Sun | Sep 24, 2023

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Jamaica

Published:Sunday | July 1, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), one of the world's most prestigious orchestras, will perform in Jamaica under the distinguished patronage of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, on September 13 at the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, and on September 15 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston.

The RPO's visit and concerts are being organised by the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ), a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, with all proceeds in aid of its music for social change programme, providing free classical music lessons for at-risk youths, positively impacting self-esteem, values and aspirations.

The RPO will perform works by Mozart, Bach and Holst, as well as works by special guest composers Peter Ashbourne, the Jamaican classical visionary, and Shirley Thompson, the groundbreaking United Kingdom-based Jamaican composer, who will each conduct the RPO in their original scores.

In addition, foremost Jamaican classical violinist Steven Woodham will lead the RPO as a solo violinist and partner with young Jamaican violin sensation Naomi Reitzin.

During their weeklong visit to Jamaica, members of the RPO will hold creative classical workshops at high schools, private music centres and NYOJ training centres, as well as master classes at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

The NYOJ is engaged in empowering children from vulnerable social groups through classical music training. Their programme is based at St Andrew Technical High School on Spanish Town Road, and Kingston College's Melbourne campus, recruiting children between the ages of 10 and 18 from nearby primary and secondary schools.

intellectual development

Since its operations began at the end of 2009, the organisation has enrolled over 200 students, fostering emotional and intellectual development through a myriad of creative classes, workshops and performances.

Speaking of these upcoming RPO concerts in Jamaica, Dr Nigel Clarke, chairman of the NYOJ, said "An orchestra of this standing and prestige has not performed in Jamaica in 30, maybe 40 years. This is therefore a once-in-a-generation event, and will be of tremendous inspirational value to music lovers and musicians across Jamaica."

The RPO has toured and had sold-out concerts in more than 30 countries in the last five years, including China, Japan, Egypt, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United States, and Azerbaijan.

The orchestra is also recognised for its innovative outreach programmes, RPO Resound, which has provided artistic courses to engage marginalised groups internationally since 1993.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's visit to Jamaica is being made possible by sponsorship from Digicel, the National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited and Supreme Ventures Limited. The events are officially endorsed and listed under the Jamaica 50 celebrations.

Tickets are available in Mandeville at Fontana Pharmacy, Digicel Willowgate Plaza, and OMG Restaurant & Coffee Bar; and in Kingston at Cannonball Cafe, Shields & Shields, Music Mart and Digicel/Anbell New Kingston.

For further information on these events contact the NYOJ at, or 561 6252.