The results of a year-long baroque strings project for young people are to be showcased on 14 December, as participants perform in concert at the York Early Music Christmas Festival 2013.

The York Baroque Strings Project is a collaboration between the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM), the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) and York Arts Academy. The project gives young string players the opportunity to work with leading musicians from the field of baroque music.

This year’s scheme began in June with a professional development day for teachers led by Rachel Podger (pictured). The workshop looked at the ways to interpret baroque music using modern instruments. The next phase of the project saw young string players working with musicians from the OAE to study the style of baroque in two workshops. Participants have continued to have weekly sessions between the workshops with the group’s director, Rachel Meredith, to rehearse and practice what they have been taught.

The work of the youth group will be showcased at the York Early Music Christmas Festival concert on 14 December: the programme is to include works by Handel, Corelli and Biber. The young string players will be performing with members from the OAE and string players from the York Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra.

The project will conclude in March 2014 with the young people involved attending a masterclass led by Rachel Podger at the NCEM. Participants will have the opportunity to receive specialist coaching on a piece of baroque music they have been learning. The group will also form an ensemble for the day,  to become the orchestra for a concerto performance that Podger will perform and direct at an informal concert at the end of the day.

The ‘A Christmas Cracker’ concert takes place at 12pm on 14 December, book tickets by visiting To find out more about the York Baroque Strings Project, visit

(Image credit: Jonas Sacks)


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