The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) has announced its 2019 orchestra and season. The 164 teenage musicians represent every region in the country and have been selected following 76 days of auditions held in 11 cities across the country where 710 musicians took part in auditions.

The Purcell School is extremely proud to have 8 students chosen to be part of this year’s NYO; Yasmin Strevens-Chen (Co-Leader Violin 1), Lily Harwood (Principal Violin 2), Isabelle Norwood (Double Bass), Joseph Longstaff (Horn), Bethany Caswell (Principal Harp), Alexander Papp (Composer), Sasha Scott (Composer) and Rhys Concessao (Rotational Orchestra Keyboard), their success is nothing short of spectacular!

The 2019 NYO will meet for the first time this December, rehearsing in residence at the University of Warwick with conductor Kirill Karabits – Chief Conductor of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Together they will explore music inspired by human anxieties in a changing modern world, including John Adams’s Doctor Atomic Symphony, Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 and a new arrangement of Rick Dior’s Science Fiction which has been specially re-orchestrated for NYO and will be performed alongside a film projection featuring sci-fi movie scenes. Presented by NYO musicians, it tours Warwick Arts Centre (4 January), London’s Barbican (5 January) and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall (7 January). Following this, NYO returns to the Barbican in February to take part in the world premiere performance of a new “National Anthem” written by British Indian musician Nitin Sawhney. The piece reflects the highs and lows of Brexit and reflects on modern day characteristics of Great Britain: multi-culturalism, diversity and openness.

NYO’s plans to achieve its first ever USA tour were announced earlier this year alongside a major fundraising campaign chaired by David Warburton MP. Centred around an invitation to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall, plans for the tour also include a performance at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, cultural exchange with fellow teenagers from NYO USA and side-by-side projects. The programme will include Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto performed by Nicola Benedetti and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The performance also tours in the UK to Stoke on Trent Festival (25 July) and Saffron Hall (26 July).