National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain among Snape Proms highlights
- Credit: Archant
Snape Proms is almost upon us. Among those returning to Aldeburgh is the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, which will perform a world premiere with Sir Mark Elder. Entertainment writer Wayne Savage found out more
It’s been described as the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers and includes several East Anglian musicians among its ranks.
Sixteen-year-old Ipswich double bassist Peter Farthing, 19-year-old principal double bassist Joseph Cowie from Colchester, 15-year-old Cambridge violinist Patrick Bevan, 14-year-old Cambridge violinist Tess Jackson, 15-year-old Norwich trumpeter George Jefford and the rest of the 163-strong orchestra have their work cut out for them when they appear at Snape Maltings Concert Hall on August 6 - their first visit since 2012.
Under the baton of Sir Mark Elder, the performance includes the world première of Re-greening by Tansy Davies, written especially for them; and Mahler’s popular symphony his Ninth. Re-greening, the second new work written especially for NYO this year, is performed without a conductor and partly from memory. Uninhibited by music stands, they will move, dance, sing, play and push themselves.
The Aldeburgh concert promises to be bold, ambitious and inspiring says the NYO’s chief executive and artistic director, Sarah Alexander.
“This summer perfectly demonstrates the newly-defined mission of the orchestra as we raise the artistic bar higher than ever through new commissions, world-class performances and consolidating our international reputation.
“The musicians of the NYO represent the best our country’s teenagers have to offer, flying the flag very proudly both here and abroad, and we are thrilled to be returning to the beautiful coastal setting of Aldeburgh whose audiences we have always found to be responsive and enthusiastic. I look forward to offering Aldeburgh audiences a taste of some of our country’s most talented musicians.”
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Ahead of the NYO’s four-city concert tour at the beginning of August, the 14 to 19-year-old musicians - drawn from every corner of the UK and a wider range of social backgrounds than ever before – met in Birmingham for week-long intensive rehearsals and workshops with leading professionals.
A further highlight of their ambitious summer is the orchestra’s first trip abroad in 20 years to take part in renowned youth festival Young Euro Classic which includes some of the world’s finest youth orchestras. Joining orchestras from as far afield as China, the NYO will perform in Berlin’s celebrated Konzerthaus.
The Aldeburgh concert is part of this year’s Snape Proms season, running August 1-31, which features artists from around the UK as well as America, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Romania and Russia.
Comprising folk, roots, world, classical, jazz, poetry and family music; headliners include Gabrielle, one of a number of stars making their Snape debut; Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby, John Wilson Orchestra, Beth Nielsen Chapman and Courtney Pine.
The John Wilson Orchestra opens the proms with a celebration of Cole Porter and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra closes the season with an evening of 1960s pop hits, from Andy Williams to the Beach Boys.
The BBC Concert Orchestra will make a special two-concert visit, with a live broadcast on BBC Radio 2 of Friday Night Is Music Night and a programme of English music including Elgar and Vaughan Williams.
The music of Strauss and Schumann will be performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a special one-off collaboration with the Royal Opera House’s music director Antonio Pappano.
“I’m really excited about Snape Proms this year. I’m really glad we’ve got BBC Radio 2 coming to us live. The BBC Concert Orchestra give us an opportunity, just on those two nights, to reach a million people and we’re going to be part of BBC Music Day on June 5 – getting across the range of music making in Suffolk,” says Roger Wright, chief executive of Aldeburgh Music.
Smaller-scale events see Snape recital debuts from young pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and classical guitarist Miloš Karadagli. Other acts include American baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire with Alina Ibragimova and two concerts from the Borodin Quartet from Moscow, celebrating its 70th year. Meanwhile, the family-friendly Come and Sing gives you the chance to sing along with music from the ever-popular film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The annual Poetry Prom, one of the UK’s largest live poetry events and presented by The Poetry Trustone, features Mark Doty and Naomi Shihab Nye.
Mr Wright adds: “It’s a wonderful range of music going beyond the traditional classical fare... The atmosphere will be a fun one as ever.”
For the full programme click here.