Iraqi youth orchestra to play in Capital

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The “bravest orchestra in the world” from war-torn Iraq has arrived “home” ahead of its Fringe concert.

More than 40 young people from the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq travelled to the Capital after the Scottish Government handed out £100,000 of seized proceeds of crime.

They will perform in Greyfriar’s Kirk on August 26 with top cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.

The orchestra is conducted and run by a Scot and was founded by a teenager based in Glasgow. Its composer “in residence” lives in Orkney.

Musical director, Paul MacAlindin, 43, said: “Those that were there have either left or have been killed. Instruments are also hard to come by. It is a miracle this is happening at all.

“Each year the young Iraqi musicians get together for an annual summer school where they receive their only musical tuition for the year from carefully selected UK, German and American tutors.

“The NYOI is a fantastic and much needed example of peace and reconciliation in Iraq. I ask people to please help us to realise this positive project for these young Iraqis.”