Talented young Southport musician is founder of new orchestra

Posted on 24 May 2019

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A talented young musician, composer and conductor who left St. Mary’s College last summer has founded a new regional orchestra.

18-year-old Joshua Quinlan from Southport has established the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra which is set to play its debut concert in his home town in August.

The event will take place at Holy Trinity Church on Hoghton Street in the resort at 7pm on Saturday 17th August.

The programme for the concert - to be conducted by Joshua - includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto featuring soloist Xander Croft, Beethoven’s Symphony No 1 and Romanian Folk Dances by Bartok.

The new orchestra is mainly comprised of top conservatoire students and professional musicians, though it also contains a number of players from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the Halle Youth Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and junior conservatoire students.

According to Joshua - who is also a talented clarinettist - the formation of the new orchestra is the realisation of an ambition that dates back to his earliest involvement in music as a child.

He explained: “The new ensemble features some very exciting young musical talents and it will be an honour to conduct them at our debut concert in the summer.

“However, at the same time the aim is that the new orchestra should be a wonderful showcase for these young performers and bring their skills to the attention of a much wider audience.

“We like to describe ourselves as a ‘young professional orchestra’ which combines performances of an extremely high standard with immense amounts of passion,” added Joshua.

The creation of the Northern Philharmonic Orchestra follows hot on the heels of another landmark musical milestone for the Southport musician.

Late last year Joshua was invited to conduct his own piece at London’s Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth proms concerts which highlight the work of some of the UK’s ‘most creative, innovative and energetic young musicians’.

Joshua - who is currently studying for a degree in music at the University of York – led members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company who were performing his composition, Songs of Stone.

Commenting on the creation of the new orchestra, St. Mary’s College Principal Mike Kennedy, said: “Joshua’s musical achievements to date have been exceptional, as a composer, a conductor and as a clarinettist.

“Everyone at the school is watching his career with keen interest, and we wish him well with the new orchestra which is a very exciting development.”