Julian Lloyd Webber to perform with National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

21 August 2012, 13:19

Dubbed ‘the bravest orchestra in the world’, the youngsters audition via YouTube and come together to create classical music without boundaries

Young musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq are making their first visit to the UK to play alongside cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. The concerts include a new oud concerto, Kurdish and Iraqi music alongside Fauré and Schubert’s ‘Tragic’ Symphony.

Julian Lloyd Webber is performing Fauré’s Elégie with the Iraqi players, supported by members of the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra. He told Classic FM he thought it was an appropriate choice of music to remember recent the loss of life in Iraq.

He said: “It just shows how music can be used as something to really bring people together, because it has no barriers – has no language barriers, has no barriers of any kind – it’s just music and it speaks directly to people’s hearts.”

The orchestra use the internet to recruit their players, sending a PDF file of an orchestral excerpt to the instrumentalists; this year it was Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony. They upload their performances to YouTube and the best players are chosen.

Musical Director, Paul MacAlindin said: “I feel excited that we’re starting something that could have deep and lasting impact for years to come. I also believe that the internet opens up many possibilities for how we work and create together that feel more and more normal.”

The orchestra begin their run of concerts in Glasgow on 25 August.