Budding composer Lizzy Gür from Coppull is one of 162 teenagers from across the UK to be selected for the National Youth Orchestra.
The 14-year-old (right) has been playing the piano for as long as she can remember.
“I’m really excited,” said Lizzy. “I think it’s going to be really inspiring, as a composer especially, to be around so many people who are my age and share my aspirations and interests.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to develop my talents and skills as a musician and I am looking forward to being a part of this fantastic organisation.”
National Youth Orchestra (NYO) is widely billed as the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers.
Lizzy is home-schooled so that she can focus on her music and spends about five hours each day practicing the piano and fills the rest of her time composing tunes.
She says that, oddly enough, out of her three siblings she is the only one who is musical.
She attends the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on Saturdays which is where she found out about the opportunity with the prestigious orchestra.
As part of the application process she had to send the selection panel a number of her compositions and then travel down to London for an interview.
During the year NYO musicians participate in three residencies with inspirational music directors, give eight major concerts, play live on BBC Radio 3, appear on Classic FM, and celebrate the release of a new recording of The Planets by the orchestra. NYO musicians are all playing their instruments at the very highest level, at grade eight equivalent and above, and gaining a place is a huge achievement.
This year 764 musicians applied from across the width and breadth of the UK.
Lizzy told the Guardian about how she began learning the piano and what the orchestra will offer her.
“We used to have this keyboard at home and I just started playing around with it.
“I would listen to tunes on the TV and tried to work them out with two fingers on the piano.
“I’ve basically been having music lessons ever since and I remember always trying to come up with my own music.
“Now I compose on the piano and I’m just learning how to fit in music for other instruments around it.”
Lizzy has reached her grade eight in piano and is currently studying a foundation course. From there she hopes to go on to do a bachelors degree.
But for the next year she will be busily composing and taking part in the NYO programme.
She is soon to join the other musicians at their Winter Residency at the University of Nottingham, before giving concerts at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, the Symphony Hall in Birmingham and at the Royal Festival Hall in London in early January.
The intensive preparation period of rehearsals, workshops and coaching from the NYO team of experienced tutors also includes voice and movement coaching, composition and improvisation.
The concert programme explores Szymanowski Symphony No 4 and Rachmaninov Symphony No 2, through the lens of Brett Dean’s Komarov’s Fall.