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Musical time capsule project for Nottingham and Karlsruhe cements a wonderful relationship

15th July 2020

Introducing ‘Into the Unknown’ – the second international music venture for Nottingham Music Hub, since the beginning of Lockdown. Whilst mass instrumental performances have become second nature to the Music Hub, this premiere will be the first time The Robin Hood Youth Orchestra (RHYO) have put together a digital performance in conjunction with another orchestra –  the Jugendorchester Stadt Karlsruhe, the youth orchestra of Nottingham’s German twin city, Karlsruhe.

Building on from their widely acclaimed last cross-continental project, the Bulgarian dance tune ‘Kopanica, ‘Into the Unknown’ promises be even more impressive and is anticipated with great enthusiasm!

In addition to being the title of the piece that the two youth orchestras will perform, ‘Into the Unknown’ also represents the skill and versatility shown by these young musicians and their tutors as they bring together this new digital project. This work was rehearsed and performed by the orchestra’s players, edited together, all under lockdown restrictions and now will be premiered, marking a very new way of working for everyone involved. Despite the obvious barriers to bringing two ensembles, both with over 60 members, together for one performance, RHYO and Jugendorchester Stadt Karlsruhe have seized the opportunity – the people of both twin Cities are invited to the joint premiere of their work, on YouTube, Wednesday 15th July at 7pm.

Music has been a longstanding, valued bond between Nottingham and its twin city Karlsruhe. largely as a result of the orchestra conductors, Ian Burton in Nottingham and Thomas Paha in Karlsruhe. This bond is important to Nottingham Music Hub, who provide Nottingham city children with the opportunity to play and perform together with other talented musicians from various backgrounds and countries. Nottingham Music Hub also run a bi-annual music residential and cultural exchange in the twin city, which last year involved a whole orchestra trip to Karlsruhe, in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Seizing opportunities to perform in flash mobs, taking part in workshops and hundreds-strong performances. The versatility of RHYO is highly valued by the young musicians in Karlsruhe, who relish the opportunity to perform and interact with others from across Europe. There is no doubting the commitment for the residentials to continue next year!

The benefits and importance of creating and sharing music are well-known and well documented and this project has cemented the unique bond between these two cities.  The students of both ensembles have benefitted in many ways from being able to work together during lockdown, and. as well as continuing their musical education it has also helped them to stay connected and positive.  Both the virtual walk fundraising project and the premiere of ‘Into The Unknown’ are continuing testament to what can be achieved under the most challenging circumstances and all the positive personal and city-wide effects that this project continues to have. Nottingham Music Hub go from strength to strength and their work should be celebrated by all!

Tune in to the premiere: