As NYO prepares to perform John Adams's Doctor Atomic Symphony, which reflects on the iconic moment in history - the test of the first atomic bomb - NYO Cellist Thomas Nettle shares five interesting facts about the legendary composer.
'The warmth, inclusiveness and unity of purpose that NYO musicians all share amongst each other is the best thing about being a part of it. Everyone wants to give their absolute best.' - Faye, 16, Violin, NYO
We've announced the 164 teenage musicians who will join together to create NYO's spectacular sound in 2019, along with our plans for the year. Find out who they are, what inspires them and why they think all teenagers should care about orchestral music...
NYO Young Promoter, Hannah, shares her story about her time volunteering for her school to promote NYO projects in support of #iwill week 2018 - celebrating the power and potential of youth social action. "As an NYO Young Promoter I was able to develop my own skills, meet new people from all different walks of life, improve my future prospects and see Britain’s future classical music stars. My school has changed since seeing the NYO perform, as have I. ..."
In celebration of #iwill Week 2018, NYO violist Josh shares his story and adds his voice to this national campaign celebrating the power and potential of youth social action. "Through this volunteering work I learned that orchestral music is not an exclusive hobby,rather it gave me the opportunity to meet and work with people I otherwise never would have before. Furthermore, people were taking what they learned on these courses and sharing their experiences which, is so encouraging for the future of youth social action...
"My involvement with NYO Inspire began when Wolverhampton Music School organised a coach trip to an NYO Inspire Day which was part of the NYO Inspire Orchestra’s tour in 2016. I was amazed by the size of the orchestra and by what teenagers my age could achieve in such a small amount of time...
This summer, 164 of us joined together at the Universtiy of Birmingham for 10 days of rehearsals and preparation before touring our epic programme of orchestral masterworks to Birmingham's Symphony Hall, Snape Maltings Concert Hall and the BBC Proms where our performance was broadcast on BBC Four and live on BBC Radio 3. Find out what the critics had to say about the performance and where to re-watch the broadcast.
What do you get when you cross no holds barred teenage energy and musical brilliance with some seriously sensational music? A totally dazzling concert performed by the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers, that’s what. Throw in a bit of magic in the form of legendary conductor and composer George Benjamin and pianist extraordinaire Tamara Stefanovich and you’re looking at a spectacularly good night out.
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain has announced its first ever tour to the USA in Summer 2019, including a debut at Carnegie Hall in New York, cultural exchange with fellow teenagers, side-by-side projects and a performance at the Ravinia Festival, the oldest and most diverse outdoor music festival in the US, with further engagements to be confirmed. The official launch takes place on 11 July with a special reception with the soloist for the tour, violinist Nicola Benedetti. NYO will continue to accept applications for NYO 2019 until the end of July 2018 to afford the largest number of teenagers to be part of this opportunity of a lifetime.
Think you know what a classical music concert is like? Well think again. Look up from your screen and reset your ears because this April, the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers brings you NYO UNLEASHED, an electrifying, theatrical live music experience like no other. NYO divides into TWO orchestras for the first time, and to top it all up we have a host of free events curated specially by teenagers for teenagers.
400 teenage musicians, 6 ensembles, 32 tutors, 15 pieces of music from Gabrieli to Rodgers & Hammerstein, 117 music hubs, services and organisations, and 3 residencies. NYO Inspire Ensembles returned to The University of Liverpool for its fourth and biggest year to date!
Our winter residency was a musical journey into the magical, the mystical and the weird. Find out what the critics had to say about our performance, which featured a semi-staged production of Bartók's opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle...
We're so proud and honoured that NYO Inspire Orchestra has been nominated for the Classic FM Best Classical Music Education Initiative at Rhinegold Publishing's annual Music Teacher Awards For Excellence. The winner will be decided by a public vote which closes 2 February 2018.
Sarah Alexander, who celebrates her 10th season in charge of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2018, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours list.
Illustrator and author Chris Riddell, former Children’s Laureate, cartoonist, and creator of the hugely popular series ‘Goth Girl’ is announced as NYO’s first ever Artist in Residence. His illustrations will be integrated into the performance of Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, and his live drawings during one of the performances will be streamed.
'I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of NYO 2018 and cannot wait to be making music with other amazing young musicians at such a high standard.' - Theo, cello
Meet the 164 talented teenage musicians, hailing from all corners of the UK, who will join together to produce NYO's spectacular sound in 2018. Discover their unique stories, find out their favouirte orchestral pieces, the musical figures they'd love to collaborate with and why they think all teenagers should listen to classical music.
