Senior Orchestra.

Through a carefully planned programme of sectional and full rehearsals, NYSO’s Senior Course sets out to help young players develop the special ensemble skills and techniques necessary to play successfully as a member of a chamber orchestra section. The aim is for each section to play “as one”.

Playing level: Grade 8 and above
Ages: up to 21

Course dates 2020 (provisional)

Easter, 4 – 9 April, venue tbc

Summer,  17 – 25 July, venue tbc

Course dates 2019

Easter, 13 – 18 April  – Felsted School, Felsted,  CM6 3LL

18 April – Easter Course workshop all are welcome 16.30 – 17.30

Summer, 20 – 30 July – Monmouth School for Girls, Hereford Road, Monmouth, NP25 5XT

Previous repertoire includes:

Britten – Prelude and Fugue for 18 strings 2018

Strauss – Metamorphosen 2018

Stravinsky – Apollon musagète 2017

Beethoven – Quartet no. 11 op 95 arr. Mahler 2017

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An essential experience.

Major works in the string orchestra repertoire, from the baroque era through to the present day, are selected for the various challenges they present; both technical and musical. Students work with professional string players whose careers have been spent performing these works all over the world.

Pastoral staff are always on hand to ensure the welfare of students, and provide many different opportunities to relax in the free time.

“ The team spirit and our combined love of music making makes NYSO extra special.
I’ve made friends for life who inspired me and push me to be the best I can.”

Fees. (Easter & Summer courses)

Fees for 2019: £2080 (includes £250 non-refundable place acceptance deposit)

Fees for 2020: £2080 (includes £250 non-refundable place acceptance deposit)

Applications to audition for 2020 orchestra membership are now accepted

Audition Information & Requirements.

If you are aged up to 21 and you are a string player of Associated Board Grade 8 standard or above, you can apply to audition for the National Youth String Orchestra. Auditions are held in September of each year for a place in NYSO for the following year. This page outlines what you need for an audition.

We like to meet candidates and hear them play in person, but we are also happy to accept Multi-Media recordings as auditions. Online applications to be received by 30 September 2019. Video Multi-Media auditions to be received at by 10 October 2019.

An official accompanist will be provided at all live auditions

Audition Repertoire
Two contrasting pieces of own choice

Scales and arpeggios in 2 keys of own choice, to the extent of 3 octaves. Bowings to be slurred 3 octaves to a bow, or separate bows. Rhythm is even notes throughout. 3rds, 6ths, 8ves all in one key of own choice, can be different keys for each section if preferred, to the extent of 2 octaves. Rhythm is at choice, double stops broken/stepped or together, bowing either separate or slurred in any combination

Short sight-reading excerpt

Audition Fee

Audition Dates

2019 auditions for 2020,  Manchester – Saturday 12 October 2019 Royal Northern College of Music. London – 13 October 2019 Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Birmingham Saturday 12 October 2019 Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Audition venue options: Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester


NYSO’s bursary scheme exists for students from families who would find it difficult to meet the costs involved in attending NYSO courses.

More Info

NYSO are delighted to be in partnership with the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Students of the Junior GSMD who missed the auditions may be considered for a place in NYSO, at the discretion of the Music Director and places being available, following a recommendation from their string teacher and audition.