SBS Youth Orchestra to continue its legacy of musical training and excellence through the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship Program   

 Thursday 21 November 2013 -- The Board of the SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra has today announced its decision to support one of the main education programs of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra –The Fellowship Program – by endowing a Fellowship position in perpetuity in remembrance of SBS Youth Orchestra founder, Matthew Krel. This announcement follows the decision by the SBS Youth Orchestra board to wind-up operations after 25 years.  “In his 20 years as conductor, Matthew Krel built the orchestra into a formidable youth ensemble,” says Ian Hamilton, secretary of SBS Youth Orchestra since its inception.
“I am so pleased we can honour Matthew and continue his commitment to young musicians of the highest calibre by endowing a chair in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Fellowship program,” adds Mr Hamilton.

According to Sydney Symphony Orchestra Managing Director, Rory Jeffes, this will be a chance for Matthew’s legacy of musical instruction to live on. “We are greatly honoured by the decision of the SBS Youth Orchestra Board,” says Mr Jeffes.

“Matthew Krel is known throughout musical circles for the dedication he showed to the development of young musicians and I am delighted that his legacy will continue through the support of one of our Fellows. The Matthew Krel name will forever be associated with the best of Australia’s young classical musicians, something he certainly achieved through his orchestra.

“For the nine musicians who annually make up the Fellowship Program, the year-long training program is a chance for them to fine-tune their skills and make the transition from student to professional musician and has proven to be a vital step for many musicians in fulfilling their dream of securing a full-time orchestral job,” added Mr Jeffes.
  Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship 

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellowship is recognised as one of the world’s leading musician training programs. Every year, eight of Australia’s most talented young musicians are selected to participate in a full-time apprenticeship with the orchestra, where they are equipped with the skills they need to commence exciting and successful careers in music. Under the guidance of Fellowship Artistic Director and SSO Principal Viola Roger Benedict, the Fellows spend a year rehearsing and performing with the orchestra, developing their chamber music technique, and receiving masterclasses from international touring artists. This integrated approach prepares the Fellows for life as professional musicians, as well as significantly increasing their chances of attaining permanent chairs in professional orchestras.  During their time with the orchestra, the Fellows also benefit from the invaluable opportunity of working closely with SSO Chief Conductor David Robertson, as well as highly-esteemed guest conductors and soloists from around the world. Graduates of the Fellowship program are testament to its success, with over 55% of alumni earning full-time positions in professional orchestras around the world, including seven full-time musicians in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The program is supported through funding from Credit Suisse, the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, the SBS Youth Orchestra and individual donors. Applications open for the program in May each year with auditions taking place throughout August and September in Sydney.  

 The 2014 Fellows were recently announced. For more information
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 An ongoing Legacy

 Faina Krel, Krel’s widow and former violinist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1978-2003), said: “The SBS Youth Orchestra and the SSO has always had a very close relationship, in fact many of the SBS tutors were SSO musicians!

“I am sure Matthew would approve of the move undertaken today by the SBS Youth OrchestraBoard. The orchestra was Matthew’s passion. He worked 24/7 to ensure the orchestra would reach the heights of excellence he demanded in everything he did. Matthew always wanted to further the musical training of the crème-de-la-crème of Australia’s orchestral musicians and by endowing a Fellowship position we can ensure Matthew’s vision will continue,” says Mrs Krel. 

The SBS Radio & Television Youth Orchestra was formed in 1988 by Krel, with the help of the SBS. Its musicians, who ranged in age from 12 – 24, have gone on to become members of some of the world’s leading orchestras with many featuring in the ranks of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra including Principal Trumpet David Elton. 

“Matthew Krel was simply amazing to work with and performing with the orchestra was an incredible experience both in Sydney and on the numerous overseas tours we undertook. The real highlight for me was to be surrounded by musicians of my own age who I knew would be my musical colleagues for life,” says Mr Elton.