From urban landscapes to the vastness of space, NYO’s 2017 summer concert tour was a truly special adventure which explored music by pioneering composers. Thomas Adès conducted the UK premiere of a new work by Francisco Coll alongside his own music and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Read what the critics had to say about our performance…
We are saddened to hear of the death of our Vice-President, Alum and former Director, Derek Bourgeois. We would like to pay tribute to his fantastic leadership, his creative passion and his unswerving loyalty to NYO over so many years. It was our great pleasure to be in touch with Derek over our Summer residency this year and to share with him the Orchestra’s fantastic work. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.
As we prepare to perform Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring on tour this summer to the BBC Proms, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Snape Maltings, we reflect on its special place in our history.
This July, 75 teenage musicians from across the country will come together to form the NYO Inspire Orchestra and give a four-day concert tour of the West Midlands, bringing the excitement of orchestral music to hundreds of their peers with Bernstein's On the Waterfront.
NYO Percussionist Simone reflects on her time in Trinidad and Tobago where she participated in the Youth Music Exchange (YMX) programme at the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Academy for the Performing Arts.
We are excited to announce that NYO Musicians will be premiering - Linger in Light - a new piece by NYO Principal Composer, Lauren Marshall, in the Morgan Stanley Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, designed by Chris Beardshaw.
All aboard! All aboard! Spring's colours are bursting out so awaken your sense of adventure and come on the journey of a lifetime with the world's greatest orchestra of teenagers. With unstoppable momentum, our intrepid musicians will whisk you from the heat and humidity of the Mexican jungle to the imperial grandeur of St Petersburg.
I remember my first NYO Inspire Day vividly. We played Swan Lake at Durham University. I was relatively new to classical music and very new to orchestral music-making so I was extremely nervous. However, I managed to find my confidence all thanks to the brilliant NYO Musicians helping me throughout the day and I loved it!
NYO 2017 transported us on a truly lively winter journey. Our 164 musicians came together for the first time in late December and spent a week rehearsing at the University of Nottingham, studying the music and perfecting every little detail with NYO Tutors, conductor John Wilson, and guest pianist Tamara Stefanovich.
Lauren Marshall, NYO’s Principal Composer, takes time out of her very busy NYO schedule to tell us about her new work Suspended between earth and air, commissioned by NYO and being performed during our Winter concert tour in Theatre Royal, Nottingham; Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, London.
For our very first collaboration with Chandos Records, we are proud to announce the release of our recording featuring Holst’s The Planets and Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra – music perfectly suited to NYO and its epic forces of 164 musicians.
From 16 July to 31 August 2017 every time you give a donation two supporters of NYO will match it. Help us reach our target of £40,000!
We're teaming up with charismatic conductor John Wilson again for a concert tour of orchestral brilliance. The journey begins in the chilly isolation of outer space, lands in the middle of a lively Polish party and ends in the radiant warmth of a show stopping Russian symphony.
‘NYO is a community of teenage musicians all committed to creativity and performing music. I'm excited to be part of this special orchestra!’ - Ilai, violin
Meet our 164 brilliant teenage musicians that hail from all corners of the UK. You can discover their unique stories on our webpage - find out what orchestral piece they’re dying to play, or why they think all teenagers should listen to classical music.
If you would like to support our empowering and dynamic work with teenage musicians across the UK, then join in on the Christmas Challenge. For a limited time, all donations to us will be doubled, starting midday Tue 29 November to Fri 2 December when you donate on our special page on The Big Give website.
164 teenage musicians, 6000 people, and the unquantifiable feeling of being transfixed by live orchestral music. That’s the NYO Prom for you. We concluded our Summer Concert Tour at the Royal Albert Hall for our annual performance at the BBC Proms, receiveing a host of glowing reviews - two shining 5 stars from The Telegraph and The Times (!). You can read all the praise here.
NYO launching it's summer tour at Snape Maltings Concert Hall.
Hi! I’m Stuart Bramwell and I play in the first violins in NYO. Having just performed a stunning concert at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall, we now look forward to our concerts in Symphony Hall, Birmingham and the BBC Proms. The concert tour so far has been amazing, and our sell out concert at Snape Maltings was a great start to our chain of performances.
