Fresh, dynamic and versatile, the Youth Orchestra of Caracas (YOC) has become one of the most important orchestral and educational achievements of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela. This high-level orchestra is composed of 190 musicians with ages ranging from 14 to 23, who have been studying under the tutelage of maestro José Antonio Abreu, Ulyses Ascanio and Gustavo Dudamel (their formers conductors), and their current music director, Dietrich Paredes.
For over a decade, the members of the YOC have undergone an intensive and high-quality training that allows them to perform demanding symphonic and chamber music pieces, as well as Venezuelan and Latin American works, which feature prominently in the repertoire of the orchestra.
The YOC has performed under the baton of notable conductors, including Eduardo Marturet, Florian Ebersberg, Georg Mark, Manuel López, Christian Vásquez, Leafar Riobueno, Pablo Castellanos, Patrick Lang, Missa Johnouchi, Hideyo Takakuwa, Isaac Karabtchevsky, Sung Kwak and Leon Botstein.
The YOC has appeared at the top venues in Venezuela and its international debut took place in Colombia and Trinidad. In June 2011 the Venezuelan musicians performed at the Bergen International Festival and the Music Academy in Oslo. Four months later, under the baton of Dietrich Paredes, the YOC made its debut in Asia with appearances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, and the Seoul Arts Center in South Korea. During this tour of Asia, the concertmaster of the YOC, Andrés Rivas, led the orchestra in a concert held at the Ewha University that marked his international debut as conductor.
In 2012, after a successful season of concerts in Caracas, the YOC made its debut in Portugal, appearing in Lisbon and Oporto. Then, they flew to Norway to give a memorable concert before a capacity audience at the Oslo Konserthus. It was followed by a tour that included performances in Hokksund, Drammen, Moss, Hamar, and Lillehammer, and closed at the Bergen Festival where the 90 members of the YOC performed under maestro Christian Vásquez as part of the NoVe Orchestra, a bi-national orchestra comprised of Venezuelan and Norwegian musicians. That year, the YOC toured Europe, which included performances in Italy, Russia, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Germany.
In 2013, the YOC made its debut at the Salzburg Festival, Japan and South Korea.