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Nicola Benedetti and the NYO bring raw emotion to the Proms, plus the rest of July's best classical concerts, reviewed

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain conducted by Mark Wigglesworth perform the London Premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Icarus, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major with Nicola Benedetti and a selection from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain conducted by Mark Wigglesworth accompany violinist Nicola Benedetti Credit:  Chris Christodoulou

Prom 12, Nicolas Benedetti/NYO, cond Mark Wigglesworth, Royal Albert Hall ★★★★

Well-deserved encores aside, the National Youth Orchestra's annual appearance at the Proms was almost an all-Russian affair. When the concert deviated from that course it was in an American direction, first in the soloist Nicola Benedetti's Wynton Marsalis encore, then at the close with everyone throwing their infectious energy into Bernstein's Mambo from West Side Story — a case perhaps of the NYO and the conductor Mark Wigglesworth channeling one of the old party tricks of the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel. 

But where to place Lera Auerbach, whose tone poem Icarus opened the concert so arrestingly?...

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