The Orchestra Sinfonica Junior (OSJ) was created in the autumn 2007 with the initial idea to constitute a unique symphonic ensemble for children between 9 and 17 years-old. The OSJ made its début on the stage of the Auditorium di Milano on June the 7th 2008 meeting an immediate success, which cemented the establishment of the structure and pushed its coordinators to expand and diversify its activities. Thanks also to a fruitful and effective collaboration with the Associazione è Musica Nuova run by Elisabetta Broggi, the original idea gave birth to an articulated and diversified project based on the age and the technical level of participants.
Thus, to the present day the OSJ is made of two different orchestras. The first one, the Orchestra Baby, gathers kids from 6 to 14 years-old and it prides itself with a great variety of instruments among members. The kids willing to join instead the Orchestra Junior are required to be music students from academies, conservatories or musical high schools. Each season the OJS welcomes 90 to 110 kids. ‘One Orchestra for each age!’ From this motto, the project gives a chance to each kid to live the experience of playing together with fellow musicians, with the final aim of going on stage to perform pieces that fit the technical capabilities of each member. The symphonic experience, instead of being the point of arrival, becomes the very starting point of musical practice for all young musicians. Besides extraordinary concerts, both orchestras actively enrich laVerdi’s seasonal programme. The Orchestra Junior often participates to ‘Crescendo in Musica’, a season dedicated to families willing to stimulate and accompany their kids in the discovery of classical music. The Orchestra Baby started instead a new season on its own entitled ‘Musica da Cameretta’ –literally ‘Little Chamber Music’- and covers three concerts. The events, held at the M.A.C. (laVerdi’s second venue) target audience members as young as they can be. There is no stage, no separation between the juvenile musicians and their spectators, so they can all enjoy and share music’s magical force that bring stories to life. Pilar Bravo conducts the OSJ from October 2011 whereas the first parts of the Verdi Symphonic Orchestra and the tutors of the Associazione è Musica Nuova mentor the young musicians. For its first master class, the OSJ went to Belgrade in summer 2010 to meet The Youth Symphonic Orchestra. That collaboration gave birth to the ‘Giovani Consonanze’ project, now running for its eighth edition. This initiative pursues high social-value objectives igniting authentic friendships between kids from different cultures and customs sharing one same training experience. From 2010, the masterclasses took place in Serbia, Slovenia, UK, Spain, Russia and twice in Italy (Desenzano and Castelsardo).