The story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq is here told by its musical director from its inception to its eventual end. The NYOI came through the most difficult and dangerous of times to produce fine music not only in Iraq but also in Britain, Germany, France and the United States. A beacon of hope and achievement the young musicians and their tutors made bridges across their own ethnic divisions, made great music in the most trying and tragic of circumstances, and became their country's best ambassadors in 5000 years.
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Paul MacAlindin was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and holds degrees and post-graduate degrees from both the University of York and the Open University. He has been a full time classical musician since 1993 when he was Assistant for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic. Since then he has been conductor and guest conductor for many orchestras including New Zealand Symphony, Tonhalle, Dusseldorf, and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. For six years he was musical director of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. Paul MacAlindin is fluent in both English and German.