Talented violinist Isabella Fleming, of Leytonstone and Wanstead High School, represents east London in prestigious orchestra

Isabella Fleming

Isabella Fleming

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A talented young violinist is celebrating after scooping a place in the prestigious National Youth Orchestra for the second year running. Isabella Fleming, 16, got through a tough audition process involving more than 660 other youngsters to secure her spot. Isabella, an A-Level student at Wanstead High School, began her new season at the orchestra with a busy weekend performing at Leeds Town Hall on Saturday (January 5) and the Barbican in London on Sunday (January 6). She said: "When I found out I was really happy and relieved. I love playing the violin and would really like to work in a professional orchestra when I'm older." The youngster, of Leybourne Road in Leytonstone, first began playing the violin nine years ago. She said: "My mum was in quite a few choirs and when I went to watch her I was always fascinated by the orchestra and the strings section. "My mum suggested I try the violin and I haven't stopped playing since." The schoolgirl, who is studying A Levels in Music, Dance and English Literature, said the highlight of her music career so far was performing Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony, a 77 minute long epic, at the Royal Albert Hall last year for the BBC Proms. Isabella, who cites players including Jascha Heifetz, Maxim Vengerov and Nigel Kennedy as her musical heroes, added: "I really enjoy playing in an orchestra and hope to do it for a long time to come. "I much prefer playing in an orchestra to soloing. It's great watching everything coming together as a group and working as a team, and I've made so many good friends through it." The National Youth Orchestra, which has 165 members, was last month awarded the Queen's Medal for Music in recognition of its impact on the musical life of the UK.

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