The orchestra assembles thrice-yearly during school holidays, at New Year, Easter and Summer for two-week residential courses, coached by tutors. Repertoire includes a wide variety of works by Romantic, 20th century and contemporary composers including James MacMillan, Thomas Adès, and most recently Julian Anderson, Judith Weir and Gabriel Prokofiev. In addition to the main orchestral activity they have time to participate in a range of activities including chamber music, physical workshops, dance, singing, improvisation and establish friendships.
Venues for their concerts include Barbican Hall, (London), Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall, (Manchester), The Sage Gateshead, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool and Royal Festival Hall, London. Every year they play in a Promenade Concert in the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate young British talent. Performances in 2011, for example, included Gabriel Prokofiev's Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra with DJ Switch, Britten's Piano Concerto and Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet televised at the BBC Proms, Leoš Janáček's Sinfonietta (which required an enlarged brass section) under Kristjan Järvi and Gustav Mahler's epic final masterpiece, Symphony No. 10, completed by Deryck Cooke, as part of the Southbank Centre's Mahler centenary celebrations. Contemporary music is also an important part of their repertoire. In August 2010 as part of their performance at the BBC Proms (marking the conclusion of their Summer course) the orchestra gave the London premiere of British composer Julian Anderson's latest orchestral showpiece,Fantasias, under Semyon Bychkov, which had been commissioned specially for the highly virtuosic Cleveland Orchestra who gave the world premiere in November 2009. The NYO also gave the European premiere of the same work at Birmingham Symphony Hall. In April 2010 the orchestra expanded to a huge 173 players to focus on the entire orchestral works of Edgard Varèse, including the first UK performance of Varèse's most famous piece in its original version from 1921, Amériques, under Paul Daniel. Their concert at Royal Festival Hall was the climax of the Varèse 360° event, in which the NYO and London Sinfonietta (under David Atherton) performed the entire works of Varèse over one weekend as part of the Southbank Centre's annual Ether festival. Courses also feature encounters between NYO members and younger musicians so they can pass on their passion and expertise to the next generation.
Read more about this topic: National Youth Orchestra Of Great Britain
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“The inconveniences and horrors of the pox are perfectly well known to every one; but still the disease flourishes and spreads. Several million people were killed in a recent war and half the world ruined; but we all busily go on in courses that make another event of the same sort inevitable. Experientia docet? Experientia doesnt.”
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