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NYO Winter 2014 Reviews

Financial Times ★ ★ ★ ★
‘Mahler’s Symphony No 5 brought out the very best that the NYO has to offer: precision, adrenaline-fuelled drive, and, most intoxicating of all, an unrestrained joy in the act of making music. …the lasting impression, as the finale accelerated towards its goal, was of a group of musicians doing what this orchestra is famous for doing so well: discovering the classical canon and loving it to pieces.’ Hannah Nepil, Financial Times. Read more

Evening Standard ★ ★ ★ ★
‘With 150 players onstage, its performance of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony had an almost supernatural power. After the yearning trumpet solo which begins the symphony, the entry of the whole orchestra shook the foundations of both body and soul.’ Nick Kimberley, Evening Standard. Read more

Observer ★ ★ ★ ★
‘..this year’s intake is a classy vintage, with some stand-out principal soloists; to name but three: daredevil percussionist Matthew Farthing, 18, gripping his cymbals with the steely nerve of a rally driver; Matilda Lloyd, the 18-year-old trumpeter who played the opening solo, not for the faint-hearted, impeccably; and 17-year-old principal horn Joel Ashford, who made this most challenging of instruments sound easeful and lyrical.’ Fiona Maddocks, Observer. Read more

The Arts Desk ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
‘Middle-period Mahler can be hair-raising enough under normal circumstances. In this performance of the Fifth Symphony, the angst and intensity dials had been turned up to 11. Every orchestral colour shone with greater intensity, and each change in dynamics registered with piercing clarity. Which could only mean that this year’s freshly reconstituted National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain were giving their first concert of the season.

Half of these musicians have only been playing in the NYO for less than a week. That the quality remains so consistently high each year is remarkable – credit is due to the orchestra’s musical and pastoral backstage staff. Close your eyes and you’d think that you were hearing an elite European band at the top of its game. Open them and you gaze in wonder at 163 fairly normal-looking adolescents, playing out of their skins.’ Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk. Read more

The Times ★ ★ ★ ★
‘Here was an orchestra hungry to be heard, and it devoured this music with a voracity that was impossible to resist. Mahler called this music, “primeval . . . this roaring, raging sea of sound”, and the great swell of the NYO’s brass at full tilt — parts are often doubled or tripled in this orchestra to accommodate the huge number of players — or from the forest of double basses had an almost feral energy.’ Neil Fisher, The Times. Read more

The Guardian ★ ★ ★ ★
‘Though the NYO ethos is all about crafting an ensemble, there is individual brilliance where called for. Pursing her lips in preparation for the introductory fanfare of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony must rank among the most terrifying moments of 18-year-old principal trumpet Matilda Lloyd’s life, but her grace under pressure set the tone for a sublimely assured traversal of the work. The horns danced through the Scherzo with the security of any professional ensemble, while the numinous blending of strings during the Adagio would have distinguished a section that had been playing together for years, let alone a five-day workshop.’ Alfred Hickling, The Guardian. Read more

The Telegraph ★ ★ ★ ★
‘Not only one of the youngest youth orchestras in the world – aged 13 to 19 – the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain is also one of the most ambitious.’ John Allison, The Telegraph. Read more

NYO reviews Summer 2013

NYO reviews Spring 2013

NYO reviews Winter 2013

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