Who can join?


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 for themselves as performers but for each other and as ambassadors, encouraging other young musicians to deepen their relationship with orchestral music.

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

  • You need to be between 13 and 18 on 1 September 2017 in order to apply for NYO 2018. 

  • 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 and any additional dates for events that being an NYO Musician requires you to attend.

  • You have time to prepare for the Rehearsal Residencies.


Auditions are free, and take place around the country, with travel bursaries available.

The audition experience aims to be positive and constructive and all auditionees will receive a workshop and written feedback. Bursaries are also available to cover the full cost of a place in NYO.



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


Sophie Bell




Financial information: costs and assistance

Please don’t let the cost of joining NYO deter you from applying. Each year NYO raises over £1.5m to subsidise every place in the orchestra to a manageable contribution level and ensure that free places are available to musicians who need them.

The actual cost of being part of NYO is £6000, but we ask musicians to contribute less than a third of that. For NYO 2017, the contribution is £1950, which equates to the cost of accommodation and travel.

If you are offered a place in NYO and can't afford this, the NYO bursary scheme will help you. Depending on your financial circumstances we will fund some of the cost or all of it. We can also guide you in applying for support from other organisations.

If you would like to support NYO in reaching a diversity of exceptional young musicians, please contact our development team.


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