notable playing, particularly from the viola and bass sections, and individually from some of the wind players…

…In James MacMillan’s “The Confession of Isobel Gowdie’, he drew a range of nuances from this densely textured work, shaping the extremes of musical soundscape and developing dramatic climaxes to great effect…

…The Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 2 with soloist Stephanie Gonley explored the melancholy, lyricism and virtuosity of this work with engagement and passion…percussion section deserving of particular note…

…The highlight was Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra, which Boustany conducted from memory. This inaugural concert delivered a promising start to both Boustany’s vision for a new orchestra, and his conducting career.

Elisabeth Hobbs, Oxford Times, dated Thursday 3rd May 2018


Sunday 15 april 2018, 15:00

Our inaugural tour ended with a late afternoon concert at Victoria Hall, Hanley, on Sunday 15 April. This is a popular venue that is frequently visited by the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic, and has a reputation for having a very fine acoustic.



…Those who missed it, missed a real treat...The concert was one of the best I’ve ever heard in the city… 

It opened with The Confession of Isobel Gowdie by James MacMillan… performed with impressive elan by this new orchestra...I understand that one of the reasons for choosing to play at the Victoria Hall was the wonderful acoustics; hearing the percussion ricochet across the stage was quite breathtaking…

…I already knew my favourite item would be the second one, Prokofiev’s second violin concerto…In charge of floating that soaring, Romeo and Juliet-style line of melody over the arpeggio accompaniment was Stephanie Gonley…She did not disappoint.

…Finally, Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra…At times the strings could have come from any of the fully professional orchestras which visit the Victoria Hall…the brass turned in a powerful performance; and this after just a week’s rehersals. The woodwind – particularly the flute – were exceptional. But then, that’s Wissam Boustany’s own instrument… 

…I’m always being accused of excessive pessimism. Maybe a new world is coming in which classical music is appreciated everywhere and helps bring universal peace... 

Bring it on, starting with the Pro Youth Philharmonia. 

Chris Ramsden, Notes From Middle England


…There are, perhaps, 50 or 60 professional or semi-professional symphony orchestras in the United Kingdom. It takes some courage, therefore, to launch a new one. Yet this is precisely what occurred this weekend when the Pro Youth Philharmonia, or PYP, led by Wissam Boustany, gave its inaugural tour. While the numbers in attendance may have disappointed, the response could not have been more enthusiastic…

…Together for a mere four days prior to the tour, this group melded together into a unit of great power and precision tackling some very difficult repertoire with performances that would have done justice to an orchestra which had been together for many years…

…For its first tour the PYP pulled no punches vis-a-vis its repertoire. James MacMillan’s “The Confession of Isobel Gowdie”, Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2, carried off with aplomb by soloist Stephanie Gonley, and Béla Bartók’s  Concerto for Orchestra are uncompromising modern works, at times as hard to listen to as to perform. But these young artists bestowed a freshness and enthusiasm upon them that clearly demonstrated the value of adding a new orchestra to the UK roster. We look forward eagerly to their next tour…

Peter Westbrook, The Flute Journal