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International youth orchestra to make beautiful music

WHILE most of their fellow high school students have been listening to the latest hip-hop or pop on their MP3 players, a group of dedicated Shanghai musicians has been diligently rehearsing for a Sunday concert featuring Handel, Mozart and Elgar.

The Shanghai International Youth Orchestra will hold its first concert for the year at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in Pudong.

The orchestra formed in 2007 attracts both local and international students aged 12 to 19, playing at an advanced level. They must audition for the orchestra.

Sunday's concert features a 13-string ensemble of six violins, three cellos, three violas and a bass. They will perform Handel's "Concerto Grosso, Op 6, No. 1," Elgar's "Serenade for Strings" and Mozart's "Divertimento Op 131."

The second half of the concert will feature performances by the Yulan Ensemble comprised of international school music teachers. They will perform chamber music by Mozart.

American cellist and conductor Sam Matthews is also the group's founder and director. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, Matthews is an accomplished solo cellist.

Matthews says the group offers students a way of developing their musicality and their knowledge of different cultures as international and local students playing together.

"There is some contact between the international schools, but virtually no contact between local and international schools. I think the orchestra is really valuable - culturally, musically and academically," he says.

In addition to performing a spring and autumn concert, the group holds regular outreach concerts and has performed at local nursing homes.

Date: May 3, 2pm

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 100-120 yuan

Tel: 6854-1234

For more information, visit (in Chinese) or (in English)


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