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The story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq

I was its conductor between 2009 and 2014

By Paul MacAlindin  

Between 2009 and 2014, I was the conductor and artistic director of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. I first got involved when in 2008 I responded to a newspaper headline “Iraqi teen seeks maestro.” I was intrigued—but also very ignorant.

Barely at peace, with no orchestral tradition that I knew of, what could there be to work with in Iraq? What instruments did they even have? How could it be that we in the west…

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