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 champion the ‘backstage heroes’ of the classical music industry. We're honoured and grateful to be the first youth orchestra to receive this award.
The awards were presented by Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor at the ABO conference dinner last night. Here is what they said about Sarah:
'It takes considerable courage and great skill for any manager to challenge convention and deliver beneficial change. Our winner this year harnessed both attributes to make a significant difference to one of the country’s most admired arts organisations in 2015. Under her leadership NYO has widened its recruitment base, touching the lives of 1,556 young musicians and almost 4,000 audience members from the state school sector, 2,800 teenagers among them. Its NYO Inspire project lived up to its name, driven by an extensive programme of peer-led ensemble workshops, performance opportunities, and a 10-day Inspire Orchestra Residency. Its high aspirations, receptive attitude and egalitarian vision recall the noble spirit surrounding NYO’s creation in the post-war world. They also reflect her ongoing work to rebalance the proportion of state and private school pupils in membership of the 164-strong NYO from one in two to nine in ten.
While NYO Inspire sowed seeds for the future, last year’s crop of NYO players set down vintage performances, embracing symphonies by Mahler and Elgar, reviving Percy Grainger’s The Warriors, and giving life to new scores by Unsuk Chin and Tansy Davies. Sir Mark Elder, who conducted NYO at the BBC Proms and on tour in Berlin, noted how the NYO Inspire mentoring experience had brought increased maturity and heightened expressive freedom and confidence to the orchestra’s exceptional teenaged talent. The energy and positivity generated by our winner and her young administrative team were widely credited within and outside the organisation as factors contributing to a genuine golden age in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain's history.'
Congratulations again to Sarah!