Culture\Music and Theater

China moves to form national youth orchestra

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-21 07:16

"These young musicians are going to play in the great concert halls of the world, working and making music with some of the most celebrated artists across the globe. This will be a transformative experience for them," says Blocker.

The application window will open until Feb 28, and the results will be announced by April 2. Winners will have two weeks of playing and rehearsing together in the US.

Blocker says that being able to spend time with like-minded students is the thing that the members of NYO America appreciated the most.

Blocker also says he very much looks forward to the first rehearsal of NYO China.

"The first thing you do after checking in is to take your instrument, go to the rehearsal hall, and everybody is going to play together."

For most of the students, it will be the first time they hear so many people of their age.

"It will completely open you up," says Blocker. "When you see the light on their faces-it is life changing."

Speaking at the launch of the NYO China project in Shanghai, Gary Locke, former US ambassador to China, says: "NYO China will bring people together through the common language of music. It will help break down barriers that exist between countries and promote understanding of each other's culture and history."

The idea for the NYO project was born in 2015 when Chinese-American Danielle Accettola accompanied NYO USA on its debut tour to seven cities in China, which was sponsored by the Wailian Overseas Consulting Group.

Then, one-third of the young musicians on the trip were Asian, and Accettola saw how "their eyes lit up" when they saw China, the homeland of their parents and grandparents, for the first time.

Later, her son, Vincent Accettola, a graduate student at Harvard University and now the executive director of NYO China, inspired her to launch the NYO China project.

Speaking of how he got the idea, he says while there are national youth orchestras in Britain, Brazil, Singapore, France and the US, "there has never been a real national youth orchestra in China. So, why not start it, especially since China is a country with so much musical potential?"

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