The Solasian Youth Orchestra Program, which is held every August in Daegu, Republic of Korea is a perfect opportunity for young musicians/students from 18 to 28 to experience how to cooperate and communicate with other orchestra members, a conductor, and a soloist in an orchestra performance.
First held in 2018, this is a week-long project in which about 100 young musicians/students, selected through auditions, receive practical orchestra training, mentoring opportunities and perform for a week with an orchestra. This workshop helps young musicians come one step closer to their dreams of becoming mature musicians and, ultimately a member of an orchestra..
This year the recruitment target for the ‘2023 Solasian Youth Orchestra in Daegu was a total of 82 players who would perform J. Sibelius – Violin Concerto in d minor, Op.47 and D. Shostakovich – Symphony No.5 in d minor, Op.47. The number of performers for each instrument included violin (26 performers), viola (10 ), cello (10), double bass (7), flute (3), oboe (3), clarinet (3), bassoon (3), horn (5), trumpet (3), trombone (3), tuba (1), and percussion (5).
However the number of applications far exceeded these numbers, with over 270 applicants, resulting in a 3:1 overall competition ratio and a 10:1 ratio for certain instruments such as violin. Out of 270 applicants including 6 applicants from the UNESCO Creative Cities of Music (Ambon, Indonesia; Norrköping, Sweden; Lliria, Spain; Metz, France; and Tallinn, Estonia), only 82 young musicians were accepted including Toomas Hendrik Ellervee from Tallinn, Estonia.
The Solasian program is expected to serve as a platform to strengthen international cooperation among UNESCO Creative Cities of Music in the fields of music education and talent development not to mention promoting friendship and providing opportunities to experience different cultures.
For participating young musicians from UNESCO Creative Cities of Music accommodation for up to 10 days in Daegu will be provided by Daegu Concert House. Daegu Concert House is the first venue in Korea to provide young musicians with practical training and a foothold to becoming a professional orchestra member.
The main performance of this year’s Solasian Youth Orchestra at Daegu Concert House Grand Hall was held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8.
Conductor Samuel Lee noted after the main performance that it had been very successful and he was very impressed by the passion for music all the participants in this year’s Solasian Program had. He highlighted the fact that he saw how much improvement they had made over the course of only a week. He also added that he would look forward to seeing them again as professional musicians in the near future.
UNESCO Creative City of Music Daegu Office organized Korean cultural programs (one-day/half-day tours) for Mr. Ellervee (Estonia) with a tour of not only Daegu but also Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty for over 1,000 years which made for a memorable visit. Those who are interested in participating in the Solasian Youth Orchestra program next year, please feel free to send emails to email@example.com
*Solasian is a compound word: Sol meaning ‘the Sun’ and ‘Asian’