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3 young musicians each playing an instrument

NYO Musicians Under The Spotlight

Wednesday 5 January 2022

As the acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) return to the Warwick Arts Centre stage for our first concert of 2022, we find out more from two participants, violinist Maxim Lavrov and clarinet player Phoenix Mombru.

The teenage musicians who make up the NYO come from all over the UK, and from very different backgrounds – but they're bound together by their love for orchestral music, and their desire to open up orchestral music to other young musicians, regardless of their background or access to music education.

Their forthcoming performance in our Butterworth Hall - entitled Open Up & Let Loose! (Friday 7 January 2022) - sees the NYO present Thomas Adès' Dawn (a piece conceived as a social distancing tool), Gabriela Lena Frank's southern American-flavoured Latin American Dances, and Rachmaninoff's dazzling Symphonic Dances.

Maxim Lavrov
Violin 1, Leader Warwick Arts Centre

"I’m excited to be leading the orchestra in our concert at Warwick Arts Centre. 

"As part of my musical journey, I am very lucky to have been involved in musical groups throughout my secondary school education – this includes smaller ensembles, a chamber orchestra, symphony orchestra and more. On reflection of these experiences, I understood that not every teenager has access to the same opportunities, and so I was delighted to participate in NYO Inspire activities, supporting other young musicians in their musical journey.

"Now in my third year in the NYO Community, I cannot wait to explore new music-making opportunities. I look forward to meeting new musicians, communicating and exchanging ideas with them and collaborating together during our residential activity at the University of Warwick. Being in a community of people who are so passionate about music drives me to be my best self, musically and otherwise, and this is such a hub for creativity and exciting musical communication.

"I also love how the repertoire of our concert demonstrates rhythm, groove and also the absence of both. The same way loudness contrasts with silence in music, the feeling of going in and out of a groove is really interesting to me. I hope our performance at the Warwick Arts Centre can showcase the importance and profound effect of rhythm, taking our audiences on a journey of emotion, freedom and release."

Phoenix Mombru

"I cannot wait to welcome you to our concert at Warwick Arts Centre.

"Orchestral playing has always been an important part of my life: growing up, I have been lucky to be surrounded by music. I was a member of the National Children's Orchestra and have always had access to school orchestras and chamber groups, which I now realise is not often the case for young people, who struggle to access musical opportunities. NCO provided my first experiences of classical music and orchestral playing and those memories remain cherished to this day. 

"Now, after a year of limited performance opportunities, I am thrilled to be a part of NYO 2022! What excites me most about being an NYO musician is the strength of the community that NYO forms, within the orchestra, with NYO Inspire musicians, and with young people who enjoy watching NYO concerts. It's a pleasure and a privilege to be part of a community of such passionate young musicians. Having worked with NYO throughout lockdown, I can attest that what defines NYO is not just the live courses or concerts, but the experience of sharing a love of music with so many other teenagers.

"I am passionate about this repertoire and orchestral music in general because it can go where words can’t. Music can reach memories, feelings and depths of emotion which otherwise remain lost and provide a universal form of expression. Music has increased my understanding of and appreciation for myself and the world and people around me, and I hope everyone listening to our performance at Warwick Arts Centre takes away that emotion, passion and inspiration we all share on stage."