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Welcome to the National Youth Orchestra in the UAE, proudly representing the region both locally and internationally. The largest in the region, our National Youth Orchestra has over 120 young musicians today, spread over six orchestras aged 5 to 18. The musicians have performed in many of the top venues across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including Dubai Opera, The Theatre at MOE, Al Hosn Palace, Emirates Palace and Global Village for the 50th Golden Jubilee of the UAE. Our mission is to be a beacon of youth and excellence in education through culture and creativity.


Our lockdown performance of the amazing UAE anthem “Ishy Bilady” by acclaimed composed Saad Abdel Wahab, arranged by Dr Munir Bakieh. Bravo!

Playing in an orchestra is a life-changing experience. The NYO is modelled on leading youth and children’s orchestras across the world.

On a weekly basis we instruct our young musicians on good ensemble practise, leadership skills and orchestral playing.


from generation to generation continuing to nurture UAE youth


We instruct our young musicians on good ensemble practise and orchestral playing on a weekly basis

Our musicians are introduced to a wide range of musical repertoire from different periods of musical composition and from different countries

Our musicians receive interaction and tuition from professional tutors

We offer sectional rehearsals and individual instruction

OUR MUSICIANS work with leading international orchestra artists in rehearsals, workshops and masterclasses


We have already had many successful concerts at Dubai Opera through Encore! and Music in the Studio.

We have also had masterclasses with the following prestigious organisations and performers.

We provide weekly professional tutors playing music with our students, offering sectional rehearsals and individual instruction as needed within the framework of the National Youth Orchestra’s schedule. We also offer the incredible opportunity to work with world renowned artists in rehearsals, workshops and masterclasses at least once per term. Musicians in the NYO have already worked with the following visiting ensembles: Welsh National Opera Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC Symphony Orchestra.

We can provide an extra external service to young Emirati students who show talent and dedication and would like to learn instrumental technique with the view of joining the NYO.






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Jonathan Barrett

Jonathan Barrett is a multifaceted musician who has been based in Dubai since 2012. In addition to conducting the NYO, he teaches music and drama at Emirates International School Meadows, is the music producer for the crossover group Sonore Al Andalus, and maintains a thriving private studio of theory, composition and brass lessons. He has conducted and directed various student ensembles for over 10 years, as well as concerts with the Baylor Symphony & Waco Symphony in Texas which featured his compositions. Here in Dubai, he was formerly music director of both the Emirates Community Orchestra and the Dubai Chamber Orchestra. Jonathan enjoys inspiring young students to explore many composers and musical artists and begin composing their own musical works. He teaches students that composing is a vehicle to develop a deeper understanding of music theory, the capability of your own instrument, and the power of music to communicate ideas and challenge our character.

His piece, Positive Spirit based on a poem by HH Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was commissioned by Al Jalila Foundation for its fifth anniversary and was performed at Dubai Opera by the World Doctors Orchestra in March 2018. Jonathan holds degrees in Trombone Performance and Composition from Baylor University in Texas and has studied composition with many acclaimed composers including Scott McAllister, Donald Grantham, Dan Welcher, and the late Daniel Catán. The National Youth Orchestra premiered Jonathan’s work, Sonnet:  Symphony No. 1, The Young Musician’s Guide to the Symphony.

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Eva Gräsbeck
Head of Strings

Finnish violinist, Eva Gräsbeck studied violin at Turku Conservatory in Finland, the Belarus Academy in Russia and the Sibelius Academy in Finland. Her teacher, Olga Parhomenko, was a student of David Oistrach. She completed her diploma and graduated with highest honors from the Sibelius Academy receiving a Masters degree in violin playing. She has performed as a soloist and played in various chamber music ensembles in Finland, Russia and many European countries. Eva was a member of the Finnish National Opera, where she was employed for over 20 years as First Violin. Eva is a much sought-after violin teacher in many schools across the UAE. She has a very successful teaching practise in Dubai with over 50 students. Her students have received prizes in both International competitions and won the UAE Young Musician of the Year prize. One of her students also won the top prize at the 14th Emirates Music Competition in February 2018.

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Jackie Hayter
Head of Winds

Jackie Hayter graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2003 with an Undergraduate Degree in performance, continuing her studies with a Postgraduate Diploma at The Royal College of Music. Prior to this Jackie studied at Chethams School of Music in Manchester. Since leaving music college, Jackie has performed all over the World and recorded regularly with many ensembles and orchestras and established herself as a respected orchestral musician.

Jackie has enjoyed a varied and busy musical career, playing Bassoon and Contra Bassoon with many orchestras including – The Royal Opera House Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, The Urban Soul Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra and The RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland to name just a few. Jackie has also played for West End shows including Carousel and The Wizard of Oz as well as many recordings including the Oscar nominated animation “This Way Up’. She has also toured the World playing principal Bassoon with Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Other career highlights include performing the most memorable score of all time, with the Star Wars world tour.  Wagners Parsifal at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and playing with Ben Folds Five at the Barbican centre in London.

Jackie is an accomplished teacher of all woodwind instruments and currently holds the position of Head of Woodwind at Dubai College.

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Ronald Vint
Head of Percussion

Introducing Ronald Vint, the esteemed Head of Percussion at the National Youth Orchestra of Dubai. With an impressive musical journey, Ron’s experience spans from the Royal Military School of Music to the Royal Hampshire Regimental Band and then the Band of The Grenadier Guards in London. He was a founder member of the Samba group Panelinha Do Samba and led many workshops for Samba music around the UK. He also contributed his talents to the UAE Armed Forces’ School of Music.

Ron currently teaches at Dubai College, JESS, NLCS and English College.  He is the principal percussionist at the National Symphony Orchestra of UAE, and often performs as the drummer for Dubai Opera’s Big Band. Presently, Ron continues to teach and perform in the UAE, finding great joy in nurturing the progress of budding percussionists within the NYO. His passion for guiding young talents fuels his dedication to the Orchestra’s excellence.

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Amira Fouad
Executive and Artistic Director
Acclaimed International Concert Pianist, Amira Fouad is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Youth Orchestra and the Artistic Director of ENCORE!, one of the leading performing arts companies in the UAE specialising in Classical Music and the Arts.Since her London début recital at St. Martin-in-the- Fields, Amira Fouad’s performing career has taken her on tour to North America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and Africa. She has been heard at some of the world’s great concert halls such as Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna, Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Usher Hall in Edinburgh, The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Cairo Opera House, St. John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall and Wigmore Hall in London. She has performed with various orchestras internationally such as the English Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra.
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Catherine Davies
Director of Communications and Events

Catherine has over 25 years of experience working in the International Communications industry across the globe. A specialist in classical music and the arts, Catherine is skilled in digital, public relations, social media, web design, digital strategy and publishing, event management, sponsorship management, corporate outreach programmes, brand strategy, content creation and copywriting. A founder member of the National Youth Orchestra and Encore! Teams, Catherine brings her passion and focus to all our communication activities. Catherine has previously worked with blue chip clients in London, Europe, the United States of America and the Middle East region, including The British Council, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), Shell, The English Chamber Orchestra, Dubai Opera and Premier Farnell.

NYO Team

Nita Mahalingham, NYO Child Safeguarding Lead

Mary Jane Bagatela, Head of Administration

Rishelle Generalao, NYO Support



To register FOR AN AUDITION please download and fill out our online form. Please click the link here: NYO Audition Form 2023 -2024 

Look out for upcoming dates on our Social Media


Weekly Rehearsals every Sunday: 

Address:  Nord Anglia International School, Dubai, Al Barsha

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