Musical extravaganza in Derry

Young musicians across Derry are rosining their bows and polishing their brass ahead of what promises to be a ten day musical extravaganza taking place right across the city from July 30-August 7, when some of the UK’s finest musicians take up residence.

This is the first time the National Youth Orchestra has enjoyed a residency in Northern Ireland, and they will spend their time here filling the City of Culture with music, as they play alongside some of our own most talented young people.

This landmark event, which is a key highlight of the Culture Company’s Music Promise Programme, involves around 400 young music enthusiasts who have been practicing for months in preparation for The NYO visit. The Music Promise has already touched the lives of hundreds of local children, and the NYO residency provides the opportunity to showcase the ground breaking work that has been ongoing in classrooms and communities since the beginning of 2013.

The Music Promise Strategic Director with the Culture Company, Dónal Doherty, said that excitement was already building ahead of the event. “Our young musicians have been putting their heart and soul into rehearsing for what promises to be one of the real highlights of The Music Promise calendar. The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain sets the standard when it comes to nurturing the finest young musical talent, and to perform alongside musicians of this calibre will be both inspiring and, most importantly, fun for all the local young people involved.

“I’m sure the NYO will be equally impressed with the levels of talent and dedication evident in our own young musicians, who this year have been forging their own musical legacy for the city through The Music Promise programme. This programme endeavours to give all our young people the opportunity to enhance their lives through music. Many have unlocked previously undiscovered talent, developed talents that had already been identified, or simply availed of the wide range of exceptional learning and performance opportunities that the City of Culture programme has provided.”

A spokesperson for the National Youth Orchestra said: “NYO is thrilled to be working with The Music Promise in Derry~Londonderry this Summer. The principle of access to music-making regardless of background is at the heart of NYO’s work. Through engaging with local young people we hope to help inspire and create lasting musical memories all over the city.”

The jam-packed ten day NYO schedule includes workshops, street performances, lunchtime recitals, and even live music-making in the heart of local communities, in what promises to be a real treat for all music lovers. The events begin on Tuesday July 30, when local musicians work together with the NYO musicians in preparation for the many performances over the coming days.

The NYO visit will conclude with two thrilling performances conducted by Vasily Petrenko, of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, famous for its breathtaking finale piece Ode to Joy being staged in both Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on August 7th and Derry’s Millennium Forum on August 8th.

For more information on the week’s programme, and the Music Promise, go to

To purchase tickets for the National Youth Orchestra Performance in the Millennium Forum contact the Box Office on 028 7126 4455, or the Waterfront Hall on 028 9033 4455.