Perse musician takes on prestigious National Youth Orchestra position
10 Jan 2019
Kilian Meissner (Lower Sixth) took on the prestigious role of string leader in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s opening concerts of 2019.
Having already performed with the NYO last year, the viola player was given the demanding post as the orchestra launched their season with concerts at Warwick Arts Centre, the Barbican in London and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall.
He said: “It was a great honour to be given the position of string leader with the NYO. It’s a position of responsibility given to two people per section to support the principal in the section and ensure everyone keeps together.
“I auditioned for the NYO and then they assign seating and positions of responsibility to certain people based on the audition and also from their performances last year. Being given the position of string leader was very exciting.”
The NYO’s winter concerts saw Kilian and his colleagues perform Rick Dior’s work Science Fiction, adapted for the orchestra having been originally composed for percussionists, John Adams’ Dr Atomic Symphony and Sibelius’ second symphony.
Chief Conductor of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Kirill Karabits took the baton for the concerts and Kilian found him a joy to work with.
He said: “It was really exciting. He was very inspiring, but also had a laidback demeanour. I think everyone had a lot of fun in the rehearsals. It didn’t feel like everyone had to be serious, although we all had our heads down in the music all the time.”
Kilian will be joined by pianist and fellow Perse student Julia De Luca (Upper Sixth) for the NYO’s remaining concerts this year, which continue in April with a programme featuring works by Revueltas, Chavez, Gershwin and Copland at London’s Southbank Centre, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. They will also be appearing in an NYO concert, featuring world-renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti, at Saffron Hall on 26 July before heading off to play in Berlin.
Listen to Kilian talk more about why he enjoys being involved in the NYO below.