The 60 members of NUS Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO), led by Music Director, Maestro Lim Soon Lee, participated in the Florence Youth Festival in Tuscany from 24 June to 1 July.

Preparing to perform in one of the most anticipated music festivals in Italy, NUSSO members rehearsed twice a week, often three hours per session, on top of intensive sectional practices each week. They also hosted a successful pre-tour concert at the University Town Auditorium to share their programme with friends, family and supporters.

Touring to the beautiful cities of Bologna, Cremona and Florence, NUSSO members gained invaluable exposure through participating in masterclasses, visiting famous luthiers and locations, as well as performing public concerts.

The orchestra performed a selection of classical Italian works which such as Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture and Vivaldi’s Concerto for 2 Violins in A Minor, which featured the orchestra’s own violinists, Samantha Lee and Elizabeth Low. The latter piece was specifically chosen by Maestro Lim as Vivaldi is born in Venice and is recognized as one of the greatest baroque composers. Warmly received by crowds of appreciative audiences at all three concerts, NUSSO gladly acceded to two encores during their Florence concert at Loggia del Lanzi at the Piazza della Signoria.

Masterclasses and visits were opportunities for NUSSO members to learn more about classical music.

The tour also included a two-hour masterclass with Italian conductor Maestro Francesco Fiore at the Cremona Auditorium of the Casa di Risparmio, as well as visits to the famed Violin Liuteria and Museo del Violino in Cremona. Free time was spent taking in the lovely sights and sounds of Tuscany and interacting with other participating orchestras.

For more on NUSSO’s trip to the Florence Youth Festival, please visit www.facebook.com/nussymphonyorchestra.