World Federation of Amateur Orchestras

World Federation of Amateur Orchestras serves as worldwide exchange platform for amateur music making in symphonic ensembles in different dimensions. We are proud members of the International Music Council, and connect with music organizations all over the globe.

The World Federation of Amateur Orchestras is dedicated to the worldwide advancement of youth and amateur music making. At the philosophical core of the organization is the profound believe that music bridges cultural, geographical and historical divides, and in doing so makes the world a better place for both young and old.

One of our main activities are the organization of international orchestra conferences. Here participants from multiple countries and continents meet to discuss various matters on the development of orchestra activities. The last years we have been in Bergen (2018), Singapore (2019). The conference in Tokyo, June 2020 is unfortunately cancelled. We will soon publish news about the next coming international orchestra conference.

In rememberance of
Richard Chester

– honorary chairman of WFAO

The Board of WFAO sends their warmest and most sincere condolences to the wife, the children and the family of Richard Chester, who all too sudden passed away in the end of June. Richard Chester was at the forefront in connecting orchestras and orchestra musicians across borders, and through his life strived to create more opportunities for young musicians.

In 1987, after successful years as the principal flutist of the Scottish National Orchestra, he went on to become the Chief Executive of the The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS). He held this post for 20 years. His work for the orchestras was immense, and laid the foundation for what NYOS is today.

Richard Chester, through his position at NYOS, was a founding member of WFAO. His dedication to promote exchange and networking around the world was an important factor to the creation of the federation. After founding chairman Mr. Motoyasu Morishita passed away in 2009, Richard Chester took over the position as chairman of the federation. A position he held until 2011. Since he left the board, he has still been actively engaged in the work of WFAO, closely following the development of the organisation.

We are informed that there are plans of a memorial concert in July 2021. The WFAO hopes to be able to participate in and contribute to this concert. Richard Chester will forever be remembered for how he relentlessly worked to promote orchestra music making around the whole world, and for the generous and inspirational man he was.

Tokyo 2020

Official statement about Tokyo 2020

It is with great regret that WFAO announces that the international orchestra conference in Tokyo, Japan, June 4 – 7 2020 is cancelled. The organizer in Japan has decided to forgo all overseas invited members to participate in the festival this coming June due to the unprecedented pandemic situation caused by COVID-19. WFAO fully supports the decision which prevents any contingencies for the participants. We do hope that this situation will be fully repaired in all parts of the world and that we soon will be free to pursue our musical activities together.

“Ich wünsche dir Musik, um mit den Lasten des Lebens zu helfen und dir zu helfen, dein Glück für andere freizugeben.”
“I wish you music to help with the burdens of life, and to help you release your happiness to others.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

With the warmest wishes, 
Carl Ninian Wika, Chairman, World Federation of Amateur Orchestras


Censorship of arts and culture in Europe

In 72% of the 380 cases, government authorities are responsible for violations and the art form censored the most is music with 39% of the cases. Freemuse has presented a breathtaking report showing that censorship of arts and culture is a much larger issue in Europe than what we would like to believe.

Read about Freemuse’s intriguing report here.

Musicians from ten countries gather in Crumlin

“Connecting people through music”

February 22nd-23rd 2020

Adult amateur musicians from a score of countries and cities will gather at St Agnes’ Community Centre for Music & the Arts, Armagh Rd, Crumlin, on Saturday February 22nd and Sunday February 23rd including musicians from Singapore, Scotland, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, England, the United States of America and of course, Ireland.