EYO+Members of London Mozart Players+Lauren Zhang+Gee

Orchestral Concert at
St Barnabas Church
Pitshanger Lane, Ealing  W5 1QG
7.30pm on Friday 15th


Kendall                      The Spark Catchers

Prokofiev                   Piano Concerto No.2

Berlioz                      Symphonie fantastique

Conductor:  Leon Gee

Soloist:        Lauren Zhang (piano)


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Ealing Youth Orchestra is an independent youth orchestra celebrating its 60th Anniversary Season. It was founded in 1959 by music teacher John Railton MBE and has continued to flourish under the leadership of professional music directors, with generations of teenagers having passed through its ranks, many of them going on to musical careers themselves. The orchestra has around 85 members aged 13-19 who attend over 30 different local schools around west London. 

The orchestra is especially delighted this year for the first time ever to have been able to appoint a Composer-in-Residence, former EYO player and rising star Hannah Kendall. As well as the performance in our festival of Hannah’s brilliant piece The Spark Catchers (originally commissioned by the BBC for the Chineke Orchestra's first ever Prom in 2017) EYO is looking forward to playing the World Premiere of her brand new piece weaves flowers and leaves which has been specially commissioned for the EYO's 60th Anniversary Gala Concert later this year. 

In recent years the orchestra has been honoured to play with soloists of the calibre of Tasmin Little and former BBC Young Musician winner Martin James Bartlett. As part of the Festival's outreach programme, EYO players have also enjoyed mentoring by world-famous professional musicians, with whom they have appeared in side-by-side performances of works including Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast and Mahler’s Symphony no 1.

EYO gives five concerts a year in West London venues plus another three on the annual European summer tour, as well as running an active outreach programme to local schools. EYO is a self-funded charity which offers bursary support to enable talented young musicians to participate regardless of family income.

Vacancies in the orchestra arise each September as around 25% of their membership moves on to higher education. Auditions are held in June/July and September and they welcome applications from players aged 13-18 of approximately Grade 6 standard or above.

The Festival Trust are delighted that EYO will be mentored and supported by members of the London Mozart Players, in conjunction with their Voyager Outreach Programme. Founded in 1949 by Harry Blech, the London Mozart Players is the UK’s longest established chamber orchestra. Known for its unmistakable British roots, the orchestra has developed an outstanding reputation for adventurous, ambitious programming from Baroque through to genre-crossing contemporary music. LMP has enjoyed a long history of association with many of the world’s finest artists including Sir James Galway, Dame Felicity Lott, Jane Glover, Howard Shelley, Nicola Benedetti, John Suchet and Simon Callow. In addition, students of the Royal College of Music are supporting the EYO brass section.

Lauren Zhang is the Current BBC Young Musician of the Year. Since winning this prestigious competition in her home city of Birmingham Lauren has been invited to perform at the BBC Proms and  Proms in the Park, and is in demand as soloist throughout the UK and further afield. Future highlights include concerto performances with London Mozart Players, European Union Chamber Orchestra and Brno Philharmonic as well as recitals at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall and  Munich’s Herkulessaal.

Lauren studies with Dr Robert Markham in the Junior Department at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and is a pupil at the King Edward VI High School for Girls. In 2016, she won first prize at the 15th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany. Lauren has participated in and organised various charity concerts and is a keen chamber musician.

Leon Gee studied conducting at the Birmingham Conservatoire under Jonathan Del Mar following his formative musical training as a violinist. Further studies ensued in the Czech Republic, at Dartington with Diego Masson, and with British Youth Opera under Peter Robinson.

Since 2006 Leon has been Music Director for the Ealing Youth Orchestra and the Windsor & Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra. Leon is also Conductor of the National Scouts & Guides Symphony Orchestra, while further recent activities include work with the Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust, Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra and the London College of Music Sinfonia.