DAMIAN Iorio conducts the National Youth String Orchestra of Great Britain in concert at the National Centre for Early Music, in Walmgate, York, on Thursday.

The 7.30pm programme comprises Britten's Prelude and Fugue for 18 Strings; Part's Cantus In Memoriam for Benjamin Britten, Strauss's Metamorphosen and Tchaikovsky's Serenade.

Born in London into a distinguished family of Italian and English musicians, Iorio began his professional life as a violinist after studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester, and Indiana University in the United States.

He studied conducting at St Petersburg State Conservatoire while serving as a member of the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and has since worked with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; San Francisco Symphony; Opéra National de Paris; St Petersburg Philharmonic; Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony.

The list goes on: Iorio has taken the baton for the BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and Scottish orchestras; BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; Orchestre National de Belgique; Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia too.

Iorio's opera work saw him returning to the Opéra national de Paris for Boris Godunov this summer, when he also conducted Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and he will make his debut with Welsh National Opera next season conducting Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Iorio is a passionate advocate for music education and the right for anyone to have access to music. He has been involved in education projects with Milton Keynes City Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and is music director of the National Youth String Orchestra, hence his involvement in tonight's concert.

As a champion of new music, he has conducted several world premieres, collaborating closely with such composers as Tan Dun, Huw Watkins, Silvia Colasanti and Michael Nyman. Most notably, he conducted the Russian premiere of Nyman’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, receiving a nomination for Best Opera Production at the Golden Mask Festival.

Tickets for Thursday's concert are on sale at £5 upwards at ncem.co.uk or on 01904 658338.