Daniel Harding about Young 2021
INTERVIEW - Concertgebouworkest Young is preparing itself for the summer! On 5 August, the 72 young musicians from all over Europe will finally come together in Akoesticum in the Dutch town of Ede. Conductor Daniel Harding is looking forward.
Essential and thrilling
In his youth, Daniel Harding himself played in several youth orchestras in England. He looks back on these experiences as formative, because that is where one really learns to play together. ‘We all study and practice on our own, but it is playing with other people that gives you so much musical understanding and so much perspective - not only on music but also on yourself.’
‘It is an essential and thrilling thing to learn how to master your own instrument whilst being totally aware of what other people are doing around you and to understand that music is something that exists when it is shared.’
The maestro counts himself lucky to have had this experience, as ‘youth orchestras aren’t as present in our society as they were 20 or 30 years ago.’
Concertgebouworkest Young has an extra bonus, as it brings together young people from all over Europe. ‘And they are looked after by members of one of the world’s great orchestras, that is an extraordinary thing, that’s very rare', says Harding.
The fact that the members are so young is also special: ‘if you want to give a new generation of musicians a deep understanding of what it is to play in an orchestra, you have to start early’, Harding argues. ‘We train people to be soloists, but in the end, if they are lucky, most of them will be in an orchestra. And that is a wonderful thing, being in an orchestra, but you have to learn how to do it.'
'The earlier you give time to people and put them in the right direction, the more effect it will have.’
'Now there are quite a lot of specialized international youth orchestras which cater for musicians who are already very advanced in their development. And sometimes it can be too late: at 22, 23, they may have acquired bad habits or picked up bad influences, or their capacity to absorb things may have changed. Between 14 and 18 you can still give them an incredible amount of information and inspiration. The earlier you give time to people and put them in the right direction, the more effect it will have.’
Daniel Harding praises Young for the combination of its young age group and the fact they come from such diverse backgrounds, all bringing different experiences and different influences and ideas to the mix: 'they will be so hungry to learn from each other! In addition, the fact that they are looked after by musicians of such a high level, and with such experience of what orchestral playing is, makes this a unique and incredibly valuable opportunity.’
Concertgebouworkest Young 2021 is only possible thanks to the generous support of private donors, foundations and companies. We extend our gratitude for the immense musical and personal development that can be realized for all Young participants thanks to all contributions. Your support is crucial in the coming years and helps to provide a unique, engaging program for new batches of young talent free of charge.