The Perse School

Perse musicians make National Youth Orchestra debuts

29 Jan 2018

Kilian Meissner and Holly Woods (both Year 11) have expressed their delight at performing in their first concert with the National Youth Orchestra.

The Perse musicians both featured in the viola section during the NYO’s recent tour, which included concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall and the Barbican in London.

The concerts were led by internationally-renowned conductor Sir Mark Elder and featured performances of Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake, Dukas’ The Sorceror’s Apprentice and Duke Blackbeard’s Castle by Bartok.

Kilian said while he had been excited about playing with the NYO, the experience exceeded his expectations.

He said: “The atmosphere was electric and it was almost possible to sense the passion for music radiating off everyone around me.

“Not only was the standard of music-making incredible, but everyone also seemed so accepting and inclusive and I felt instantly as if I had found a second home. The people I met and the friends I made there were some of the kindest people I have ever met, and the joy they exuded, not only whilst playing, but also as people, never failed to brighten my day.

“Our tutor, Richard, was fantastic and thorough, yet forgiving, and I immediately felt part of a very warm and competent section. Sir Mark Elder, our conductor, not only made our three-hour rehearsals seem to pass in three minutes, but also had a very clear vision of the piece. I enjoyed it hugely.”

Meanwhile, Holly was elated to have performed in such prestigious venues as part of the NYO.

She said: “Playing in such amazing concert halls was such a great experience, especially the Barbican as I have been watching concerts there for so long, it was so great to finally play there.

“Performing is always nerve-racking as you have one shot to show off hours of hard work, but the atmosphere was basically pure excitement back stage. The concerts all went so well and they got better each night.

“Mark Elder is such a fantastic conductor, working with him was amazing. I felt like I learned so much and he definitely brought the most out of the repertoire that we played.

“Although I didn’t speak to him myself, on the last day he gave us a speech about orchestral music and classical music amongst young people which was very inspiring.”

Listen to Kilian and Holly performing with the NYO in Nottingham here.



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