Orpington musician joins Iraqi orchestra

Nick Macorison

Nick Macorison


A music teacher will travel to the Middle East next month to become a tutor with the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq.

It is the second time classically-trained bassoonist Nicholas Macorison, 23, from Orpington, has visited the conflicted country after his first trip in July last year.

Former St Olave’s pupil Nicholas spent five years studying with some of the best musicians in some of the finest music colleges in Europe including Prague and Switzerland.

He said: “This project allows me to deliver the knowledge to this amazing group of young musicians.

Last year I was amazed by how the Iraqi students come together despite all the other things that are going on in their lives. They just want to play and have fun.

“In a region where divides cause death, hatred and destruction, the orchestra brings together these students and allows them to work together with an end goal in mind – we come together as individuals and we leave as an orchestra.”

The project was started by Iraqi music student Zuhal Sultan three years ago.

The tutors come from all over the world and the student from all different regions – Kurds, Arabs, Turkomen, Shias, Christians and Sunnis.

They rehearse in the safer Northern Autonomous Kurdish Region of Iraq and at the end of the two-week course will hold a concert.

After that, the orchestra will travel to Germany to perform with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra in the BeethovenFest Bonn, one of the worlds biggest music festivals.

Mr Macorison added: “This orchestra defies logic by its very existence – it has to fight for every penny it gets, and more people should know about it.”

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