New Ulster Youth Orchestra leader gets precious centuries-old violin

Samuel Kane gets to grips with the precious Milton Violin
Samuel Kane gets to grips with the precious Milton Violin
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A Northern Ireland musician has been presented with a precious violin dating back almost 240 years after he was announced as the new leader of the Ulster Youth Orchestra (UYO).

Samuel Kane, from Loughgall in Co Armagh, received the exquisite instrument – the Milton Violin – from the Arts Council of NI.

It was made by renowned Neapolitan violin maker, Joseph Gagliano, to be played throughout Samuel’s tenure as leader.

The violin was donated to the Arts Council by Professor Alan Milton in 1980 and in the past has been used by the leader and principal players of the Ulster Orchestra.

In 2013 the Arts Council decided to loan the instrument to the UYO to be used by exceptionally gifted musicians in their role as leader.

Samuel faced a rigorous audition to become UYO leader. Established in 1993, it offers the highest level of orchestral training in the Province.

Paula Klein, UYO general manager, said: “We are delighted that Sam has been awarded the position of leader in 2019.

“We heard Sam recently playing one of his own pieces on the Milton Violin and both the delicacy and the power of this beautiful instrument will be such a great help to him in his developing career.”