A YOUNG musician from York has received a medal from the Queen – and then performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in a concert broadcast on national radio.
Jacob George, 16, a pupil at Joseph Rowntree School, was one of five members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain who accepted the Queen’s Medal for Music from the Queen on behalf of the orchestra.
Jacob also went on to play alongside the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Elgar’s Enigma Variations, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
“The National Youth Orchestra is very proud to receive this award, and shaking hands with the Queen herself, followed by playing with an amazing professional orchestra, was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done,” Jacob said.
Jacob, of Bootham Terrace, is the brother of Jessie George, a musical little York girl who died of a brain tumour. Their mother, Lesley Schatzberger, runs the charity Jessie’s Fund, which was set up in her daughter’s memory and helps many disabled and seriously ill children through the creative and therapeutic medium of music.
Jacob said that since becoming a member of the orchestra last year, he had been made principal second violin.
He said: “To be given a leadership role is a huge honour. It was a privilege and an incredible experience to represent the orchestra in accepting the award from the Queen, and to perform with the LSO.”
Jacob also said he was proud that three other young musicians from York – Billy Marshall, 15, Imogen Brewer, 15, and Katherine Raven, 18 – had been successful in getting into the National Youth Orchestra this year. He said: “We’re all really looking forward to a great year of music making.
“Our first stop in the 2013 season is Leeds Town Hall on January 5 before we head to the Barbican Hall in London on January 6.”
The medal celebrates the National Youth Orchestra’s longstanding commitment to nurturing the talent and potential of Britain’s teenage musicians.
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of The Queen’s Music, said: “This award celebrates the overwhelmingly positive influence the National Youth Orchestra has had on the musical world as the standard-bearer for youth orchestras, both at home and abroad.”