In August of 2014, the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq visits the U.S. for the first time. Dubbed ‘the world's bravest orchestra’, the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq was founded in 2009 by 17-year-old Zuhal Sultan https://twitter.com/ZuhalSultan , a pianist in Baghdad. Now consisting of 44 young musicians from across the country they have overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers to make music together.
Despite the lack of infrastructure and shortage of music teachers, musicians throughout Iraq have been recruited and auditioned each year via YouTube www.youtube.com/results?search_query=national+youth+orchestra+of+iraq . In this short time, against all odds, the orchestra has gone from strength to strength.
Each year, the young Iraqi musicians gather for an annual summer camp culminating in a concert. During this three-week event they receive their only musical instruction for the year from carefully selected international tutors.
To date, the orchestra has been invited to perform at the Beethovenfest in Bonn, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Grand Théâtre de Provence in France. These hugely successful concerts, attended by ambassadors, dignitaries and concert-goes alike, have been met with media approval and earned the orchestra well-deserved standing ovations.
This summer, the NYOI joins the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra www.eyso.org for three weeks of study in Illinois, followed by performances in Elgin, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Collaboration with players and tutors of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, performing to American audiences and telling stories through music, is NYOI's effort to reach out to young Americans and share cultures.
Led by Music Director Paul MacAlindin www.paulmacalindin.com , NYOI will perform Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto, Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, and two new works – one by Arab composer Amir ElSaffar http://amirelsaffar.com and another by Kurdish composer Abdullah Jamal Sagirma.
The Classical Reviewer is pleased to support the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq by featuring their forthcoming US tour.
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