Young Ambassadors Forum #1: Seona Glen

Stirling's Young Ambassador, Seona Glen, describes the first Young Ambassadors Forum and Lugansky Plays The Emperor, Sat 23rd Nov at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
On Saturday 23rd November, the new RSNO Young Ambassadors met for the first time, at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The young people came from all over Scotland, with one member making a six hour round trip to come to the event. The evening kicked off with a photo shoot with the RSNO in rehearsal behind us, which had all of us very excited. Afterwards, we worked in groups to discuss our ideas about how the RSNO and classical music in general might become more accessible to young people. It soon became clear that there was a shared determination amongst us to help more people our age reap the benefits of involvement in classical music.
After having got to know each other, the Young Ambassadors attended the concert which was taking place that evening, Lugansky plays the Emperor. The concert opened with a very moving interpretation of Messiaen’s Les Offrandes Oubliées. Before the performance Peter Oundjian, Music Director of the RSNO gave a the audience a meaningful insight into the piece, which helped me to really listen to the piece at a deeper level than I might have otherwise. Next, the phenomenal Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky took to the stage, where he performed with the orchestra a stunning rendition of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No5, better known as the Emperor. The great energy shown on stage by all was transferred to the captivated audience. For me the highlight was the piano's first entry in the second movement, which the musicians handled sensitively to create a very special moment in the room.
Lastly in the programme was Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, of which the RSNO gave yet another first-rate performance. This was followed by enormous applause, but before too many had managed to get their coats on, the orchestra surprised us with an energetic encore of one of Brahms' Hungarian Dances, which ended the concert with a flourish.
I think I speak for all of the Young Ambassadors when I say it was an inspirational evening, and I very much look forward to our next meeting in February.
Seona Glen
Seona is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. For more information, visit the RSNO website.
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