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NYOS applications and auditions 2023

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THE National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) is back! Next year will be one of exploration as changes are announced to its classical pathway. The NYOS Development Orchestra will replace junior and senior orchestras, the upper age limit for symphony orchestra applications is reduced to 22 years old, and courses are slightly longer than in recent years.

Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, NYOS chief executive, said: “After this year’s fantastic return to live music-making, our ambition is to ensure that NYOS remains relevant, responsive, accessible and inclusive. We will continue to provide the best orchestral education and performance opportunities for young musicians living and studying in Scotland, as well as those with Scottish connections based further afield. In response to feedback from the NYOS community, our 2023 courses will be slightly longer than in recent years as we seek to offer the very best musical opportunities and create a relaxed, focused, and fun learning environment.”

The inspirational musical experiences begin in spring 2023 with multi-award-winning Scottish guitar virtuoso Sean Shibe, a celebrated and versatile soloist who is building a reputation as one of the world’s leading guitarists supported by a critically acclaimed discography. Sean performs with NYOS Symphony Orchestra in April concerts presented as part of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s 2022-23 season. The orchestra will also perform Mahler’s Symphony No.7, a boundary- pushing early 20th-century masterpiece, which juxtaposes lush German romanticism in the spirit of Richard Strauss and Wagner with experimental tonality and an unconventional orchestra including a tenor horn, cowbells, and mandolin.

Conductors Catherine Larsen-Maguire and Martyn Brabbins will bring a wealth of experience of working with professional orchestras and ensembles as well as an established history of conducting NYOS ensembles. They will offer our members a truly special opportunity to improve their ensemble playing and musicianship.

Catherine, symphony orchestra conductor for spring 2023: “I am so much looking forward to experiencing the energy and enthusiasm of the NYOS young musicians again. Mahler 7 is one of my absolute favourite pieces and working on it and performing it with this orchestra will be so exciting. The combination of NYOS, Mahler and our charismatic soloist should ensure that the concerts will be unforgettable.

Natalia Luis-Bassa, a dynamic conductor and passionate advocate for young musicians, makes a welcome return to conduct the NYOS Development Orchestra. Natalia has performed an exceptional job of guiding the junior orchestra through challenging repertoire over the past three years, and players will have a unique opportunity to perform orchestral repertoire and hone their musical (and many extra-musical) skills in a welcoming and fun environment supported by expert instrumental tutors. This year’s repertoire will include the enduringly popular Finlandia by Sibelius, a turbulent and rousing tribute to the composer’s homeland, and Errollyn Wallen’s moving and evocative exploration of slavery and freedom, Mighty River, which combines spirituals and contemporary classical techniques to powerful effect.

The development orchestra will prepare many young musicians for a successful future audition for NYOS Symphony Orchestra but will most importantly provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy playing exciting repertoire with peers from across Scotland.

Natalia, development orchestra conductor for 2023, said: “Our programme in 2023 will be an opportunity to explore a wide range of music that will expand our young musicians’ technique and appreciation of music. It will be also a great way to explore the dynamics of being a member of an orchestra and learn how everyone’s part is important to the whole ensemble. I can’t wait to perform great music together because after all, we are here to have a fun musical experience.”

You are eligible to apply to NYOS if you are Scottish, live in Scotland are studying in Scotland or have Scottish connections.

You can you to apply for a bursary if you are eligible. Auditions are free and course bursaries of up to 100 per cent are available. Application deadline is September 29.

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