Following the shock news yesterday that the SBS Youth Orchestra was to fold in 2014, after 25 years in operation, the SBSYO and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra have released a joint statement announcing the endowment of a Fellowship position with the SSO.
“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.
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 Orchestra Board. 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.
The Matthew Krel Fellowship Chair will start with the 2014 intake of Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows.