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‘Dream come true’ for Archway violinist after bagging place in National Youth Orchestra

PUBLISHED: 10:29 22 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:13 22 November 2017

Violinist Lily Harwood, 15, has been accepted into the National Youth Orchestra.

Violinist Lily Harwood, 15, has been accepted into the National Youth Orchestra.

The Harwood family

A young violinist from Archway has described the moment she was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) as like “a dream come true”.

The achievement means Lily Harwood is one of 163 teenagers from across the UK touted as the next generation of musical stars, having beaten off competition from more than 700 in two “really intensive” auditions.

Lily, who lives in Gladsmuir Road, will be thrown into the industry over the next year with a live show on Radio 3, an appearance on Classic FM and a concert at the Barbican to look forward to.

The hard-working musician started playing the violin aged seven with the Lauderdale Suzuki Group in Lauderdale House, Highgate, and spends most of her Saturdays at the junior department of the Royal College of Music.

The 15-year-old told the Gazette: “I’ve gone to concerts at the Albert Hall before but never thought I’d be on be on stage there so soon and working with world famous conductors.

“As I would like to work towards becoming a professional musician, this really is a dream come true and a chance to take part in an amazing experience of playing with a very large orchestra.

“I am really excited to be part of the NYO because it has been my goal for the last two years.

“I will playing works by composers such as Claude Debussy at the Albert Hall, as well as other venues around the country.”

The creative teenager, who is also studying for her GCSE exams at Queenswood School in Potter’s Bar, added: “I will be working hard to fit everything in.”

But Lily is not the only musical member of the Harwood family, with sister Clio, 12, also on the books at Kensington’s Royal College of Music. She’s still a year away from being able to apply for the NYO.

Sarah Alexander, NYO’s chief executive and artistic director, said: “We believe, passionately, in teenagers.

“Through music we can empower the next generation to be brilliant, to challenge the status quo, and to inspire others.

“As NYO turns 70 next year, it is more collaborative, inclusive and brilliant than ever, a celebration of the founding principles that Britain’s teenage musicians should be taken seriously.”

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