National Youth Orchestra chooses youngest-ever leader

The National Youth Orchestra (NYO) has chosen its new principle violinist, the youngest in its 53-year history.

Fifteen-year-old Roberto Ruisi, a pupil at King Edward’s School in Birmingham, will take the reigns for the 2012 season.

He will lead 170 other teenagers aged between 13 and 19-years-old in concerts across the UK and in prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and the Tate Modern.

Roberto first started playing the violin aged just three and joined the NYO as soon as he could at the age of 13.

His first performance as leader will be at the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool and at the Barbican Hall in London next January.

Moreover, his tenure will coincide with the Cultural Olympics, the more artistic side to the Olympic Games, which will see the NYO perform at a variety of special concerts and events across the UK.

“I am overwhelmed that I have been chosen, especially so soon,” Roberto said of his appointment.

“When I went down to the final audition, I thought that I might just be there for the experience. It was an honour and a thrill to be chosen as a principal last year, and we play with so many other great players, so to be the leader is beyond anything I could have expected.”

Chief master of the school John Claughton added that the position is not only a credit to Roberto’s talent and dedication to the violin, but also to the musical education he has received from the teachers and the support given by the other staff.

The NYO auditions some of the most talented young musicians in the country, all of whom play to Grade 8 with distinction, and gives them the opportunity to play in a recognised orchestra and learn from professional musicians.

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