The Scottish youth orchestra aims to raise £20,000 to continue the legacy of its former director


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The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) has launched a new fund in memory of Richard Chester MBE, who passed away in June 2020.  

The Richard Chester Creativity Fund aims to raise £20,000 for the orchestra. One of the projects hoping to benefit from the fund is NYOS Camerata, a pre-professional chamber ensemble for musicians aged 18-25. The Camerata will bridge the gap between youth orchestra and professional ensembles, providing a range of performances and collaborations while working alongside professionals in the industry.

‘Having played such a significant role in the lives of so many young people in Scotland, we aim to relaunch NYOS Camerata in 2024 with support from the new fund,’ NYOS chief executive Kirsteen Davidson Kelly said. ‘We would like to thank the Chester family for their continued support and look forward to continuing Richard’s legacy to nurture, celebrate and widen access to outstanding youth orchestras, inspiring young people to realise their potential.’ 

To mark the fund’s launch, violinist Elena Urioste and conductor Martyn Brabbins will join the orchestra for a programme of Strauss, Elgar and Coleridge-Taylor at Perth Concert Hall on 15 July.  

Chester was director of NYOS from 1987 to 2007 after a career as principal flautist of the Scottish National Orchestra (now known as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra). Alongside his work for NYOS, he was a founding member of the European Federation of National Youth Orchestra and the World Federation of Amateur Orchestras. In 1993, Chester received an MBE for services to music and was a member of the Scottish Arts Council and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Academy of Music. He died aged 77. 

NYOS has become internationally recognised as a training group for aspiring Scottish instrumentalists including musicians such as Nicola Benedetti, Colin Currie, Evelyn Glennie, Rory Macdonald and Sean Shibe. 

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