Computer simulation of two black holes merging that lead to the detection of gravitational waves. Photo credit: The Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes
Ahead of premiering our new work Gravitational Waves by Iris ter Schiphorst, we asked astrophysicist Professor Bernard Schutz to give us a rundown on this breakthrough discovery of our time.
Open your ears to the music of the universe…
This summer, we’re shattering the earth’s horizon and venturing into cosmic dimensions of infinite space, sound, and time. Teaming up with conductor Edward Gardner again (the last time was in 2014), our 3-day concert tour sees us return to Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Symphony Hall in Birmingham, and the BBC Proms from the 4th to the 6th of August.
Hi! I'm Bridget and I play the oboe. This year I took part in NYO Inspire for the first time. In February, I went to the NYO Inspire Wind Ensemble Residency where I was one of sixteen in the oboe section! I really enjoyed being part of such a big section and I learnt a lot from the other teenage musicians and our excellent tutor, Melinda Maxwell.
Today starts off a 10-day celebration of epic teenage orchestral music-making on the national level. 74 young musicians from around the UK are coming together to form our second-ever NYO Inspire Orchestra, continuing the bold mission to give breakthrough experiences of orchestral music to teenagers of all backgrounds, both as musicians and as audience members.
After 6 days of rehearsals at the University of Wolverhampton, they will embark on a 4-day concert tour of the West Midlands, bringing orchestral music to their peers in diverse places from schools to art venues to a youth centre. You can catch them in action at mac birmingham (Fri 8 July 6pm) and Forest Arts Centre (Sun 10 July 4pm) - more info here.
Photo © Simon Jay Price: Millie Ashton (NYO Leader) & Sarah Alexander (Chief Executive/Artistic Director) receiving the Ensemble Award on the behalf of NYO.
Big news for the NYO family at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards last night! We were thrilled to have been awarded the Ensemble Award for our work in 2015, and also very honoured to have been nominated alongside such a brilliant shortlist of ensembles – Chineke! Orchestra, the Fidelio Trio, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – who have all made a huge difference to the classical music industry in their own unique ways.
Four NYO Musicians teamed up with four string players from the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO), giving a joint free public performance at the Southbank Centre. This was our first project as Southbank Centre’s newest Associate Orchestra, and it was an insightful and incredible learning experience for our musicians to collaborate with top-class artists from an international orchestra. The project was part of the BFO’s vision to share classical music with a new generation, fulfilling their commitement to play side-by-side with different youth orchestras on each stop of their tour. Patrick, our co-principal second violinist, reflects on what this collaboration meant to him.
We just finished our Blaze of Youth Spring Tour, performing in three stunning halls across the UK – Royal Festival Hall in London, Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool, and The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. It was a scintillating adventure, exploring and performing Stravinsky’s Firebird and Michael Daugherty’s Fire and Blood with conductor Kristjan Järvi and violinist Chad Hoopes.
We're extremely excited to announce that we are now part of Southbank Centre’s brilliant family of Resident and Associate Artists from 2016/17. We launched this partnership at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday 8 April 2016, the first concert of our Blaze of Youth Spring Tour. Along with the announcement, our concert was live-streamed on Southbank Centre’s YouTube channel and you can watch the full concert below.
Hi there! My name is Bruce and this is my third year as a NYO Musician of the bassoon section. After a short Winter Residency, it has been great being able to spend an extended period of time with the rest of the orchestra this spring, getting to know each other both musically and socially.
NYO Musicians got the royal treatment today. They met Her Majesty the Queen this morning and shared the power of peer inspiration to her as she attended an NYO Inspire session at Lister Community School in East London – all part of an incredible day to showcase the work of charities funded by our supporter The Queen’s Trust.
A huge extravaganza of teenage music-making takes over Liverpool this week from 13th to 21st of February. Kick-started last year, NYO Inspire Ensembles will return to the University of Liverpool and has grown dramatically over twice its size this time around.
Sign ups are now open NYO Inspire Days in London (20 March) and Nottingham (29 March)!
We’re excited to announce some incredible collaborations for our 2016/2017 season at the Barbican! We’re teaming up with our friend the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam this December for true orchestral brillaince.
