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Youngsters get a lesson in classical music at New Year concert

Youngsters had a great time learning about classical music and even taking part in the Philharmonic New Year’s Concert alongside the European Sinfonietta.

The event held at the John Mackintosh Hall was conducted by James Ham and some of the children even had the opportunity try out the role of conductor for themselves.

The children’s concert was organised by the Philharmonic Society on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Education.

Another concert for adults was held later yesterday evening.

The orchestral fun-filled concert for children was geared for the whole family included a draw to give the chance to younger members of the audience to conduct the orchestra.

Instruments were supplied to the younger members to perform with the orchestra during those pieces.

Mr Ham studied conducting at the St Petersburg Conservatory.

Recent and future performances include concerts with the Magdeburgische Philharmonie, Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie, Brandenburger Symphoniker, Ensemble Modern Akademie and education concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

He was currently Principal Conductor of the London Orchestra Project , a chamber orchestra which he co-founded along with Stephen Bryant, concertmaster of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

As assistant conductor, he has worked on a production of Handel’s Belshazzar and also assisted on English Touring Opera’s L’Assedio di Calais. James has conducted workshops with the Komische Oper Berlin, Magdeburg Theater and Staatsoper Cottbus. As Conducting Fellow with Birmingham Royal Ballet, he conducted performances of The Nutcracker, Coppélia and The Grand Tour.

Other orchestras Mr Ham has conducted include the Bochum Symphoniker, Jena Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra do Algarve, Lucerne Festival Strings and New London Orchestra.

Since 2016, Mr Ham has assisted Sakari Oramo on a number of projects with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has also assisted Karel Mark Chichon with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie.

He studied in international masterclasses with Alan Gilbert, Susanna Mälkki, Martyn Brabbins, Roger Norrington, Johannes Schlaefli and Nicolas Pasquet, conducting orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, London Sinfonietta and Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the process.