Youth Orchestra

The CBSO Youth Orchestra is the successor to the Midland Youth Orchestra, founded in 1956 by CBSO General Manager Blyth Major and for nearly half a century one of the UK's leading independent youth orchestras.

In 2004 it joined with one of the world's great professional orchestras to become the CBSO Youth Orchestra, giving young musicians from across the Midlands the chance to experience professionally-supported orchestral playing at the highest level.

Open to all Midlands young musicians aged 14 – 21, the CBSO Youth Orchestra gives its members an unmatched opportunity to part of an internationally renowned orchestral organisation, playing challenging music in prestigious venues with top professional conductors and soloists. Complementing the region’s existing youth and schools orchestras, the CBSO aims to have a youth orchestra that is dynamic, challenging and filled with dedicated young players who share the CBSO’s own passion for music.

Members of the CBSO Youth Orchestra benefit from:

  • Sectional coaching from CBSO musicians
  • Performances with leading professional conductors
  • The chance to play in Birmingham's Symphony Hall, one of Europe's finest orchestral concert venues
  • Performing exciting and adventurous music, including regular world and UK premieres
  • The support of the CBSO's management team - exactly like a professional orchestra.

To join the CBSO Youth Orchestra members need to undertake an audition, this process is exactly like a professional orchestral audition, and the panel for all auditions comprises of CBSO musicians. Auditions are held annually during the summer term, but applications can be made at any time.

We ask that applicants are working at a minimum of Grade 7/8 standard for strings and Grade 8+ for woodwind/brass/percussion.

Applications are now open for the 2016-17 season, with a closing date of Friday 27 May 2016. The next set of auditions for the 2016-17 season will take place from June-July 2016 with dates to be published shortly. Any applications received after Friday 27 May 2016 will be deferred to Spring/Summer 2017 auditions for the 2017-18 season.