World Class Training for String Players up to age 21.

National Youth String Orchestra (NYSO) is one of the UK’s most prestigious and important training organisations for string players up to the age of 21. In our orchestras you will benefit from intensive outstanding personalised coaching from our music directors Damian Iorio, Rachel Erdos and Monica Wilkinson, and their dedicated team of leading professional chamber orchestra musicians.


NYSO’s Senior Orchestra is open to string players aged up to 21 with a standard of Grade 8 and above. The residencies consist of sectional and full orchestra training, with the summer residency also including concerts in major venues  and festivals such as Three Choirs.

NYSO Camerata is for string players aged 13 – 17 with a standard of grade 6 – 8, and NYSO Sinfonia for ages 9 – 12 and grades 5 – 7. Both orchestras develop ensemble skills and incorporate Kodaly musicianship and Dalcroze Eurhythmics sessions linked to the repertoire to develop the specific skills needed for ensemble playing.

NYSO Sinfonietta welcomes talented 7 – 9 year-old string players to its 3-day residencies at Easter and summer, providing a foundation for string ensemble playing with a focus on chamber music, general musicianship and the Kodaly and Dalcroze methods.

Be your Best.

"Damian Iorio is truly inspiring. His knowledge of the music and the context in which it was written enables us to play at an incredibly high level. The team spirit we all share at NYSO and our combined love of music making makes NYSO extra special. I have certainly made friends for life who have inspired me and pushed me to be the best I can." Charlotte.

Come & Join Us.

NYSO has 4 orchestras of different ages and levels. The Senior Orchestra is for Grade 8 and above. Camerata for ages 13-17 and playing standard grade 6-8. Sinfonia for 9-12 years and Grade 5-7, and Sinfonietta for talented 7–9 year-old string players at grade 2-5 or equivalent.

Senior OrchestraCamerata OrchestraSinfonia OrchestraSinfonietta

"I was slightly nervous when I arrived but the atmosphere was so warm and welcoming that I fitted in immediately. Whether you had been at NYSO for years or you were on your first residency it was very easy to make friends. During the residencies I developed my musicality, posture and sight-reading and became more confident generally. The section tutors and my fellow musicians really changed the way I feel about playing the violin."

We pride ourselves on our Pastoral Care. During an intensive week of rehearsals, sectionals and concerts, it is important that the players have sufficient time to relax away from their instruments, so the residencies are suitably timetabled with regular breaks and free time periods for other activities for relaxing or sport. The directors, music coaches, as well as the pastoral team, look out for the well-being of each individual. NYSO provides a very inclusive and welcoming environment that the students like to promote themselves. There is a good social dynamic, which makes everyone feel comfortable on the residencies.

Support Us.

The continued generosity of our supporters enables NYSO to make our residencies accessible to a broad spectrum of talented young string players. This is fundamental to our ethos and key to our continued success.

Become a Supporter