The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain was last night awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music, presented by Her Majesty The Queen during the London Symphony Orchestra’s 'Queen's Medal for Music Gala Concert' at the Barbican. The award recognises an individual or group ‘who has had a major influence on the musical life of the nation’. The National Youth Orchestra is the first organisation to receive the medal.
‘I am delighted that the NYO is this year’s winner of the Queen’s Medal for Music,’ said Master of the Queen’s Music Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. ‘This award celebrates the overwhelmingly positive influence the NYO has had on the musical world as the standard-bearer for youth orchestras, both at home and abroad. When you conduct an orchestra its quality is always enhanced by a core of former NYO members and the boundless talent that they bring.’
The NYO joins a distinguished list of medal recipients, including conductor Sir Charles Mackerras (2005), bass-baritone Bryn Terfel (2007), conductor Sir Colin Davis (2009) and soprano Dame Emma Kirkby (2010).
Next year the orchestra will take part in several concerts at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation in July, and will visit Northern Ireland for the first time as part of the Derry-Londonderry City of Culture celebrations. The NYO will also perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at next year’s free Prom on August 11, 2013 with principal conductor Vasily Petrenko to mark the Royal Philharmonic Society’s bicentenary.
Watch the National Youth Orchestra performing Anna Meredith's HandsFree at the 2012 BBC Proms: