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Tuning into Change

Gustavo Dudamel with young musicians from the Young Orchestra East

Led by Gustavo Dudamel, over 100 of the UK's most passionate young musicians will be guided in rehearsal with fellow musicians from the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) and National Youth Orchestra.

Tuning into Change Orchestra

A celebration of young musical talent from around the UK and LA.

Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning supports people of all ages and backgrounds to discover and love the arts, empowering over 22,000 participants per year to develop creative skills for life. This year Creative Learning is celebrating its tenth anniversary which is being marked with the publication 10 Years, featuring highlights of Creative Learning’s extensive work from across the last decade, plus new partnerships with schools and community organisations, including Headway East London, a brain injury charity.

In 2018, the youth arts manifesto ‘Tuning into Change’ was launched at an Open Rehearsal with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. The manifesto was written by 50 young people from across the UK and LA over the course of six months. Advocating for the arts as a tool for social change and activism, the manifesto celebrates the voice of young people and their potential to influence when given the opportunity to have their say. 

The Tuning into Change Orchestra is an evolution of this manifesto. It forms part of a partnership with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the leading youth orchestra in the UK who believe in inspiring its teenage members with a sense of personal responsibility for giving world-class performances.  In addition, the teenagers in the Orchestra deliver an accessible education programme in and outside of schools all over the UK.  The NYO Inspire programme invites a larger pool of talented young teenagers from across the country to play with the orchestra throughout the year.  Today, 130 Inspire participants are also joined by members from two other pioneering ensembles: the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, the LA Philharmonic’s own inspirational community engagement programme that supports underserved neighbourhoods in LA through quality music-making, and members of the National Open Youth Orchestra, a flagship programme of the Barbican and Guildhall School, that empowers disabled and non-disabled musicians aged 11-25 to train and perform together, promoting their musical excellence. Together, these talented young musicians from across the UK and beyond make up the Tuning into Change Orchestra.

What you are hearing onstage today is a culmination of the Inspire rehearsals, performed by some of the UK’s best current young orchestral players. In this unique opportunity, the players will be guided by world-renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, experiencing his inspiring and heartfelt leadership first-hand in the Barbican Concert Hall.  The Tuning into Change Orchestra demonstrates the power of the arts in bringing young people from different backgrounds and life experiences together to collaborate and create. We hope you enjoy listening to their music.

Thanks to our partners – National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and LA Philharmonic.

Mussorgsky arr Ravel
Pictures at an Exhibition (The Great Gate of Kiev)
Tim Anderson conductor

Festive Overture 
Gustavo Dudamel conductor


£5 Young Barbican exhibition tickets

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The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) is internationally celebrated as the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers. Recruiting its 164 teenage musicians from every background and every corner of the UK, NYO believes in empowering its teenage musicians with a sense of personal responsibility for giving world-class performances and harnessing their extraordinary commitment to music to inspire others. 

Under the leadership of Sarah Alexander OBE, NYO has transformed in the last decade and in 2012 NYO became the first organisation to be awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music. Through the NYO Inspire and NYO Open programmes, NYO musicians dedicate 1,000 days of their spare time every year to leading workshops across the UK and engaging with hundreds of their peers in ensembles, workshops and school performances. As cuts to funding for music provision in schools take hold, NYO Inspire, which provides free opportunities to musicians from state educated and BAME backgrounds, plays a vital role in promoting diversity in the classical music sector, and is oversubscribed. 

NYO works with the world’s leading conductors, tutors and soloists, and performs in the UK’s most iconic concert halls. Founded in 1948, NYO has nurtured the dreams of thousands, including many leading musical voices. Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder, Kwamé Ryan and Alison Balsom were all teenage musicians in NYO, and NYO alumni hold 25% of principal seats in London orchestras. 

NYO is a charity and relies on voluntary donations for 70% of its income from individual, trust, corporate and legacy supporters. 

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Watch: Tuning Into Change - A Youth Manifesto for the Arts

42 young creatives from London, Los Angeles, Gateshead, Scotland and Bristol have created Tuning into Change: A Youth Manifesto for the Arts

LA Philharmonic

Through Gustavo Dudamel’s  YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) program – inspired by Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema – the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to over 1300 students from under-resourced communities, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. YOLA provides each student, from the ages of 6 to 18, with a strong musical and social foundation through participation in 12-15 hours of programming each week.
In 2018 the LA Phil unveiled the architectural design by Gehry Partners, LLC, for its new Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood: the first permanent, purpose-built facility YOLA.

The LA Phil’s YOLA National Institute brings together young musicians from across the United States and offers in-depth training and support to those interested in pursuing a career in music. Program activities include convenings throughout the 2019/20 academic year, mentorship, private instruction, chamber music coaching, travel opportunities, and financial support for college applications. Through this work, the LA Phil aims to empower young people from populations that have been historically excluded from intensive music training and foster a dialogue among practitioners that will help shape the future of the field.

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Barbican Hall