A digital twist on classical music with Yorkshire Young Sinfonia


This Saturday, Yorkshire Young Sinfonia will be joined by acclaimed violinist Ray Chen at Hull New Theatre.

Yorkshire Young Sinfonia is a completely unique youth orchestra, founded by David Taylor. It offers inspiring residential courses for young musicians, as well as a chance for them to play concerts with some of the world’s most celebrated soloists.

David created the Sinfonia because he wanted to see more innovation in arts education. Now he has a team of musicians from some of Europe’s leading orchestras and conservatories working with him, offering life-changing opportunities to young talent.

Moreover, some of the members are among the best musicians in the county, if not the UK.

“We gained the nation’s attention in September 2015, when we were featured on BBC Radio 4 Programme Birth of an Orchestra with Alan Bennett,” David enthuses. “We also won the Welcome to Yorkshire White Rose Awards for Arts and Culture last year.”

Ray Chen, who will be playing his enchanting violin, is one of the most popular young musicians at the moment. Appearing alongside prestigious orchestras, such as London Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France, his appearance at Hull New Theatre is much-anticipated. He will be performing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto.

“Ideally, what I love to give audiences in every performance is a sense of investment with the music, accompanied by this underlying sense of wonder and hope that the moment never ends,” he tells us. “For that to happen, musicians need to have one hundred percent commitment and energy on the stage and not a fraction less.”

Ray began playing the violin as a hobby when he was just four years old. Over the years, what started as a pastime eventually blossomed into his passion. He now travels around the world, inspiring young people with his music. He also writes an engaging blog and creates YouTube videos that give hilarious insight into the classical music world.

“I would compare trying classical music as a newcomer to an experience with exotic cuisine. Preparation and doing a bit of reading ahead of time is crucial. Everything’s on YouTube now, so have a browse of the performers, grab a ticket and you’re guaranteed to have a far better concert experience.”

David is also keen to bring classical music into the twenty-first century and encourage the next generation of listeners and artists. The YYS will use the Newzik app for its sheet music during this concert.

“YYS is to be the first youth orchestra in the world to be 100% digital,” David adds. “They will swap their usual sheet music for iPads, reinforcing Yorkshire as the home of innovation in the arts.”

Yorkshire Young Sinfonia performs at Hull New Theatre on Saturday 19 August.

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