Huge congratulations to our musicians who have made it to the category finals of BBC Young Musician! The NYO family is well-represented in this year's category finalists, making up more than half of the musicians at an astounding 11 out of 20. After having gone through an extensive audition process, current and past NYO Musicians and an NYO Inspire Musician will go on to compete on 6-10 March at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
Presenter Margherita Taylor (left) with Sarah Alexander (right), NYO Chief Executive and Artistic Director. Photo credit: Neil Pugh
We are extremely proud to say that our very own Sarah Alexander, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of NYO, has been named Orchestra Manager of the Year at the fifth annual Association of British Orchestra/Rhinegold Awards, which honour the ‘backstage heroes’ of the classical music industry. We're honoured and grateful to be the first youth orchestra to receive this award.
Photo credit: David Levenson
After our Winter Concerts, the music didn’t stop there - we continued on to our signature Play the School events, bringing orchestral music out of the concert hall to our fellow teenagers. This year, we returned to Lister Community School and Highbury Grove School with conductor Duncan Ward (NYO Alumnus, Composer ‘05-‘07) for two full days of more music-making and peer learning.
On a beautiful sunny winter day, as the world was awaking from the haze of its post-Christmas slumber, Goldsmiths, University of London was a hive of activity as it welcomed our new orchestra – 164 of the UK’s brightest and most committed teenage musicians - for our Winter Residency. Amidst the familiar faces of returning musicians, we welcomed 82 new musicians, so nerves were to be expected.
If you ask an NYO Musician, 'What's been your most memorable experience of NYO?', the answer will nearly always be, 'My first NYO rehearsal'. Before I joined NYO, I'd wondered why people found the NYO rehearsals so special. They didn't sound like they'd be that different from other rehearsals I’d been part of, but I got to experience the difference for myself on the very first day of the Winter Residency.
After our concerts, it'll be our signature Play the School events, where we'll takeover Lister Community School and Highbury Grove School for two full days of more music-making.
Our Winter Residency is less than a week away...
'It's amazing to be a part of such a huge team working together, not just to make music to the highest quality, but to make an impact representing our generation!’ - Eleanor Walton, Viola, High Wycombe
164 teenagers, 164 unique stories, 164 different musical journeys from every corner of the UK. NYO 2016 is truly a national team of brilliant, committed, and passionate teenage musicians, hailing from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, from Cleethorpes to Truro, ready to make a difference in orchestral music.
Drum roll please… we’re very excited to announce that we are now Classic FM’s Orchestra of Teenagers.
We’re teaming up with the radio powerhouse to inspire a new generation of young people to classical music, expanding our total orchestral brilliance to an even bigger audience.
After sixty hours of intense rehearsals in Birmingham, three concerts around the UK, and one big world premiere, we ended our summer in Berlin at the youth orchestra festival, Young Euro Classic.
'Mahler himself could not have imagined it more sensitively realised.'
Classical music writer Norman Lebrecht on our playing of Mahler's Ninth Symphony and what we learned from him when he came to visit us in Birmingham.
I first heard about NYO taking on Mahler’s Ninth Symphony just over a year ago. It was not long before audition season, and I remember listening to the fourth movement on Spotify whilst wondering if I’d be lucky enough to perform it the following summer.
My name is Lily Frascina, I'm 18 from Sheffield, and very excited to have played French horn in the very first NYO Inspire Orchestra!
NYO Inspire Orchestra to tour secondary schools enabling more young musicians than ever to have breakthrough orchestral experience of NYO, and give more teenagers the chance to hear the power of brilliantly-played live orchestral music
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO), the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers, announces the creation of a new NYO Inspire Orchestra.
NYO Composers are the neutrons of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain - you rarely see them but you know they exist. They are an extended part of the orchestra. The Composers are musicians themselves and also have to audition for their spot by portfolio and interview.
We’ve been rehearsing and composing away on our Spring Residency in Durham University. It’s been exciting diving into the music with our new Associate Conductor Duncan Ward, getting to grips with the fine details and colours of our imaginative programme - Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, Percy Grainger’s The Warriors, and Unsuk Chin’s thrilling new work Mannequin.
Unsuk Chin is one of the most imaginative and celebrated composers of our time. We're thrilled to be giving the world premiere of her new work Mannequin on Thursday 9 April at Sage Gateshead. Unsuk shares her musical journey and the ideas behind her new work written especially for us in our Meet the Artist section here.
We'll be performing Mannequin on our world premiere tour around the UK. £5 tickets for under 25s at Sage Gateshead, Victoria Hall (Stoke-on-Trent), and the Royal Festival Hall (part of Strive festival).
