The orchestra is formed each year at the National Youth Orchestra Courses and comprises the top talent South Africa has to offer. Members include players from across the country, and are chosen on merit through anonymous auditions - the first, a recorded audition (held in audition centres across South Africa for acceptance to the orchestra courses) and the second, a behind screen audition at the orchestra course (for placement in the orchestra).
The National Youth Orchestra has supported the training and development of South Africa's young musicians through its courses and development programmes for over half a century. Its legacy is far reaching with representation of alumni in top professional orchestras in South Africa and around the globe. In recent years, it has been funded by the National Lotteries Commission and the SAMRO Foundation, among others.
This year the National Youth Orchestra will team up with the Academy of Sound Engineering in an exciting new partnership for the first round of their auditions, where students from the ASE will record the first round auditions.
The National Youth Orchestra Winter Course will take place from 11 - 17 July in Cape Town. This is an intensive programme filled with challenges and excitement for the National Youth Orchestra: this year the musicians will perform Mahler's Fifth Symphony conducted by Polish conductor Ewa Strusinska.
The advanced National Youth Wind Orchestra and National Youth String Orchestra Course runs from 8-17 December in Johannesburg.
There are also various "What It Takes" short courses running throughout the year for instrumentalists and conductors, the first one is for brass instruments in Cape Town in March with UK brass specialist Mark Hampson from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, then the violists are lucky to have Louise Lansdown, Head of Strings from the Birmingham Conservatoire, return to South Africa for their "What It Takes" course, and next on the list is a course for oboists in partnership with the KZN Philharmonic, with Royal Concert gebouw Orchestra oboist Alexei Orgrintchouk.
The National Youth Orchestra courses create exciting performance opportunities for young musicians to interact with music professionals, both nationally and internationally, and are the perfect way for finding pathways to professional careers, bringing people together, and forging lifelong friendships. We are grateful to the National Lotteries Commission for providing sponsorship to the National Youth Orchestra.
If you are able to provide funding for a young musician to attend the course, or would like to contribute in any way to the success of the National Youth Orchestra, please contact us. Mobile: 083 272 2117 Website: Email: