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Posted on: 14 February, 2017

Kent County Youth Orchestra play alongside the Philharmonia in Orchestra Unwrapped!

January and February have brought an exciting opportunity for 10 string players in KCYO

Following an approach by the Philharmonia Orchestra, 2 string players from each section, recommended by their Kent County Youth Orchestra tutor, were offered the opportunity of rehearsing and playing alongside the Philharmonia. KCYO students rehearsed with Eugene Lee (violin) and Michael Fuller (double bass) on Saturday 14th January, when they were also able to attend an afternoon rehearsal and evening concert given by the Philharmonia at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. Under the baton of Domingo Hindoyan, with soloist Michael Barenboim (violin) the concert programme included Wagner’s Overture, Der Fliegende Hollander, Prokofiev Violin Concerto No 1 and Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.

Eugene and Michael from the Orchestra coached the KCYO members in a piece by Paul Rissmann, which formed part of an afternoon Schools concert ‘Orchestra Unwrappped’ on Friday 10 February.

Alex Brierley of the Philharmonia:

Everything went extremely well on Friday with the members of the Kent County Youth Orchestra and the schools concert. They performed brilliantly and I know our players were impressed. Julian Milone was glowing with pride too which was lovely! I really hope they enjoyed the experience and got something out of the project, and that this is just the start of many projects we will do together.

Tang Ng, from KCYO Cello section:

I had a wonderful day: the morning rehearsal went well, I learnt a few tips from Mike, a Philharmonia double bassist, such as minimising bow motion by angling the bow closer to the strings during string crossings definitely reduces the effort required. Rehearsing the Rissman piece also just picked out a few areas we need to practise ready for the performance in February, though even in the rehearsal with all the KCYO strings I think it sounded pretty good; some moments were really atmospheric. Ruth and I also had a chat with Mike and Eugene (first violinist who worked with upper strings) after the rehearsal to gain more of an insight into life as a professional orchestral musician, which I think both of us gained valuable advice and information, so we were very grateful.

The Open Rehearsal was enjoyable too; the Philharmonia sounded great and I think we were all in awe of Michael Barenboim’s flawless technique! Ruth and I agreed that their intonation is spot on the entire time, which only motivates us to practise more, especially the piece we will be playing with them.  Concluding a lovely day was the evening concert – thank you for the subsidised tickets! My parents and I, as well as the others, thoroughly enjoyed the concert. For many of us, it was the first time we’d seen Beethoven’s 5th live, despite it being so iconic. Some of us were pleasantly surprised by the Prokofiev Violin Concerto, as in the rehearsal we’d only heard parts, but when put together, the 2nd and 3rd movements in particular turned out to be lovely!  I am greatly excited for the performance in February, performing within the Philharmonia – I can’t wait! Thank you again for such a great opportunity.

Are you interested in joining the Kent County Youth Orchestra? Please visit the Kent County Youth Orchestra page for more information.