The Dutch youth orchestra JeugdOrkest Nederland (JON) comprises approximately 85 talented young musicians from all over the Netherlands, ranging in age from 14 to 20 years old. Founder Ru Sevenhuysen was the conductor of the JON from 1959 to 1987. Following in his footsteps, Alexander Vakoulsky and Roland Kieft each led the orchestra for periods of more than five years. Jurjen Hempel has been the conductor since 2000.
The JON is an important training arena for orchestral music playing in the Netherlands. In rehearsal periods there is a strong focus on technique, repertoire, interpretation and style. Young musicians are given fabulous opportunities to develop their talent in the JON. For many members the JeugdOrkest Nederland provides the stimulus to choose a career as a professional musician.