Tuesday, 29 November 2016

NYO: Increasing diversity

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) has announced its line-up for the 2016/17 season, 164 young musicians in all aged between 13 and 19. Rather impressively 21.9% of the new intake of NYO musicians identify as non-white British, which is 7.3% above than the national population average, and a 4.9% increase on the previous year. 28 of this year's musicians participated in the NYO Inspire programme, which aims to encourage talented musicians particularly in state schools and targeted at increasing all aspects of diversity: racial background, socio-economic background and access to music services. Over the past decade NYO has moved from 35% to 51% state school musicians plus 3% home-schooled and 49% from the private sector, with the private sector figure including the 18% at specialist music schools as part of the government’s Music and Dance Scheme.

The new leader of the NYO is Leora Cohen. The NYO musicians have a week-long residency at the University of Nottingham in late December, with conductor John Wilson (see my interview with John), culminating in concerts in Nottingham (5/1/2017), Birmingham (6/1/2017), and the Royal Festival Hall (7/1/2017, where the orchestra is now an associate orchestra), performing Szymanowski's Symphony No. 4, Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 and Brett Dean's Komarov's Fall.

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