UYO set for amazing concert in Guildhall

Jasmine Morris
Jasmine Morris

Northern Ireland’s award winning and dynamic national youth orchestra are set to perform a showcase concert in the Guildhall, Derry on Friday, August 23 (7.45pm).

The Ulster Youth Orchestra (UYO) is regarded as one of the jewels in the crown of the local arts scene with a reputation for excellence in all its performances. Established in 1993, the Ulster Youth Orchestra continues to flourish as the premier showcase youth orchestra in Northern Ireland.

Following rigorous competitive auditions, 94 talented young musicians have been selected to attend the annual summer course in preparation for two public concerts in Derry and Belfast. The young players will be coached by a team of experienced professional tutors during the 10-day residential course at Greenmount Agricultural College, Antrim.

This year’s programme begins with Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis on themes by Weber – a crowd pleasing entertainer which will open the concerts with a punch!

Lowell Liebermann’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra features Irish flautist Eimear McGeown (an alumna of UYO) who has steadily built a reputation as being one of the world’s most versatile exponents of both the classical and Irish flute. Liebermann’s Concerto was commissioned by, dedicated to and first performed by UYO Patron Sir James Galway in 1992.

Arguably Tchaikovsky’s greatest work, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, (Pathétique), concludes the evening with uninhibited expressions of longing which promises to stir the emotion of the hardest of hearts.

The UYO is thrilled to welcome British conductor Rumon Gamba to the podium for the first time.

Rumon Gamba studied at the Royal Academy of Music winning the Lloyds Bank BBC Young Musicians Conductors Workshop in February 1998 before becoming Associate Conductor to the BBC Philharmonic, a post he held until 2002. Gamba has held the positions of Principal Conductor and Music Director of NorrlandsOperan and Chief Conductor of the Aalborg Symfoniorkester. He was also Chief Conductor and Music Director of Iceland Symphony Orchestra between 2002 and 2010. As a champion of new music he recorded new works with BBC National Orchestra of Wales and returned to the BBC Proms in 2017 to conduct the Proms Youth Ensemble. The Royal Academy of Music recognised his contribution to music when they made him an Associate in 2002 and in 2017 he became a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

The Ulster Youth Orchestra is grateful for the substantial funding it receives from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to support its work.

Paula Klein, UYO General Manager explained: “Excitement is building as we prepare for the annual summer residential course and concerts and we can’t wait to get immersed in this fantastic repertoire. We are thrilled to have someone of Rumon Gamba’s expertise and experience to inspire our young musicians to excel and look forward to producing high quality, sparkling performances!”

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “Congratulations to those talented young musicians who have won a coveted place at the Ulster Youth Orchestra summer residential course. Working with internationally acclaimed conductors and tutors and performing to live audiences in both Belfast and Derry will develop their skills and confidence as orchestral musicians. I wish them all success in what promises to be a fantastic experience!”

Jasmine Morris who attend the annual summer course playing the violin added: “For the concerts this summer the Guildhall in Derry is a beautiful intimate venue and

my parents’ home city so I love playing there. Then the Ulster hall will be a superb venue. It is always packed to the rafters and the acoustics are superb. I’m looking forward to hearing our soloist Eimear McGeown on flute and experiencing the conducting of world class Rumon Gamba. I can’t believe how lucky we are to have this experience and to be taught by such talented and experienced instrumentalists.”

Tickets are £16.50 available at and the Guildhall Box Office on the evening of the concert.