Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music today announce that conductor Enyi Okpara has been selected as the 2023-24 Conductor in Residence with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO). This appointment follows an open call from Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music to nurture diverse talent and representation within the orchestra.
As Conductor in Residence with the LSSO, Enyi will be involved in all aspects of the orchestra, including attending audition panels and taking sectional rehearsals, as well as conducting the orchestra in concert.
Hailing from Camden in North London, Enyi currently studies with Sian Edwards for an MA in Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, where he holds the Derek Butler Award. During his time at the Academy, he has worked with, and received coaching from, conductors including John Wilson, Sir Mark Elder, Daniel Capps and Alice Farnham. He was a finalist at the inaugural Weston Conductors Competition 2022, during which he conducted the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. In addition to his role with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, Enyi is Bursary Conductor of the Havant Symphony Orchestra for the 2023-24 Season.
Hugely passionate about music outreach, accessibility and education, Enyi is also the Artistic Director and Founder of Elysium Music. Founded in September 2021, Elysium is a charity dedicated to collaborative projects between young professional musicians and children. It aims to bridge the gap between music in schools and conservatoire music making by bringing the two groups together in performance during concerts and outreach workshops. Elysium – which consists of the Elysium Orchestra, Consort, Chorus and Outreach Segment – has seen five concerts, four of which Enyi has conducted and project managed, involving children from Low Participation Networks performing alongside young professional musicians.
Enyi Okpara, Conductor in Residence for LSSO says:
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the Conductor In Residence of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra for the 2023-24 year. I’m incredibly grateful to Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music for this incredible opportunity. Having known many friends who have played in the orchestra, I feel honoured to be part of an organisation devoted to young music making at the highest level. I can’t wait to join the LSSO family and work with these talented young musicians on exciting repertoire for concerts in the UK and abroad!”
Tim Pottier, Head of CYM Programmes at Guildhall Young Artists says:
“The London Schools Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to be working with a young conductor in Enyi who brings ideas and energy in abundance and already has some impressive artistic and educational achievements to his name. With an exciting year ahead, we look forward to Enyi’s first appearances on stage with the orchestra, both at Barbican and internationally. He has already made an active start in his post as Conductor in Residence and we’re delighted to be benefitting from the second year of this important partnership with Black Lives In Music.”
Roger Wilson, Director of Operations at Black Lives in Music says:
“I congratulate Enyi on becoming the next Conductor in Residence for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. His selection heralds a mutually beneficial and exciting year ahead for both Enyi and the orchestra. Black Lives in Music are proud to be working in partnership with Guildhall Young Artists and we’re thrilled to see the programme into its second year. As an alumnus of LSSO, I am delighted to be working with the orchestra again as part of our collective effort to drive change in the sector.”
The Conductor in Residence scheme forms a part of Guildhall Young Artists’ commitment to support young musicians from historically underrepresented backgrounds and is part of an ongoing partnership with Black Lives in Music to help build an equitable, inclusive environment at Guildhall School.