NYO 2017 transported us on a truly lively winter journey. Our 164 musicians came together for the first time in late December and spent a week rehearsing at the University of Nottingham, studying the music and perfecting every little detail with NYO Tutors, conductor John Wilson, and guest pianist Tamara Stefanovich.
And, of course, we made some time to tackle the Mannequin Challenge in epic NYO style..
If you thought that was 'wow', wait to hear about our concert tour to Nottingham, Birmingham, and London. We opened each concert with a surprise – our new commission ‘Suspended Between Earth and Air’ by NYO Composer Lauren Marshall that was conducted by NYO cellist Josh Mock. This mesmerising work left audiences enchanted by the creative imagination of our musicians. You can discover more about Lauren’s inspirations behind the piece and her playlist of musical influences in our Q&A with her.
‘…one of the orchestra’s cellists, Joshua Mock, had conducted a beautifully paced account of Suspended Between Earth and Air, by NYO’s principal composer scholar, 16-year-old Lauren Marshall, which unfolds a sequence of striking musical images – fluttering woodwind, dense packed clusters and a final, enigmatic chorale – in a wonderfully assured way.’
‘…a miracle of inspiration … pretty astonishing … the impression made by Marshall’s large-scale yet compact, beautifully argued piece and its use of a bigger-than-Wagner sized orchestra was astonishing: so atmospheric…’ Seen and Heard International
‘… grew from silence to encompass the whole orchestra, cleverly exploiting individual instrumental sonorities as well as the weight of them all.’
‘…Lauren Marshall clearly possesses genuine textural imagination which she is unafraid to use … resulting in music that exerts a curious fascination.’
Then, under the baton of John Wilson, it was onwards to the ethereal colours of Brett Dean’s Komarov’s Fall, the dazzling vibrancy of Szymanowski’s Symphonie Concertante with guest pianist Tamara Stefanovich, and the heartfelt warmth of Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony.
‘The performance never faltered, never lost energy, never came even momentarily unstuck, and had so many heartstopping moments that I wondered if I should take myself straight to A&E for a precautionary defibrillation.’ ★★★★ The Times
‘…a thrilling display of teenage talent.’
★★★★ The Guardian
‘…a surgingly intense performance of Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony … as if the music
could hardly contain its own passion.'
★★★★ The Telegraph
‘the most sumptuous performance of Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony one is likely to hear…its heart-on-sleeve themes played with all the passion, sincerity and
energy which such a super-concentration of youthful talent could muster.’
‘I have not heard a finer or more penetrating account of [Rachmaminov’s Second Symphony
in more than sixty years of concert-going.’
‘…an orchestra of marvellous flair and panache, profoundly intelligent, miraculously accurate, immensely responsive to scores of different hues, romantic and modern,
producing a thrilling overall sound that is sheer joy to listen to.’
Seen and Heard International
‘…how music should be played – with verve, panache, and passion.’
‘To say the NYO of Great Britain is one of the finest musical organisations in the country is
to err on the side of understatement. They are simply wonderful.’
Vin’s Polyphonic Mystical Raincoat
You can still catch our BBC Radio 3 live broadcast from Symphony Hall, Birmingham on iPlayer for a month.