Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra

Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra
The orchestra has gained a reputation as one of the best youth orchestras in the country working with international conductors and experienced sectional tutors, some of whom hold principal positions in professional orchestras. The high standard of the group is led by Principal Conductor Peter Stark, who will be celebrating 21 years with the orchestra this year. The orchestra’s repertoire is always challenging and its concerts always memorable. In recent years, repertoire has included Mahler Symphonies No. 5 & 6, Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra, Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Bartok The Miraculous Mandarin, Holst The Planets and Schoenberg Gurre-Lieder.

Stark, Peter

Peter Stark’s performances as a conductor are exhiliarating, imaginative and inspiring. At the heart of all his work lies a passion and commitment to the study and practice of music to profit humanity. Peter is a Professor of Conducting at London’s Royal College of Music and he has taught over five hundred private students. His acclaimed courses in conducting have taken him across the world and his reputation as a teacher is renowned. Peter’s growing media profile includes his appointment as series consultant to the popular BBC television series ‘Maestro’ and regular screen appearances as a mentor. For this role Peter was responsible for the training of eight ‘celebrity’ students as orchestral conductors. Peter has since made live ‘Maestro’ webcam commentaries for the BBC Proms and a subsequent TV series.

Merrick, Linda

Linda holds the position of Principal and Professor at the RNCM, and UK representative for Howarth Clarinets. She has an international profile as a clarinet soloist, recording artist and clinician. Linda’s chamber music output includes premiere recordings of four new clarinet quintets with the Navarra Quartet (Naxos), a new clarinet quintet by John McCabe with the Kreutzer Quartet (Guild), Wilfred Joseph’s Clarinet Quintet and Robert Crawford’s Clarinet Quintet (Metier), chamber works by Malcolm Arnold and John Ireland (Maestro), and Martin Ellerby (ClassicPrint), and new works for clarinet and electronics with Chris Thorpe (Voiceprint).
  • Total duration: 59'21
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    100.6 MB
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Roxburgh's Clarinet Concerto features soloist Linda Merrick in a work of symphonic scope and expressivity; she is acompanied by the Royal Northern College of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.

In Saturn - a tribute to Holst, Roxburgh's predecessor at the Royal College of Music - Roxburgh explores the mythical characters of its moons and satellites in a series of orchestral showpieces which culminates in the wild abandon, and percussive onslaught, of Saturn itself; Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra is conducted by Peter Stark.

This disc was made possible by funding from the Royal Northern College of Music and Hertfordshire County Council.


'Saturn is an epic orchestral and electronic space-scape, effortlessly blending Roxburgh's understanding of Boulez and Stockhausen with a Birtwistle-like sense of ritual. An orbiting soprano saxophone beams down ideas to an orchestral underlay dominated by clattering percussion and mind-expanding electronics; this is an extraordinarily ballsy mission undertaken by HCYO.'  The Wire, 2006


Clarinet Concerto:

Recording date: 9 October 2005
Recording venue: Royal Northen College of Music, Manchester
Engineer/ Producer: David Lefeber

Recording date: 6-7 April 2005
Recording venue: Haileybury College, Hertford
Engineer: Gareth E Williams
Producers: Gareth E Williams, Matthew Dilley

Mastering: David Lefeber

Cover image: Radio emissions from Saturn (by kind permission of the University of Iowa)

(P) 2006 NMC Recordings Ltd

United Music Publishers
Catalogue number:
NMC D119
Release Date:
1 February 2006