Classical Preview: The biggest and the best for Leeds concert

"This is a time of huge pride for me, bringing the orchestra to my city, and I urge you to come and watch us in action," says 14-year-old Joanna Twaddle, a cellist in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain taking part in a concert that promises to bring the largest symphony orchestra to appear in Leeds.

"Somehow we are going to get 170 young people onto the Town Hall stage for the final work, Janacek's Sinfonietta," continues James Murphy, the orchestra's director of communications.

"Classical music has so much to offer, and I would thoroughly encourage anyone on the fringes to dive in and get involved", adds Thomas Aldren, the orchestra's newly-installed leader. At least the orchestra has no worries about the present Government financial cutbacks, as it has always existed on corporate sponsorship and parental financial support. If that creates thoughts of elitism, remember that most of its members will have come from state-run schools.

That we have the best youth orchestra in the world can be judged by a programme that would challenge any professional ensemble, the concert opening with Prokofiev's Scythian Suite, the composer's virtuoso response to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. BBC New Generation violinist, Tai Murray, is the soloist in Berg's Violin Concerto, with the American pianist, Stewart Goodyear, playing Liszt's brilliant showpiece, Totentanz.

One of today's most sought-after conductors, the Estonian-born, Kristjan Jarvi, directs.

National Youth Orchestra, Leeds Town Hall, Jan 8, 7.30pm. 0113 2243801.