Catalyst roundup and BBC Radio 3 broadcast 

Earlier this month, the entire NYO community came together, united by music and its power to change lives.

The Spring Residency and tour are over, but we’re still pinching ourselves…  

Earlier this month, the entire NYO community came together: 

  • 150 musicians in the Orchestra 
  • 50 musicians that participate in NYO Inspire took to the streets of Liverpool with Play the City 
  • 200 young people participated in NYO Open events and Side by Side rehearsals with the Orchestra in North-West, East of England and London 
  • 26 musicians from The National Brass Band joined us for the Spring Residency and Catalyst tour 
  • Over 1,400 teenagers in the audience in concert halls and unexpected places across the UK 

They were all united by music and its power to change lives. 

The concert tour began at The Tung Auditorium, Liverpool, where musicians from The National Youth Orchestra brought to life some of today’s most daring compositions. It featured Ruminations from the Trombone Concerto by our resident artist, Dani Howard, with current NYO musicians and alumni under the spotlight as trombone soloists.  

Catalyst then travelled to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Royal Festival Hall, London, this time with the full Orchestra, joined by The National Brass Band and conductors, Jessica Cottis and Tess Jackson. The concert halls vibrated to the sounds of Gavin Higgins’ show-stopping Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra. After the interval, the joint forces played a spirited Fanfare by Dani Howard, followed by the defiant strains of Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. Whilst at Southbank Centre, ‘NYO players took to the ballroom under their own steam’ before the Catalyst performance even began, moving the audience to the beats of Julius Eastman’s provocative Stay On It. 

The sight of multitudes of strings, wind, brass is always a thrill. The addition of a superb young brass band was another matter.
This performance had many highlights: the way Jackson conjured real anticipation in the opening hush; awe-inspiring chords that gathered in power; expressive and true cornet solos; and powerful metallic, percussive industrial sounds, evoking the thwacks of pickaxes striking coal.
Throughout the performance, the players seemed to almost shrug off the technical demands, displaying impressive and dazzling control.
Their cumulative playing was impressive to say the absolute least.
An outstanding musical collaboration

For those who couldn’t attend in person or want to hear the concert again, we have great news! The Royal Festival Hall performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 23 April 7.30pm, and available on BBC Sounds for 30 days. 

Thank you for playing your part in the NYO Community. Be sure to connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and X, and subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates!