Introducing NYO 2023

Today we launch an extraordinary collective of 156 teenage musicians on their journey as the National Youth Orchestra for 2023, highlighting the impact they will have on their generation.
Today we launch an extraordinary collective of 156 teenage musicians on their journey as the National Youth Orchestra for 2023, highlighting the impact they will have on their generation.

During 2023 the orchestra will perform high-octane concerts at concert halls across the UK, with free tickets for teenagers, and perform directly to teenage audiences in secondary schools. Be the first to hear the 2023 orchestra in our winter concert series. 

Every musician takes an active role as a music ambassador in their state primary school, joining our mission to open up music for young people across the nation.

Teenage musicians from underrepresented backgrounds and state schools will develop and progress with their encouragement of their peers, through NYO Inspire.


The Orchestra of 2023

From Falmouth to Swansea to Aberdeen, via Ipswich and Liverpool, these 156 young musicians from different backgrounds across the UK have reached an exceptionally advanced level of musicianship and enthusiasm to engage with NYO’s mission. They show what is possible in music when young people have the opportunity to take their talents as far as they can go.

You can find out more about our musicians on our Meet the Orchestra page.

The orchestra celebrates the incredible diversity of the UK, representing every UK region. 50% of the orchestra are from state-education and a further 16% are members of the Department for Educations Music and Dance scheme, attending specialist music schools. Female and non-binary musicians take 61% of leadership positions across the orchestra, and 29% musicians are Black, Asian or ethnically diverse. We welcome three musicians at just 13 years old – playing the viola, cello and double bass, alongside three musicians who first played in NYO at thirteen years old and have regained their seats for the fifth time taking on significant role modelling responsibilities. We are delighted that 42% of the orchestra have progressed from NYO Inspire.

During and since the pandemic, young people’s creativity, and resilience in the face of global change has been well-documented. Whether inventing new ways to make music together on Zoom or creating TikTok videos, young people’s need to express themselves is stronger than ever before. The organisation was astounded to receive incredible applications from 621 musicians, showing the determination that teenagers had to take their music as far as it could go despite the tremendous isolation and obstacles of the pandemic – in which many schools completely closed down live music for the last two years. From this inspiring cohort of applicants, 156 young people have been selected to play their part in The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2023.


Taking music to their generation

Everything the orchestra does radiates out as a vital source of inspiration and motivation for other young people:

  • Eight concert hall performances across the nation – spirited performances of diverse repertoire for audiences in concert halls in Liverpool, Nottingham, Birmingham, Coventry, Saffron Walden and London, where tickets are free for teenagers.
  • First ever live stream in collaboration with Barbican Centre as part of their Live from the Barbican series, a chance to enjoy the concert experience from the comfort of your own home, wherever you are in the UK.
  • Taking their exciting performances directly to hundreds of teenagers in state secondary schools in London, Essex and Oldham.
  • 150 performances in primary schools across the country. Each musician will take their own musical spirit and creativity to their local primary school children, as independent and dynamic musical ambassadors, in NYO’s new outreach programme.
  • The orchestra powers the organisations NYO Inspire Programme; every musician plays a role in encouraging NYO Inspire participants to take on new challenges – in 2023 they will back the development of more than 700 other teenage musicians and play alongside many more young musicians through projects with partners across the music education sector.

NYO is providing much-needed opportunities for hundreds of teenagers to express themselves within a safe, welcoming and creative environment, and has opportunities for hundreds of teenage musicians to rise to exceptional challenges through playing music together. Watch this space for further information about events and activities taking place during 2023.