About us

National Youth String Orchestra (NYSO) is one of the UK’s most prestigious and important training organisations for young string players. It provides specialist, quality training for talented young string players up to the age of 21, and gives them regular experience in the art of public performance, both in the UK and on overseas tours.

NYSO’s outstanding characteristic is the standard of coaching available - from a dedicated team of professional musicians with a lifetime's experience of playing in important chamber orchestras such as the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and its current Music Director, Damian Iorio.

Founded in 1995 by Viviane Ronchetti, who was its Director until 2011, NYSO is fortunate to have had Sir Neville Marriner CH CBE as its principal patron for many years. Sir Neville conducted the orchestra on many occasions, including NYSO's 10th and 15th anniversary concerts in 2005 and 2011 in London and concerts in Capri and Ischia, Italy, at the invitation of the William Walton Trust at La Mortella. 

Membership of NYSO's Senior Orchestra is by audition and is open to all string-players aged up to 21 with a playing standard of Grade 8 and above, who display the balance of commitment and potential necessary to benefit from what NYSO offers. There are two Senior residential courses a year, in Easter and summer school holidays. The Easter course consists of sectional and full orchestra training as a preparation for the summer course, which involves concerts as well as training. Auditions are held in Autumn of each year for a place in the main orchestra for the following year.

Membership of NYSO's Intermediate Orchestra is also by audition and is for string players with a playing standard of grade 6 to grade 8 level and above. Intermediate NYSO introduces ensemble skills to less experienced players and incorporate Kodaly musicianship and Dalcroze Eurhythmics sessions linked to the repertoire to develop the specific skills needed for ensemble playing.

Previously called the National Youth Strings Academy, NYSO changed its name in 2013. To find out more about NYSO's history, click here for an interesting and insightful article by the founder of NYSO Viviane Ronchetti.

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