Epsonow Magazine

Page 4 - Supporting Australian Youth and Culture

If anyone was to doubt the incredible depth of young musical talent within Australia, they need look only as far as the SBS Radio and Television Youth Orchestra. Since its 1988 foundation by Russian-born Matthew Krel, it has established itself as one of the world's most inspirational and talented youth orchestras. Dozens of radio appearances, over 30 television broadcasts, many live performances and eight commercially released CDs have taken the Orchestra's performances to millions of Australians.

Yet this local profile is only a component of the orchestra's success. Tours to New Zealand, Tonga, Taiwan, New Caledonia, Russia, Japan, Finland, Estonia and China have all resulted in international acclaim.

While the orchestra's success is testament to the talent of its members, talent alone is never enough to guarantee a future. In recognition of this, Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 stepped in during 1998 to provide a much needed sponsorship for the Youth Orchestra. Mr Hiroki Yamamoto, Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1's, Managing Director, commented: "We have a strong belief in supporting the youth of Australia, and in the SBS Youth Orchestra we saw an excellent opportunity to help establish an incredibly talented group of young people in their efforts to take Australian talent and culture onto the world stage."

Mr Krel, who retains the dual role of conductor and musical director for the orchestra, cites numerous examples of how the Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 sponsorship has had direct positive impact on the orchestra's growing success. "We have already been to Japan twice to attend the Japanese Youth Musicale," he said. "We have also been invited to attend in 2003, making us the only Youth Orchestra in the world to have been invited to the event for three consecutive times. Going there in 2000 with the Epson name behind us certainly gave us the extra edge."

This "extra edge" is the underlying principle of the sponsorship. It is the edge that provides opportunities for the orchestra as well as individual musicians. "If young people are not given the opportunities to realise fully their potential, that potential will in all likelihood dry up like grass without water," stated Mr Krel. "Precisely the same applies to the orchestra itself. Without the financial support of Epson, undertaking many of the ventures and projects that have been so important to our success would have been impossible."

An example of this is the current production of a documentary, which focuses on the orchestra's local and overseas achievements. A component of the documentary is the background orchestrals, which were recorded at a concert given by the orchestra at the Sydney Town Hall. "Bringing in all the recording equipment and personnel to operate it costs money," stated Mr Krel. "It was only because of our ability to draw on the Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 sponsorship funds that we were able to do this."

Partnership Equality

"Respect" and "equality" are two words Mr Krel emphasises regularly when describing the partnership between the SBS Youth Orchestra and Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1. "today is much more than simply giving and receiving money," he explained. "It is a long-term partnership based on mutual respect and trust, and it's a partnership with one principal and respected orchestra and one principal and respected sponsor.

"I see my mission as promoting, supporting and helping establish musically gifted Australian youth. Epson Australia - Epsonow Magazine Volume 1 provides us with critical support to help in this mission. Really, it comes down to a relationship where the vision of both parties is precisely the same."