Teenage cellist to call a new tune in front of royalty

Ruth Friedlander has her eyes on the top
Ruth Friedlander has her eyes on the top

A teenage cellist’s holiday plans have been put on hold after she was selected as one of the youngest musicians to play for the National Youth Orchestra.

Ruth Friedlander, 14, had intended to go on a break to Pompeii, Italy, but with a place in the orchestra sealed she said the holiday can wait.

The aspiring musician, who recently passed her grade eight exam, competed against 660 other youngsters for a spot in the esteemed orchestra and was amazed when she was selected to perform with 164 other 13- to 19 year olds.

Ruth, from Quainton, said: “I went not really thinking I would get through. I started jumping up and down for a while.

“I was so thrilled, it was completely out of the blue. I didn’t think at all I would get in.”

She said she knew what to expect from the orchestra having watched them on TV and was looking forward to a performing at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Proms and at the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation at Buckingham Palace in 2013.

Ruth’s mother, Kathryn Friedlander, said: “It’s been something she’s wanted to do for quite a few years.

“She just tried it for the experience.”

Mrs Friedlander added that her daughter’s musical talent has been something of a surprise with Ruth playing her grandmother’s cello which had gone unused for years.

“It’s been in the family since the seventies. It had just been sitting there.

“We had put it away in a box room. Neither myself or my husband are musical though. It must have skipped a generation.”

While the Oxford High School student has taken to her grandmother’s cello she never got the chance to meet her as she died before her birth.

However, that has not stopped her from forming a close bond with her cello.

Ruth added: “I feel a great connection to the cello because it is my instrument. I am very protective over it.”

Despite her talent Ruth said she was not sure whether she would pursue a career in music as she is also a keen scientist.