The ASIA AMERICA SYMPHONY ASSOCIATION (AASA) originally started in 1961, sponsoring an orchestra under the direction of Dr. Akira Kikukawa, who served as its conductor for three decades. In 1991, under the direction of former Los Angeles Philharmonic violist and assistant conductor Heiichiro Ohyama, it became a fully professional orchestra and was renamed the Japan America Symphony Orchestra. To better reflect the diversity of Los Angeles’ growing Asian population, it was renamed the Asia America Symphony Orchestra in 1995.
Renowned pianist and composer David Benoit was appointed Music Director and Conductor in 2001, and in the same year he formed the Asia America Youth Orchestra to provide young musicians up to age 18 with an innovative training program to develop their talents and prepare for multi-faceted careers as orchestra musicians. In 2013, the mission and strategy of the organization changed to emphasize the youth orchestra rather than the professional orchestra. The two orchestras were merged into the Asia America Youth Symphony.
The goal of AASA is to provide a unique opportunity for young musicians to learn and perform in a professional environment. We provide mentoring to the youth by exposing them to professional musicians and allowing them to perform in major venues and with well-known professional artists.
The Asia America Symphony Association’s Mission Statement:
The Asia America Symphony Association is dedicated to developing and mentoring young musicians, exposing and promoting music appreciation as well as supporting and partnering with similar organizations by providing educational and performing opportunities in a professional environment featuring classical and jazz concerts and integrating a wide array of music influences and styles from around the world.