The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq has announced plans to travel to the U.K. to perform three concerts in August under its music director, Paul MacAlindin. The concerts will take place on August 25 at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow, Scotland; on August 26 at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and on August 28 at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Also appearing with the NYOI musicians will be cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and Iraqi oud player Khyam Allami. The concerts will include a new oud concerto by Scottish composer Gordon McPherson, with full repertoire to be announced at a later date. The U.K. appearances represent the orchestra’s second concerts outside its home in Iraq, the first having taken place at Germany’s Beethovenfest Bonn in the fall of 2011. The orchestra was founded in 2009 by seventeen-year-old pianist Zuhal Sultan as a way to fill the country’s shortage of music instruction by auditioning young Arab and Kurdish musicians and bringing in tutors for a three-week summer academy and final concert.

Posted May 11, 2012