Maestro mentors the green kids

It has been ten years since the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic launched its In Harmony programme among deprived kids in the city. They started with 84. Now there are 1,500 being taught some kind of music by the RLPO under the aegis of its music director Vaily Petrenko.

Some of the youngsters came to play at the House of Commons today as the faltering May government hit another boulder in the road.

The story was told of one of the In Harmony founders who, in an extremely poor area of the city, saw two street kids kicking the crap out of each other.

‘Hey, what are you fighting about?’ she demanded, pulling them apart,

‘Bowings,’ said one of the combatants.


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  • One suspects that if she even dared get involved, let alone successfully pulled them apart, they certainly weren’t “kicking the crap out” of one another, and that the whole thing is fanciful exaggeration for “has a mild disagreement”. Which is a shame, as the hyperbole spoils an otherwise good anecdote.

  • Reaching out to youngsters in Liverpool goes back at least 35 years, at the very least to the days of Atarah ben Tovim and Fritz Spiegl and probably before that . It has been continued by members of the Band pretty well continuously since

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