This winter, 164 teenage musicians came together for the first time, immersing themselves entirely in the music of revolutionary spirit; music with a point to make about the world. Our community of teenagers raised their voices, quite literally, kicking off the concert with a workers' song by Eisler, Auf den Strassen zu singen, before exploring powerful works by Britten and Shostakovich: Sinfonia da Requiem and Symphony No. 11.
The performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 13 January 2020 at 7.30pm
Celebrating their love for orchestral music, our musicians committed to seven days of rehearsals in residence at the University of Warwick. They worked together in their sections with our expert team of tutors, our brilliant associate conductor Lee Reynolds, and alongside Chief Conductor of the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Jaime Martín, and toured their performance to three major UK concert halls: Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry, Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham and the Barbican Centre in London.
The reviews are in, here’s what the critics say…
'Every moment was energised... few performances of Shostakovich will top this'
★★★★★ The Times
'Keep on rising up, young musicians. The world is listening.'
★★★★★ The Arts Desk
'The versatile young musicians played – and even sang – with ferocity in a stirring concert'
★★★★ The Guardian
'The National Youth Orchestra show the Barbican they've really got something to say'
★★★★ The Telegraph
'Vivid, brooding, ferocious... The teenage musicians of the National Youth Orchestra delivered a passionate call to arms'
★★★★ The Observer
'This was a triumph, a celebration of the power of youth: not only in the quality of the performances, but in these musicians’ ability to convey a message.'
Seen & Heard International
'There was fine commitment in the playing throughout, with martial trumpet fanfares and lustrous flutes in The Palace Square, a beautifully sensitive viola lament in Eternal Memory and a heartfelt cor anglais solo in Tocsin.'
You can tune in to the BBC Radio 3 broadcast, available for 30 days via BBC Sounds.
You can additionally download the concert programme, here.
Photograph by © Jason Alden.