Composer Sam wins dream role with National Youth Orchestra

Sam Rudd-Jones, National Youth Orchestra EMN-160212-145457001

Sam Rudd-Jones, National Youth Orchestra EMN-160212-145457001

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Sam Rudd-Jones, 16, a student at Stamford School, has won a place with prestigious National Youth Orchestra and is looking forward to developing his skills in the company of world class tutors and conductors and some of the country’s best young players.

Over the next year he will attend three residencies with the orchestra, the first at the University of Nottingham in late December, which will culminate in concerts at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Royal Festival Hall, London.

For Sam, the stay will mean a rare opportunity to compose ‘live’ for groups of musicians.

He said: “Music is my passion and I’m really excited to be part of the orchestra because of the chance to work with other enthusiastic young musicians and to write music for groups of them.

“This is a brilliant opportunity, especially if I want to study music at university and go on to have a career as a composer. I’m sure I will learn lots from the fantastic tutors.”

Sam was chosen as one of six composers to join the 164-strong orchestra after attending an interview with a selection panel to whom he sent three compositions – for solo piano, full orchestra and ensemble of 14 musicians.

He was urged to apply for a place with the prestigious orchestra by his teacher at the Junior Guildhall, a specialist school in London for young people which Sam attends each Saturday.

Sam says his compositions are in the classical tradition, but are contemporary in style. “It’s not Mozart,” he said.

He cites Thomas Ades as his favourite composer and is thrilled that the NYO will work with the acclaimed British-born musician and conductor at its summer residency.

Sam, who lives in Austin Street, Stamford, and is the son of local magazine publisher Nicholas Rudd-Jones says his parents are not musical, but in providing him with piano lessons some 10 years ago they fired his passion.

As well as composing, he now plays the oboe in his school orchestra and is studying music at A-level.

But his greatest achievement up to now came in August this year when he was earmarked as an outstanding up and coming composer in a BBC competition.

Sam’s reward was to hear his work, called Angry, performed by the Aurora orchestra at the Radio Theatre in London and broadcast on Radio3 as part of the BBC proms.

He said: “This was my lucky break, in a way. I was there for two days and It was a great experience to have professional musicians perform my composition.

“Now I am looking forward to my opportunity with the NYO. I will plan my year around it, spending the hoilidays with the orchestra and experimenting with the six other composers, writing music for groups of musicians.”

l Anson Poon, 17 , a student at Uppingham School, has also won a place with the orchestra. Anson, who lives in Hong Kong, has been playing the violin for 10 years. He said: “I think it is a great opportunity to play with famous conductors and the very best young musicians in the country.”