am writing this Soapbox from a music camp outside of Governors Bay in New Zealand’s south island. The National Youth Orchestra comes under the umbrella of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and it runs a camp where some of the best Kiwi orchestral talent gets together to rehearse and then give a performance in Christchurch and one in Wellington. Yours truly is conducting.

Guy Noble Guy Noble

A music camp is all the best bits of music making stuffed into one experience. The young ones are old enough to know how to play their instruments but not old enough to have lost the joy in playing music with 60 other people. They also know that this is a one-off experience like a lunar eclipse or a moment of humility from Donald Trump. It’s also a completely different dynamic in that every player wants to be here, they haven’t sat in the same seat for 30 years and it’s very possible that as they play Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, the Elgar Cello Concerto and the Beethoven LeonoreOverture No 3 they are meeting these masterpieces for the first time, discovering the music...

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