NYO Connections

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.


NYO 2021: Lift off and lift up

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.


The Hope Exchange: NYO's exploration of hope and music

Join us for an explosive return to live music across the UK, as we celebrate being back together while reflecting on how hope has sustained us through difficult times.

We are delighted to be bringing live performances nationwide as part of The Hope Exchange this summer, in a triumphant return to live music at a national level.

NYO musicians are embarking on a summer of relationship-building and performance-sharing, as they exchange musical expressions of hope with other young people across the UK.

Every NYO musician is returning to the concert platform once more this summer, as part of one of five concerts across the country. The orchestra has been mobilised in smaller groups to allow for social distancing, with four incredible musical programmes across four residencies. Through these programmes, we reflect on how making music is an act of hope, how music can tell the story of hope, how it can reflect the emotional effect of a lack of hope, and how it can inspire hope in listeners. Every live performance this summer will be an exchange: a Hope Exchange between young people, the music they love and their audiences.

These exchanges will start in hundreds of schools across the country: ahead of our concert platform performances, our community of musicians is heading out into primary schools to perform individual concerts sharing music that symbolises hope to them, and playing pieces suggested by the young people in the audience in exchange. NYO musicians are also working with our partner secondary schools to explore their relationship to hope through words and music.

We are looking forward to announcing the performances in collaboration with venues across the UK over the coming weeks, and will share how you can get tickets as soon as they are on sale. We will update this page with the concerts as they are announced.

We are so excited to be embarking on our first in-person performances since October 2020, showing the resilience of young people, and allowing teenagers across the UK to experience the optimism and spirit of young musicians sustained by hope, and moving forward to a year where we can meet together and perform once more.

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