National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

Every year, 170 talented teenagers from all corners of the country join forces to achieve something extraordinary. They reawaken classical music, reinvigorating great repertoire with fresh energy and resonance.

They generate tremendous team spirit and remind us all of the exhilarating rewards that come from hard work, dedication and following their dreams. Everyone who sees them in action agrees the NYO presents a luminous portrait of the youth of today.

The orchestra meets for residential courses each year. Every day of each course is another extraordinary occasion, fusing intensive instrumental rehearsals with workshops addressing all aspects of musicality including voice, movement, composing and improvisation. It’s an opportunity to learn from inspiring professionals and make sensational music with wonderful international artists who works with the orchestra every year. A range of distinctive projects also enables our young musicians to be the drivers of the creative process, exploring new approaches, relationship and settings.


Anna Meredith and National Youth Orchestra

  • Total duration: 13'00
  • MP3 | 320K 44.1 KHz
     | PRICE £0.79

  • FLAC 16 | 16bit 44.1 KHz
    24.20 MB
     | PRICE £0.89



National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

HandsFree enables NYO’s young musicians, from all over Britain, to share their musicianship and creative inventiveness without their instruments, through clapping, body percussion and beatboxing. Set for flashmob style performances in cities nationwide and as a surprise opener/encore to NYO concerts, Anna has shaped HandsFree in workshops with members of the NYO, in her words, 'building a piece they're excited to perform and want to own, that showcases their virtuosity to audiences old and new'.


20 outstanding new works, each lasting 12 minutes, commissioned to feature centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. New Music 20x12 is a UK-wide commissioning programme consisting of twenty new pieces of music, each of 12 minutes in length, celebrating the talent and imagination of the UK’s musical community as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Over the next 12 months you will be able to enjoy performances of these 20 new works in a wide range of venues and unexpected locations across the length and breadth of the UK – from churches, arts centres and concert halls to public spaces, festivals and a train journey. Each piece will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and available to purchase as mp3/FLAC download from NMC.

Visit our New Music 20x12 Project Page for more information about the twenty works.





“…fantastically planned and choreographed.” The Guardian


‘Gold medal for Meredith’s exhilarating body percussion piece HandsFreeBBC Music Magazine


Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and PRS for Music Foundation



The performance of HandsFree by the NYO was recorded by the BBC in the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool on 5th Jan 2012, and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 21st April 2012.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL2012-02
Release Date:
30 April 2012