Today’s interview is with Paul MacAlindin. Paul discovered from an early age that he loved being an artist leading artists. As a musician, dancer and all-round performer, he found his voice through conducting, a passionate journey that has led him to work with orchestras and ensembles all over the world, from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to the Armenian Philharmonic to the Düsseldorf Symphoniker.

Today is the launch of his amazing book Upbeat: The Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. The story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq as told by Paul 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 and France. 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.

Here’s him in a speaker slam on TEDx last October:

And before that in 2013:

His book can be found on Amazon.

Catch our interview here on bridging cultural divides with music here or below: