Digging through Ernest Read’s long history of offering opportunities to young musicians at the start of their careers, we came up with another find! The Ernest Read Youth Orchestra was Read’s junior orchestra whose members were talented amateurs and music students up to the age of 25. On March 29, 1980 they performed with Steven Isserlis at St John Smith Square under the baton of Terence Lovett.
At this stage the 22-year old Isserlis had graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and was at the beginning of his professional career. In a 2015 interview he was asked if had found the path towards a professional career in music particularly challenging, to which he replied “Yes!!! I hardly had any engagements until my late 20s. It was tough!”
It’s a nice thought that one of those early engagements was with an Ernest Read orchestra!