12th November 2020


Lockdown won't stop the music for Ulster Youth Orchestra

The Ulster Youth Orchestra, which is supported by the ALW Foundation, was established in 1993 and, over the years, hundreds of young musicians have had the opportunity to study with international conductors and some of the finest professional musicians; many alumni have gone on to pursue highly successful music careers.

When it became apparent in March 2020 that its annual residential course and concerts were not going to be possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, the board and management were determined to offer their young members a valuable and enjoyable experience and enthusiastically embraced the new challenge of a ten-day online course. Very soon, one residential course and two public concerts were replaced with over 50 online musical activities and 14 recordings! By the beginning of the project on 16th August 70 young musicians, aged between 14 & 23, had signed up for the first virtual course in 27 years of UYO history.

A highly experienced team of 12 professional tutors and 8 young professional assistant tutors delivered a mixture of interactive rehearsals, classes and talks on a wide range of topics. 

The highlight of the course was the appearance of Daniele Rustioni, well known as the Ulster Orchestra’s Chief Conductor, who directed and encouraged the 70 young musicians in an ambitious recording of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet’s Fantasy Overture, recorded separately at home on phones and tablets and carefully stitched together by producer Tom Wall from TWPost.

Check out the fabulous results below.