This year, when our ability to meet face to face has been restricted, we’ve seen the true value of our connections with others. And while it’s more difficult to connect in a large group, we can still power up the relationships we can make with others in order to fuel our music-making. We want to peel back the layers of what makes an ‘orchestra’ and focus on connecting more deeply with others: with musicians who play different instruments from us, in different styles, who can offer us new ideas, challenge our perspectives, and fuel our creativity. That’s why, this winter, we are forging connections with artists and creatives from a wide range of art forms and genres, to help us think outside the box and see the music we love through new eyes.
We’ll be bottling some of this creativity and sharing the creative responses from the musicians in the new year, using the hashtag #NYOConnections. But it’s not a one-way street! We’re also hoping to use the power of creativity to connect with as many people as possible using our social channels, inviting you to take part in our duet challenge on TikTok, and sharing what we’ve learnt with you, so you can take it into your schools, music colleges, and your music making with others.
We’re marking the start of a brand-new year of music making, kicking off the year with a spirit of positivity and optimism. We invited teenagers across the UK to sign up to play music with us, and an incredible 600 musicians put their faith in the power of the NYO community, committing to playing music together when so many other opportunities have been cancelled or changed. We want to catch these musicians before they fall, giving them the chance to meet each other, play together, and lift each other up through lockdown.
We are so pleased to be launching NYO Inspire 2021 with a UK-wide music making mission that is impossible to cancel, to lift the spirits and keep the momentum for teenage musicians all over the country.
Over 16 days, we are inviting 600 musicians to share in 16 live performances of the same piece, with others from their local area, celebrating the spirit of their hometowns and villages, and building connections with other like-minded musicians. The piece, Jigsaw, composed by Dani Howard, is designed to be playable by any combination of instruments: every performance will be slightly different, brought to life in different ways by musicians in different areas. The result will be a musical relay around the UK, with musicians making connections with young people in their area, before passing the baton to the next performance, showcasing the resilience and spirit of young people in every corner of the UK.
Follow #NYOLiftOff and join us as we explore music together.
We invite you to join us for an explosive and triumphant return to live music-making across the UK, as we celebrate being back together in live performance for the first time since Autumn 2020.
NYO is committed to enabling young people to find their voice in and through orchestral music, come what may. We kicked off creative planning for the summer by inviting young musicians from the orchestra to tell us how they see the world they live in and what role they want their music-making to have in the world. We came away with a powerful sense that NYO's theme for 2021 has to be 'hope'. Hope gives us our image of what lies on the other side of our difficulties, hope helps us to keep going through uncertainty. While hope has enabled many young musicians to keep on practising through lockdown, it has been the joy and intimacy of listening to and creating music that has sustained that hope. Wordlessly expressive, innocently persuasive, music is the lifeblood of hope, and an irrepressible medium of dissent.
This is being expressed through our concept of a 'Hope Exchange'. The give-and-take of hope guides every detail of our summer of relationship-building and performance-sharing.
Every musician is returning to the concert platform this summer. Working in smaller, more flexible ensembles to allow for social distancing, five concerts are planned across the country, performing four distinct incredible musical programmes. Each programme explores ways in which music embodies hope for a better world. Every live performance this summer will be a three-way exchange of hope, between NYO musicians', composers inspired by hope, and our audiences whose act of listening makes our hopes a lived reality.
NYO’s Hope Exchange starts in hundreds of schools across the country: our community of musicians are taking musical optimism into their local primary schools, giving individual concerts exchanging musical hope with young audiences. Performances in secondary schools will be accompanied by musical and creative projects for students, further exploring the theme of hope through words and music. A series of webinars hosted by our musicians with international youth organisations will shed light on extraordinary environments in which music-making is an act of hope for young people around the world.
Saffron Hall, Saffron Waldenevents.saffronhall.com
£15 / FREE for 19s and Under
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
£10 / FREE for 19s and Under
Symphony Hall, Birminghambmusic.co.uk
£10 /FREE for 19s and Under
Royal Albert Hall, BBC Promsbbc.co.uk/proms
More tickets are now available
Leeds Town Hall, Leedsleedstownhall.co.uk
£10 /FREE for 19s and Under