Who can apply?


Totally Teenage

NYO wants to give the UK’s most dedicated young musicians every opportunity to participate in our vibrant, challenging orchestra. We look for musicians and composers who combine considerable technical aptitude and flair for orchestral playing with a taste for adventure, open minds and a great team spirit. Our musicians have a responsibility not simply to themselves as performers but to each other and as ambassadors, encouraging other young musicians to deepen their relationship with orchestral music.


In this section you will find details about eligibility requirements and what financial assistance is available to cover the cost of auditioning and being part of the orchestra.



If you're aged 13-18, play at Grade 8 distinction level or equivalent, and want to break through to the next level of orchestral brilliance... the world's greatest orchestra of teenagers needs you!





NYO Composers are a unique feature and special section of NYO. We're recruiting teenage composers for a year of immersion in orchestral and creative opportunities. 



We will hold auditions for orchestral pianists alongside other instrumental auditions.  






     As a strictly teenage orchestra, we have the following requirements:




  • You will need to be between 13 and 18 on 1 September 2020 in order to apply for NYO 2021. 

  • Unless you're applying as a composer, you should be at Grade 8 distinction level or equivalent. You will either need a copy of your certificate or mark sheet, or a letter from your instrument or music teacher to provide written confirmation that you are of the required standard.

  • You are a British citizen, or resident or studying in the British Isles.

  • You are not studying full-time at a college of music, or on a joint course with a music college.

  • You are available for all of the rehearsal residencies, tour dates and performances and between 5-10 days of NYO Inspire activity. In addition, we may ask if you would like to attend other activities that come up throughout the year. These will be voluntary. For musicians in the orchestral keyboard section, we will rotate these dates as the repertoire dictates. We ask that all applicants are available for the complete NYO calendar at audition stage; you can see these NYO activity dates here.

  • When you complete your application, there is space to let us know about any availability issues you may have. Once you have been scheduled an audition slot, please let us know within four weeks if you cannot make this date, venue or time. We will do our best to reschedule any auditions, but have extremely limited flexibility. All auditions are offered completely FREE. Once we are four weeks away from the date, cancelled places become very difficult to fill. The actual cost of auditions to us is around £150, so if you have to cancel your place at the last minute we will ask you to make a donation towards this cost. Exceptional circumstances are, of course, always acknowledged and this is a suggested donation.








We have travel bursaries available to help with costs to and from the audition venue. For further information, please email Rahul at finance@nyo.org.uk.

The audition experience aims to be positive and constructive and all auditionees will participate in a workshop and receive written feedback.


Financial information: costs and assistance

We can help you be part of NYO.

NYO subsidises every seat in the orchestra to a manageable level. We raise over £1.8m a year so that we can do this and ensure that free places are available to musicians who need them.

For NYO 2021, we ask for a contribution of £2,190 from each musician. The actual cost of being part of NYO is £8,000, so your contribution represents around a quarter, and equates to the cost of accommodation and travel on tour.

If you are offered a place in NYO and require financial assistance to cover the contribution our bursary scheme can help you. Depending on your financial circumstances we will fund all of the contribution or some of it. In recent years, approximately one third of the orchestra have received some level of financial support from us. We can also guide you in applying for support from other organisations. 

If you would like more information about making a donation to help NYO fund bursaries, learn how you can support us.

I feel very welcome in NYO – it's like I’ve been here all my life!


Sophie Bell




Without NYO, I would never be where I am today. I joined a self-doubting and nervous 13-year-old and the organisation massively helped me, as a musician and as a human being.

Michael Buchanan

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