The kids are alright: youth-programmed music at the Southbank Centre

The kids are alright: youth-programmed music at the Southbank Centre

Jenna Simeonov

On October 22, 3pm at Royal Festival Hall, as part of the Southbank Centre’s WHY? What’s Happening for the Young festival, you can catch the exciting WHYdentity: Young Programmers Takeover concert.

Along with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Southbank Centre’s Festival Makers, aged 15-25 years, have selected a concert programme full of music they and other young audiences want to hear.

Festival Maker Aaron, aged 15, says of the process, “We’ve had some very creative ideas, and I think the concert we’ve put together will have something for everyone. The great thing about the BBC Concert Orchestra is they’re incredibly flexible, and they’ve been very up for doing things in a different way and incorporating our ideas. We want to involve the audience, and most of all we want to inspire the audience; we want to introduce young people to classical music, and to show them the links between classical music and other strands of music like urban and hip-hop.”

The goal of the concert is to bridge the gap between classical and contemporary music, and a glance at the full programme for October 22 - which includes Leonard Bernstein, Sergei Prokofiev, Chick Corea, and Ennio Morricone - seems to confirm that they’ve done just that. Young artists are also featured on the concert line-up, including BBC Young Musician finalist Jess Gillam, In Harmony Lambeth and dance group ZooNation Youth Collective.

Festival Maker Layla, aged 17, says: “We’ve tried to incorporate young musicians into the programme: we’ve looked for young people who are already achieving, to make the point that this isn’t about young people tomorrow, it’s about them today and what they are already doing.”

Find out more about WHY? What’s Happening for the Young, and get full details and ticket information for WHYdentity: Young Programmers Takeover, October 22, 3pm at Royal Festival Hall.

Related Content


Unlike other sites, we're keeping Schmopera ad-free. We want to keep our site clean and our opinions our own. Support us for as little as $1.00 per month.