On 11 August, the National Youth Orchestra will return to the Proms, along with the National Youth Choir, Irish Youth Chamber Choir, and Codetta. Nearly 400 teenagers will perform on one of the world’s most famous stages, forming a fitting spectacle for a glorious celebration of the commission of Beethoven’s ninth symphony.
NYO are enormously lucky to be invited to the Proms again this year, and it is frequently the highlight of any member’s musical year. Some of our players have had the fortune to already have played with the orchestra at the Proms over the last couple of years, so who better to tell the story than themselves? During our rehearsals this summer, we asked what makes this event so special, and what they’re looking forward to this year:
‘Playing at the Albert Hall is an incredible experience in itself, but joining with the magnitude of massed choirs really takes it to the next level. Add Beethoven 9 into the equation and you get a really explosive combination!’ Anna Lapwood, harp
‘It's an incredible experience playing at the BBC Proms. The atmosphere backstage before a concert is electrifying and like no other concert venue, not only because the concert is recorded for both live radio and television, but also because NYO always attracts the most passionate, excited and youthful of audiences to the concert series! The orchestra really up their game for the appearance at the RAH and you can feel the energy and passion coming from 170 young musicians putting their heart and soul into the music...it's really something special to be part of!' Michael Devlin, clarinet
‘Performing in the Royal Albert Hall really is an amazing experience. To think of all the amazing artists who've graced the stage before makes me cherish every minute I am there.’ YeYe Xu, violin
‘It’s exhilarating to be part of this meeting of the old and the new: a dynamic youth orchestra in a historic concert hall, with a programme ranging from the classic to the cutting-edge. Nothing is more thrilling than being part of the Proms, during the height of summer, seeing so many people enjoying the music that I hold so close to my heart.' Fien Barnett-Niefs, harp