11 January 2016
By Elaine Murphy
Rehearsals are well under way as the Cork School of Music [CSM] Chamber Orchestra prepare for their trip to the 21st Festival of Youth Orchestras, which will take place at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, on February 13th.
Performing at the festival is fifteen year old Kevin Jansson, from Glasheen, who won the Cork School of Music’s Junior Concerto Competition in 2013. The extraordinary quality of his performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D, KV 466, prompted the Director of CIT Cork School of Music [CSM], Dr Geoffrey Spratt, to assemble this project orchestra – the CSM Chamber Orchestra – from amongst the most senior students and members of staff in CSM to perform the work with him in a public concert. Kevin’s performance, was hailed as ‘compelling, professional and inspirational.’ Kevin then proceeded to win the CSM’s Junior Concerto Competition again in 2014, playing the violin! Mindful of the IAYO’s invitation to a CSM orchestra to perform at the National Concert Hall, some reflection gave rise to the programme featuring Kevin as both piano and violin soloist.
The Festival of Youth Orchestras was one of the first activities to be undertaken by the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras (IAYO) on its formation in 1994. To date, over 7,000 young musicians have performed at the Festival. This annual showcase of the very best in Irish Youth Orchestras from around the country will, along with Cork School of Music Chamber Orchestra also feature; Music Generation Louth Senior Strings, Clare Music Makers Orchestra, Roscommon County Youth Orchestra and Moate Community School Orchestra, Queen’s University Symphony Orchestra, County Tipperary Ryan Youth Orchestra, Sligo Academy of Music Sinfonietta and Fingal Youth Orchestra with Carlow Youth Orchestra.
This year’s Festival will see over 400 young players, from around Ireland, perform classical works and arrangements for youth orchestra in a variety of styles. The performance by the CSM Chamber Orchestra will include works from Finzi, quite simply one of the most beautiful and expressive pieces ever composed; Saint-Saëns, which provides both an exuberant end-to-a-day of music-making and a good staging post for Kevin’s technical development; and finally the aural charms of Britten.
The 21st Festival of Youth Orchestras will take place at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on February 13th, 2016. Tickets available from www.nch.ie or from the box office at the National Concert Hall.