Newham orchestra’s star player has perfect cross between styles

Darius Alecu

Darius Alecu - Credit: Archant

Though the orchestra is full of talented musicians – something staff involved with it are keen to stress – there is nonetheless one character who seems to stand out.

Darius Alecu, 13, is a Roma violinist of three years’ experience and already an acknowledged star.

The grade-five Kingsford Community School pupil is a synthesis of Western and Roma musical cultures – he knows both equally well – and is full of ambition.

“I love coming here,” he says. “It’s great to show people Roma music and I have made good friends.

“And the other kids like it, too, otherwise they wouldn’t come.”

Darius, whose favourite composer is Vivaldi, initially says Western music is his favourite – before immediately changing his mind to Roma and, later, to simply “both”.

Fellow player John Atotileto, 12, is one of the non-Roma youngsters in the orchestra.

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“It’s a good idea to bring us together,” the Brampton Manor pupil says. “I really enjoy it – especially practising the pieces.”

The trumpeter, who is convinced Darius is the best player in the orchestra, says he is also glad to be learning Roma techniques.

“It’s great to learn by ear,” he says. “Normally I’d read music.”

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