Summer plans firming up for National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

Posted on: April 28, 2009

Allegra Klein, founder and executive director of the New York City-based organization Musicians For Harmony, has announced plans for a two-week summer academy of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, to be made up of musicians aged 14 to 29 from all over Iraq. The academy is scheduled to take place from August 2 to 16, 2009 in Northern Iraq. Scottish conductor Paul MacAlindin will serve as music director, and Klein as director of education and cultural affairs. Founder and artistic director of the new enterprise is seventeen-year-old Iraqi pianist Zuhal Sultan. Serving as local project manager will be Majid Azzawi, librarian of the Iraqi Symphony. Sultan and MacAlindin will select members of the orchestra through video auditions. Participants in the summer academy will rehearse and receive coaching during their two-week residency, immediately followed by a five- to six-day tour of Iraqi cities and possibly abroad. Funding and overall support for the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq has been secured from the British Council, according to Klein. In May, the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq also will begin one-on-one internet tutoring to qualified applicants through an extension of Musicians For Harmony’s Mentorship Program.

Posted April 28, 2009

Photo of Zuhal Sultan courtesy Music For A Change Campaign