Issued 4 December 2008

Event info

For most young classical musicians, the chance to play with the National Youth Orchestra is the stuff of dreams. Now six gifted Midlands players have been selected to join the cream of young musicians performing with the orchestra at Symphony Hall on Tuesday 6 January. They will play two of the most iconic and dramatic works of the 20th century – Strauss?s An Alpine Symphony and Berio?s musical collage Sinfonia – in a concert which promises to enliven all-comers. And in a major initiative to encourage more youngsters to hear live classical music, the NYO is offering all seats for £5 for everyone under 25.

The young musicians, aged between 13 and 19, from Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Cannock, Barston, Stafford and Stoke on Trent, will join the elite orchestra whose alumni include such famous names as Sir Simon Rattle.

Trumpeter Rob Smith from Cannock says, ?The NYO is an amazing opportunity to express our passion by doing something we do best, playing fantastic music at a professional standard and performing in some of the country?s most famous concert halls, we can really show audiences what we young musicians can really do.?

The orchestra is equally committed to encouraging young people to hear, as well as participate in, classical music. Offering tickets to under 25s for £5, NYO Marketing Manager, James Murphy says, ?The NYO has massive potential to inspire young people and transform their perceptions of classical music. We hope this offer will enable more of them to venture into concert halls, sit in the best seats and experience the incredible energy and excitement of seeing and hearing 160 of their peers making amazing music.?

The National Youth Orchestra, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, performs Strauss?s An Alpine Symphony, Berio?s Sinfonia and a newly-created work Bow-Wave by Peter Wiegold at Symphony Hall, Birmingham on Tuesday 6 January. Tickets available from 0121 780 3333 or on-line at


Note to Editors

Tuesday 6 January, 7.30pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
With London Voices
Semyon Bychkov conductor

Peter Wiegold Bow-Wave (world premiere)
Luciano Berio Sinfonia
Richard Strauss An Alpine Symphony

Ticket prices: £5-£37.50 (with reductions)
All seats £5 for under 25s
Free pre-concert talk at 6.15pm
Box Office 0121 780 3333

Further performances take place at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (Wed 7 Jan) and Roundhouse, London (Fri 9 Jan)

Midlands performers:

Susanna Quirke, violin – Sutton Coldfield
Emily Pond, viola – Stoke on Trent
Joss Brookes, cello – Hall Green
Hannah Morgan, oboe – Stafford
Robert Smith, trumpet – Cannock, Staffs
Sarah Watts-Tibbatts, violin – Barston

Player quotes:

?The NYO is an amazing opportunity to express our passion by doing something we do best, playing fantastic music at a professional standard and performing in some of the country’s most famous concert halls, we can really show audiences what we young musicians can really do. Symphony Hall is an amazing place to perform and after many concerts both sitting in the orchestra and in the audience, watching and playing such a wide range of music, the acoustic, look and atmosphere never grows old and I don’t think it ever will!?
Rob Smith, trumpet, Cannock, Staffs

?With NYO we play all round the country, but Symphony Hall remains the favourite venue of many of us. We played the Rite of Spring on that stage last Easter and created the most monstrously epic sound I?ve ever been part of. Now we?re bringing Strauss?s An Alpine Symphony here in January, and I could tell you I don?t think we?ll do it again… but I?d be lying.?
Susanna Quirke, violin, Sutton Coldfield

National Youth Orchestra

?the most uplifting orchestra in the world? The Times, April 2008

?The NYO has been a fantastic advertisement for this country for years. Their performances should be celebrated wherever they play.? Julian Lloyd Webber

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain engages musicians aged 13 to 19 in a unique musical experience. The 160-strong Orchestra aims to share this experience with audiences nationally through fresh, relevant and inspirational performances with outstanding international artists like conductors Vasily Petrenko and Antonio Pappano. The NYO reaches a national audience in excess of 1.4 million through its concerts, educational projects, radio and television broadcasts. The NYO meets three times a year for a residential course comprising intensive sectional rehearsals and holistic workshops for voice, movement, conducting, improvisation and musicology. Through a range of creative projects, our musicians explore new relationships, processes and platforms, fuelling their interpretation and perceptions of the Orchestra?s main symphonic repertoire. NYO musicians are recruited annually from a broad range of backgrounds. Any player of Grade 8 standard and any promising young composer can audition for a place. Candidates are selected by musical potential and ability, and their membership fees are significantly subsided, with bursaries offered to all members in need of financial support. The Orchestra?s alumni are some of the world?s finest musicians, including Sir Simon Rattle, Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Guy Johnston, Alison Balsom, Robin Ticciati, Judith Weir and Thomas Adès.