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6 December 2012, 11:15 | Updated: 6 December 2012, 11:32
The Queen's Medal for Music has been awarded to the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain were awarded the Queen's Medal for Music last night at special gala concert held at the Barbican in London. It is the first time that an organisation has won the award rather than an individual musician.
The medal was presented to members of the orchestra by Her Majesty The Queen. The concert itself starred the London Symphony Orchestra and featured a performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Maxim Vengerov.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of The Queen's Music, commented on the NYO's success: "I am delighted that the NYO is this year’s winner of The Queen’s Medal for Music. 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."
First violin with the NYO Robbie Ruisi said: "Being presented with The Queen’s Medal for Music and performing live on stage with the London Symphony Orchestra was such a thrill, and an experience that I will never forget."
The NYO has its share of famous graduates, including Sir Simon Rattle, who commented: "On a personal level, I’ll never forget my time with the orchestra and genuinely believe it to be one of Britain’s greatest musical assets."
The orchestra will be returning to Barbican in January to play Holst's The Planets in a matinée concert.