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The National Youth Orchestra In The UAE Celebrated Its Fifth Anniversary At The Dubai Opera In Style – UAE Today Blog

The National Youth Orchestra, the largest and most prestigious in the region, celebrated its first Gala concert at a full main stage at Dubai Opera to mark five years since its inception. Led by UAE-based Conductor and Composer Mr Jonathan Barrett, the Orchestra was presented by acclaimed Finnish violinist and Co-Founder Ms Eva Gräsbeck, Head of Strings, and British Bassoonist Ms Jacki Hayter, Head of Winds.

The Orchestra delighted the warm and enthusiastic audience, and were rewarded with a standing ovation, alongside the wonderful young Emirati talent and soloists. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the National Youth Orchestra which was founded in 2018 with just 4 members and today stands at 120 members in an orchestra that has quickly established itself as the largest and most prestigious youth orchestra in the region.

Amira Fouad, Co-Founder of the National Youth Orchestra, Curator, and Artistic Director of the National Youth Orchestra said: “The National Youth Orchestra represents the very best of the values that the United Arab Emirates stands for and actively promotes – inclusivity, tolerance, and compassion.  We gathered here as a beautiful community of music lovers in this awe-inspiring venue of Dubai Opera to highlight the extraordinary talent and dedication that these young musicians have brought to this stage. For many of our members, this concert marked the culmination of years of hard work, sacrifice, and discipline. But for all of us, it was a reminder of the power of music, the unique ability of sound to lift us out of our everyday lives and transport us to a place of beauty, wonder, and inspiration.”

She continued: “Our dreams for National Youth Orchestra have no limit. We are and have been slowly building a legacy for the country. We aspire to be a top youth orchestra by international standards that can show the world how Dubai and the UAE has become a beacon of culture. In the coming years we aspire to partner with some of the world’s leading professional orchestras and are actively discussing plans with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London on a project to work with our NYO here in Dubai. We are looking for the support of individual patrons, corporate sponsors and government who would like to pay back to our community”.

Eva Gräsbeck, Co-Founder and Head of Strings said: “Every year has brought something new to our National Youth Orchestra and I believe that it’s the power and the talent of these wonderful young people that is so inspiring to us as a team and gives us the fuel to keep working hard to build an incredible community of musicians. I want to thank all the students for their hard work and commitment. I was so proud of every single one of them on this magnificent stage at Dubai Opera last night – none of this would be possible without their passion and dedication”.

The ambitious and beautiful musical programme at the Gala featured favourite repertoire from Handel, Bizet, Shostakovich, Monti, and Barrett, as well as rousing music from the movies. The evening highlighted the musical achievements of all the outstanding young musicians at the National Youth Orchestra alongside the wonderful Emirati talents, which included the young autistic musical prodigy and pianist, Ahmed Al Mousawi and renowned classical singer and pianist Fatima Alhashmi. Bravo!

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