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2012 Queen's Medal for Music awarded to National Youth Orchestra

2 January 2013, Rhian Morgan

The 2012 Queen’s Medal for Music has been awarded to the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO). The annual prize, which is awarded to an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation, was received by members of the NYO during the London Symphony Orchestra’s Queen's Medal for Music Gala Concert at the Barbican.

The NYO is the first ensemble to receive the award and is the eighth winner since the prize was established in 2005. Previous recipients include Bryn Terfel, Sir Colin Davis, the soprano Dame Emma Kirkby and oboist Nicholas Daniel.

Sarah Alexander, chief executive and artistic director of the NYO, said the award is a 'fantastic accolade for our teenagers who are committed ambassadors for their art form.

'This award recognises their hard work and dedication to music-making. Through their performances and projects they cascade their love of music as a life-affirming activity to thousands of other musicians and music lovers across the country.

'It is fitting that the presentation took place at a London Symphony Orchestra concert, especially as one-fifth of its current members came up through the NYO. We look forward to continuing to champion the development of young musicians and shaping the future of the orchestra.'

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies said he was '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. 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 is undoubtedly a worthy and deserving recipient of this year’s award.'

More than 650 teenagers were auditioned for NYO 2013 and 87 new members joined the orchestra for its Winter course. In July, the orchestra will perform at Buckingham Palace alongside a tour to Northern Ireland, and it will give its first performance - in its 64-year history - of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

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