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Playing in the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra
Franklin L, Grade 10 Student

Music has always been an important part of my life, and after having played contrabass in a youth orchestra in my hometown of Chicago, I wanted to find a similar opportunity here in my new home of Switzerland. I was lucky to be directed to the Zentralschweizer Jugendsinfonieorchester (ZJSO), based in Luzern. After completing a challenging audition cycle where I had to play two contrasting solo pieces and a set of orchestral excerpts for the conductor, concertmaster, and the principals of the various sections of the orchestra, I was very pleased to learn that I had been accepted! ZJSO sent me the music for the concert programme to be prepared before the first rehearsal, a compelling mix of Dvorak, Wagner, Rossini and some modern film music.

An average week of ZJSO rehearsals when preparing for a concert series can be as much as 10-12 hours, mainly on weekends, plus individual practice as well naturally. The orchestra is made up of semi-professional musicians and music students at the Hochschule in Luzern, and it is a real honor for me to continue to learn from such talented people. After a few months of dedicated rehearsal, we have the exciting opportunity to perform concerts throughout central Switzerland, including in Zug, Zürich and even the main hall of the KKL in Luzern.

Our most current project is called In Memoriam and includes singers from the Schweizer Jugendchor (SJC) for the performance of Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem and Mahler’s Urlicht. When one concert series ends, we take a short break and then soon begin the planning process for our next project. The ZJSO will take a summer break, but then we convene for a week of intense rehearsals in August, culminating in our first concert of the autumn on the 18th of August in the Baarburg theatre. More details will be made available nearer the time, so please look out for the announcements. Of course, we love as many audience members as possible for all our performances, and I promise you will not be disappointed if you could come and see us play!

To find out more about the orchestra, and to hear us play, visit our website.

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