The Slovenian Youth Orchestra (SMO) is a project of cooperation, enthusiasm and a vision for the future that connects the whole of Slovenia. It gives our most promising musicians, aged 16 to 26, the opportunity to achieve their greatest results and to build musical, cultural and social bridges with drive, determination, courage and will.
The orchestra's projects bridge the gap between formal education, which focuses on technique and theory, and the realities of the profession. It is the only project of its kind in the country that gives young musicians a first-hand experience of all aspects of life as a professional musician - from auditioning to selecting projects, rehearsing and performing on the most prestigious stages. It brings together Slovenian musicians, their peers who have trained and are working in Slovenia, as well as Slovenian musicians who have trained and are working abroad. New members are invited to join the orchestra every year. In multi-day residencies with leading professional orchestral musicians, these outstanding young participants prepare a programme which they then present in concerts, while also acting as dynamic musical ambassadors.
The Slovenian Youth Orchestra was founded in 2019 in collaboration with international and local partners. We believe that the orchestra will become a cultural representative that will be able to stand alongside all the most prominent youth orchestras from most EU countries, as well as from around the world, that have been active for decades. The domestic and international collaborations to date have proved that we are on the right track. The youth orchestra was accepted as a full member of the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO) in June 2022. We look forward to working more closely with other youth national orchestras, to participating in local and European projects and to being placed on the European map of youth musical excellence.
The orchestra's Artistic Committee consists of Prof. Janez Podlesek, Prof. Maja Marija Rome, Prof. Gal Faganel, and Conductor and Artistic Director Živa Ploj Peršuh.
We promote the development of personality and skills of individuals through a sustainable programme at the highest level and in collaboration with renowned experts in various musical (and other artistic) fields. At the same time, we strengthen and appeal to their sense of responsibility and their attitude towards society, solidarity and humanity. We want young people to become more aware and caring towards national values as well as towards other cultures, countries and individuals.
Music is a universal language, understood by everyone, regardless of nationality, religion or other personal circumstances!
The orchestra is dedicated to socialising and making music, to enthusiasm for the art of music and the arts in general, to making friends and to progressing in life.
It is a time and place for young people to develop their talents to the full, while learning the diversity of their musical and personal paths. In the orchestra, young people build musical, cultural and social bridges with drive, determination, courage and will. The Slovenian Youth Orchestra is intended as a platform for young musicians studying abroad to return to their home country and maintain contact with their home environment.
The effective long-term implementation of the Slovenian Youth Orchestra music project opens up tremendous opportunities for showcasing and demonstrating our country's exceptional cultural potential. The main participants are and will be the young people who will shape and enrich our country tomorrow. Our young performers, the future artistic elite, will set themselves the highest challenges in the orchestra and put themselves on the map of Europe.
We are enthusiasts and we believe that music helps to solve and tackle current social problems. We strive to create programmes that have a social dimension. We are extremely proud of projects such as Music For The Future - a social project charged with the superpower of music for young Ukrainian musicians in need, ALARM - a concert for social and climate justice, a performance of Vivaldi's [Uncertain] Four Seasons at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow as part of the UN ACT NOW CAMPAIGN campaign, and SAMO1PLANET (JUST1PLANET) - concerts for a green future co-produced with Festival Ljubljana, RTV SLOVENIJA and Care4Climate.