Blog overview

Kick-off Concertgebouworkest Young 2021

24 September 2020

With a festive Zoom meeting live from the 'living room' of the Concertgebouworkest, Concertgebouworkest Young 2021 has started.

Quiz time! (still zoom meeting)

Due to covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 edition of Concertgebouworkest Young 2020 was cancelled last summer. Luckily, all young musicians who were selected have agreed to participate in Young 2021!

To keep all participants involved in and excited about Young during the current season, the Concertgebouworkest’s education manager Lili Schutte has arranged that an app was developed especially for Young 2021. This app was launched on 7 September during a festive Zoom meeting live from the ‘living room’ of the Concertgebouworkest, with all participants of Young 2021 - from 24 countries - as well as musicians and involved staff members of the Concertgebouworkest.

During this meeting, the young musicians learned all about the app and the activities the Concertgebouworkest provides for them in the period leading up to Young 2021. In addition, they were treated to a flashback to Young 2019, quizzes, interviews with musicians of the Concertgebouworkest and a short fragment of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, the work they will perform together next summer.

Individual masterclasses

During the season 2020-21, the Young musicians receive at least four individual online masterclasses by musicians of the Concertgebouworkest. No less than thirty-five orchestra members have agreed to give masterclasses. First violinist Borika van den Booren is one of them. She was involved in Young 2019 and now joined the Zoom meeting. “Young 2019 was great! For me as a teacher, it was amazing to see these young people grow. Not only musically, but also as personalities. And as a group. They did not know each other at all, and by the end of the summer they were best friends, almost family. Music does this.” Trumpet player Hans Alting, who was also a guest during the meeting, adds: “I do a lot of coaching, and especially age 14-17 is important in the life of a person. You have a lot of insecurities at that age. I think last year we created a safe environment for the young people. In a safe environment, you can get in a flow and be creative.”

the 'studio' at the living room of the Concertgebouworkest (still zoom meeting)

Second violinist Arndt Auhagen is looking forward to working with the young musicians again this year: “During the online lessons, we will work on the pieces chosen by the students. It would be nice to look at repertoire by composers such as Bach and Mozart as well and work on intonation, sound, bow technique, etc. Later we will examine the parts they will perform next summer, pointing out and preparing the most difficult and interesting moments. Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 is so full of beautiful moments!” Hans Alting adds that it is very important they feel free to ask questions: “It is about making a lot of mistakes, because you learn from that. It is not about playing perfect technically. It is about making music together and enjoy music-making.”


Besides the masterclasses, United World Colleges (UWC) will provide two online training sessions in which the young musicians will get to know each other and learn about ambassadorship, one of the most important pillars of Young. Violinist Imaan Kashim from England, one of the participants of Young 2019, is working hard on her ambassadorship. In a pre-recorded interview shown in the Zoom meeting, she states: “Being an ambassador is really important for classical music, to ensure that it continues. You don’t want it to just die out because there aren’t enough people involved in it to keep it going.”

the newsfeed in the app
The app

In the app, the Young musicians can find a calendar with all the activities, a chatroom and profiles of all participants. In addition, the young musicians will be challenged to work on their future ambassadorship a couple of times during the current season. The first challenge is to take a picture of one of the letters of ‘Young’, which will be used to make a video with.

Keep an eye on our blog for more updates about Young 2021!