NYO is committed to musical excellence, and to giving young musicians the challenge of playing the greatest orchestral music. From Beethoven's Symphony No.9 to Mahler's Symphony No.5, our orchestra delivers unforgettable accounts of the most monumental works of the orchestral repertoire. But we also explore what it is for an orchestra of teenagers – who have lived most of their lives in the 21st century – to play the works of their time. We are radically creative in commissioning new works and programming innovative 20th-century music. We explore what it is to be young British musicians through contact with British composers. Thoughtful thematic programming draws links across the decades, widening the members' appreciation not only of the orchestral repertoire but the history and politics that surround each work, and the myriad ways in which composers take inspiration from, and oppose themselves to, each other. We are encouraging NYO members to stretch their musical minds with pieces that sometimes involve improvisation, complex pulse and rhythm patterns and new tonalities.
Seven young composers form a unique rank in the orchestra, developing new music as a Creative Hub with orchestra members.