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 do not need to play accompanied.) 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 a NYO accompanist, except harp which will be unaccompanied. 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 solo tuning.


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


We rotate percussion instruments for your pieces and excerpts every year. For NYO 2019 auditions, please prepare a xylophone, marimba or vibraphone piece of your choice.

Percussionists may prepare a short piece in its entirety or sections from longer works. 3.5 octave xylophone, 4.3 octave marimba and 3 octave vibraphone will be provided in the audition.

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 so do think about what you want them to hear in advance of the audition.
  • 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 with your Musicians Area by clicking onto your application, then through to Stage 16 and updating them there. We ask that you do this by 25 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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