Celebrating the YCAT - Music Masters Partnership Music Masters and the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) have been building our partnership since January 2020, nurturing young musicians and promoting classical music to wider audiences. YCAT Robey Artist, violist Jordan Bak, has been working with Music Masters in an ambassadorial role delivering workshops and engaging with young learners in schools across London to inspire and enhance their musical education. In particular over the past two years Jordan has become a crucial role model and mentor for children on Music Masters’ Pathways Programme, an accelerated learning route for children from backgrounds currently underrepresented in classical music. The power of cross-generational collaboration has never been more apparent, and in March 2023, artists at various stages in their careers came together for a series of events and opportunities for learning and inspiration. The world premiere of Music Masters Many Voices: Ensemble took place at London’s Wigmore Hall, featuring a collection of new chamber pieces written by professional composers in collaboration with young people on Music Masters Schools Programme. Several pieces were performed by the young musicians themselves, who took to the world-famous stage alongside Jordan and other Music Masters ambassadors. Jordan returned to Wigmore Hall the following week to perform a lunchtime recital as part of the YCAT YCAT Wigmore Lunchtime Series, supported by several rows of Music Masters Pathways pupils with whom he’d been working during the weeks prior. An exciting few weeks ended with a private event where musicians from all stages within the YCAT-Music Masters partnership were present. Samaa, a Year 4 pupil at one of Music Masters flagship schools, performed alongside YCAT artist, pianist Iyad Sughayer. Samaa said of the experience: I was nervous about performing, but I'm glad I did because in the end it was really exciting. Performing with Jordan Bak has been lots of fun. He helps me improve my pieces and how I play them. I'm grateful that I am a part of Music Masters and Pathways because it gave me the chance to learn how to play the violin and make new friends who enjoy music just as much as I do. Emily, an undergraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music and one of Music Masters' Graduate Ambassadors, also performed with Jordan and the Schools Programme pupils. She has spoken about the precious opportunity to work with current Music Masters students, and the importance of helping inspire them. ...I was filled with a sense of overwhelming joy as I realised I was standing, preparing to perform as I had at Samma’s age, but, this time, with Music Masters’ YCAT Robey Artist, Jordan Bak. Watching Samma play made me realise she has no idea what the future may hold for her as a musician and that is genuinely a very exciting thought! She, Jordan and I rely on one another’s various musical stages to continue evolving and inspiring our different journeys of music making. Not only do Graduate Ambassadors participate in the design and delivery of music education in schools but, through the YCAT partnership, they have the opportunity to network with musicians like Jordan and Iyad, who can offer invaluable advice as they progress to the next stage of their careers. As Jordan Bak reaches the end of his tenure as YCAT’s Robey Artist, he reflects on his time working alongside Music Masters: I am so grateful to both YCAT and Music Masters for the incredible opportunity of working with the Pathways pupils in London over the past two years! As the current Robey artist, it has been so fulfilling as a performer and educator to witness the musical and creative development of these bright young minds and to serve as their mentor. I have no doubts that they will grow to become the next generation of the UK's performing artists, teachers, and music lovers. The partnership between YCAT and Music Masters benefits musicians at all levels, with YCAT artists inspiring and motivating children involved in the Music Masters Schools Programme at a critical time in their first contacts with classical music. Conversely, the collaboration provides YCAT artists with a chance to develop an authentic educational approach to communicating their art, nurturing their personal responsibility as cultural ambassadors as they advance in their professional performance career. Music Masters and the Young Classical Artists Trust extend their thanks to Jordan and to all Music Masters ambassadors, who allow us all to look forward with optimism as we work together to cultivate and secure the future of classical music across the UK and beyond. YCAT look forward to announcing the next Robey Artist on Friday 2nd June at the YCAT Public Final Auditions at Wigmore Hall.