In the first part of your NYO audition you will play pieces for the panel.  You will find outlined below what is expected for each section of the orchestra - Strings and Wind, Brass and Percussion - alongside tips for choosing your pieces.


girl-with-gitar-imgStrings and Wind

Strings and Wind

Prepare two accompanied excerpts from pieces of your own choice, lasting no more than six minutes in total. Harps will play unaccompanied. We suggest you play two different works by contrasting composers. Provide a copy of your pieces for the panel, and a copy of the piano accompaniment for the pianist. All musicians will use an NYO accompanist. For double bass auditions, we expect you to play with orchestral tuning. If you would like to play your pieces with solo tuning, you will need to bring a second bass with you.


You will need to prepare one excerpt from a piece of your choice. You will be asked to play for around six minutes in total so please bear the time limit in mind when choosing your piece. The piece should be accompanied. All musicians must use the professional accompanist provided by NYO so that everyone is auditioned in the same circumstances. Please bring a copy of your piece for the panel, as well as a copy of the piano accompaniment for your accompanist.


Prepare either a xylophone, marimba or vibraphone piece of your choice. This may be a short piece in its entirety or sections from longer works. There will be a set of four timpani (with balanced action pedal mechanism), a snare drum, a 3.5 octave xylophone, a 5 octave marimba, a 3 octave vibraphone and all relevant cymbals provided in the audition room. We will also provide one timpani, a xylophone and marimba, a snare drum and cymbals in the warm up room for practice. Percussion auditions are unaccompanied.

Orchestral Keyboard

In the first part of your NYO audition you will play a piece of your own choice for the panel. You will be asked to play for around three minutes. You can choose an excerpt from a longer piece, but please bear in mind the time limit, otherwise you may be asked to stop before the end of your performance. Always choose a work you know well and enjoy playing, as this will help you to perform at your best. Please bring a copy of your piece for the panel.

Tips for choosing pieces:


  • The audition panel first and foremost want to hear you playing at your best, so always choose works you know well and enjoy playing.
  • The audition panel will only have time to hear around three minutes of each piece (or six minutes if you are a brass player and just playing one piece) so do think about what you want them to hear in advance of the audition. You may prepare short piece(s) in their entirety or sections from longer works.
  • You will only have 5-10 minutes to rehearse your pieces with the accompanist. This can go very quickly, so it is a good idea to make sure you have thought about any cuts you might need to make to your pieces in advance.
  • You can change the pieces you’d like to play by logging into the Musicians’ Area and updating ‘Step 8: Audition Pieces’ in your application. We ask that you do this by 17 August as otherwise we cannot guarantee that we are able to inform the accompanist and panel.
  • You must play the same pieces in final round as in first round (if you have two rounds).
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