Last weekend, NYO wind musicians gathered with teenage musicians from all over the country to take part in the Inspire Wind Ensemble at the University of Liverpool. The aim of the whole weekend was to inspire young people by forming a large ensemble to perform challenging works from the classical repertoire, as well as giving them a taster of what happens at NYO.
Hi! I'm Deronne White. I'm 17, a flautist and I attend Highbury Grove School in London. I was drawn to participate in the Inspire Wind Ensemble through auditioning for NYO and luckily being involved in the NYO music workshops that were held at my school.
After an intense and musically fulfilling past three days, here is a quick recap of what we were up to at Inspire String Ensemble.
Hi! My name is Eddie Curtis. I’m 16, a bass trombone player, and from Essex. I came to NYO Inspire Brass Ensemble to try and see what NYO life is like, and develop some of my playing techniques.
Forty brass players, the works of Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg and Strauss all packed into three days. NYO Inspire Brass Ensemble has begun!
9 music-filled days, 130 Inspire Musicians, 72 NYO Musicians, 21 music hubs, services, organisations and 14 pieces from Purcell to Rimsky-Korsakov. It’s the very first NYO Inspire Ensemble, launching this Saturday at the University of Liverpool!
A giant orchestra of NYO Musicians and Highbury Grove Students under the baton of Zoe Martlew.
The day after our sell-out Barbican concert, I woke up buzzing, still with snippets of Respighi’s Pines of Rome playing on loop in my head. Usually I feel heavy hearted at the idea of going back to normal, non-NYO life, but not this time. Thankfully I was part of the reduced orchestra that would stay on for another three days as part of a very special project in secondary schools - NYO Inspire.
With exciting artistic plans and the launch of NYO Inspire this is an exciting moment to be part of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Development Manager, Trusts and Statutory
We are seeking an experienced Trusts and Statutory Manager to join a team of five Development staff.
John Wilson's first day of the residency with the orchestra was unforgettable. That same day was also the last day with our tutor who had coached and supported us along the way. It meant now it was up to us to put everything we had learned in the past few days in practise!
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain acknowledges with great sadness the passing of Ivey Dickson OBE FRAM. Miss Dickson has been part of NYO since its inception in 1948 and her influence and legacy will always be a central part of this organisation and its future.
Two weeks, three concerts, four fantastic musical works, and five thousand people packed into the Royal Albert Hall. What a great way to finish NYO 2014.
Jenny and OSK musicians performing in Colston Hall, Bristol. (Photo credit: Chris Cooper/Shot Away)
Hi! I’m Jenny and I’ve been a flautist in NYO for two years. As soon as I heard about the project with the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste (OSK), I knew I had to get involved...
Together with the Last Post Project, we're thrilled to have been invited by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to represent the UK at a global event marking the 100th anniversary of the last day of peace before WW1.
Our five-strong ensemble of trumpet, horns, tuba and cornet - Joel Ashford, Ben Goldscheider, Matilda Lloyd, William Barnes-McCallum and Chris Karwacinski - will join performers around the world, performing a specially arranged 'Last Post' that combines the moving music of this final salute with the hymn 'Abide with Me'.
Come and join us at the Library of Birmingham, Amphitheatre this Sunday, 27 July 3pm. You can read more about the event here.
We are delighted to share the news that Britain’s world class teenage orchestra is for the first time to be funded by Arts Council England as one of its new national Portfolio organisations 2015/18.
On hearing the news Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, said: “We are very grateful for this endorsement from Arts Council England - its support of our work will create opportunities for young people to excel and take ownership of classical music. This announcement allows us to build and expand on the internationally recognised work we do with young musicians and endorses our goal to bring the sound and inspiration of NYO to every teenager in the UK through an ambitious new endeavour to expand our role and relevance.”
Being part of NYO was something I knew I always wanted to do; I especially wanted to join as a composer, as the composition section is unique to NYO and would allow me to write music for a whole symphony orchestra of exceptionally talented musicians my own age. After applying I had to...
On Friday, a group of NYO musicians travelled to Newcastle to perform in a musical adaption of the children's classic "We're going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen. This brand new adaption was composed by ex-NYO member Duncan Ward and was performed in Seven Stories (the National Children's Book Centre) to lots of excited young children and parents. Here are a few snaps from throughout the day!
NYO is supported by a committed group of Trusts and Foundations which provide an invaluable source of income for the orchestra allowing it to consistently fulfil its role as Britain's most.