Orchestras

Grand Union Orchestra (GUO)

+44 (0)20 8981 1551

St Margaret's House, London, United Kingdom

London

The Grand Union Orchestra has been the acknowledged pioneer and leading exponent of cross-cultural music making in the UK for over 30 years.

Once memorably described as ‘making cultural diversity an art-form’, it continues to blaze a trail unrivalled by any other organisation.

In the light of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, it is more important than ever to bring people of all ages and cultures together to create work that reflects and responds to our country’s ever-growing diversity, creating unity and healing division.

MUSIC-ED

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

+44 (0)141 552 0909

City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow, G1 1NQ

Formed in 1935 and based at Glasgow’s City Halls since 2006, the BBC SSO is Scotland’s national broadcasting orchestra and performs throughout Scotland, the UK and abroad.

It maintains a busy schedule of broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Television and online.

MUSIC-ED

European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO)

+44 (0)20 7235 7671

6A Pont Street, London SW1X 9EL, United Kingdom

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is one of the world’s pre-eminent symphony orchestras.

Described by the UK Guardian as having ‘gripping, exhilaratingly good orchestral playing, surging with energy, laser-sharp focus and collective daring… [with] a technical prowess that is downright terrifying’, and by EU commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as ‘the best possible ambassador for the European Union’, it has provided an exceptional bridge between music colleges and the professional music world for generations of Europe’s finest musicians since its foundation in 1976.

MUSIC-ED

Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO)

+44 (0)131 557 6800

4 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh EH7 5AB, Scotland, UK

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is one of Scotland’s five National Performing Arts Companies, and is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to music-making and programme planning.

Formed in 1974 with a commitment to serve the Scottish community, it is also one of Scotland’s foremost cultural ambassadors.

MUSIC-ED

Aurora Orchestra

London, United Kingdom

Aurora is many things.

A virtuosic chamber orchestra, built of extraordinary musicians, giving electrifying performances at the very highest international standard. 

A pioneering creative community with a boundless appetite for adventure, the broadest of artistic horizons, and a playful approach to presentation.

A producer of intimate, hand-crafted works of ‘Orchestral Theatre’, sparking vibrant dialogue between music and other art forms.

Above all, Aurora is about bringing the richest musical experiences to the broadest possible audience.  We’re constantly searching for new ways to heighten engagement with music and help audiences get under the skin of great works: whether by performing whole symphonies from memory, collaborating with dancers or circus performers, commissioning film, combining chamber music with story-telling for children, or simply presenting viscerally powerful chamber orchestra performances in intimate settings.

The common thread which links all of this work is simple: great music, brilliantly performed.

MUSIC-ED

SAMYO (National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music)

+44 (0151) 291-3949

17 Shaw Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Samyo is the National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music, and the only one of its kind in the world.

It combines  North and South Indian music traditions with  global influences, and is pioneering a new form of Indian music, while showcasing the next generation of talented young artists.

Samyo is open to musicians between the ages of 12 and 18, Samyo Too to musicians between the ages of 18 and 25, and Sabrang to vocalists between the ages of 14 and 25.

MUSIC-ED

National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO)

+44 20 7494 1733

5 Vigo Street, London, United Kingdom

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) is a charity, whose mission is to promote jazz as an exciting, engaging and inspirational art form through world-class performances and education work. 

NYJO’s flagship band is the UK’s premier youth (under 26) jazz orchestra, performing around 40 concerts annually – nationally and internationally. Alongside these performances, NYJO delivers inspirational education work wherever it goes. NYJO also operates a weekly Academy, which offers London-based access to jazz ensembles for young musicians of varying levels and abilities.

MUSIC-ED

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO)

+44(0) 20 7759 1880

Somerset House, Strand, London, United Kingdom

NYO believes in inspiring its teenage members with a sense of personal responsibility for giving world-class performances.

That starts with giving them fantastic role models. Together we’re building the future of orchestral music.

Grand Union Youth Orchestra (GUYO)

+44 (0)20 8981 1551

St Margaret's House, Old Ford Road, London, United Kingdom

London

The unique Grand Union Youth Orchestra (GUYO), London’s pioneering world music and jazz youth ensemble, brings together young musicians aged 12-26 who wish to explore the world’s major musical cultures.

Players of non-Western instruments are particularly welcome.

Led by top professional jazz and world-musicians from the renowned Grand Union Orchestra, GUYO offers free monthly masterclasses and workshops that explore musical styles from all over the world.

The GUYO repertoire, created and rehearsed in over 60 workshop sessions so far, is continually developing and expanding. It includes arrangements of world music ‘standards’, original music, material adapted from Tony Haynes’ music for the Grand Union Orchestra and contributions and compositions by the orchestra members themselves.

Members get to perform in a varied annual programme, from open-air festivals and Summer carnival processions to large-scale participatory shows playing alongside the Grand Union Orchestra. Past performances have taken place in prestigious East London venues such as the Hackney Empire, Wilton’s Music Hall and Stratford Circus.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

+44 (0)20 7239 9370

Kings Place, York Way, London, United Kingdom

Three decades ago, a group of London musicians took a good look at that curious institution we call the orchestra, and decided to start again from scratch.

They began by throwing out the rule book. Put a single conductor in charge? No way. Specialise in repertoire of a particular era? Too restricting. Perfect a work and then move on? Too lazy. The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment was born.
Since then, the OAE has shocked, changed and mesmerised the music world. Residencies at the Southbank Centre and Glyndebourne haven’t numbed its experimentalist bent. Record deals haven’t ironed out its quirks. Period-specific instruments have become just one element of its quest for authenticity.
Today, the OAE is cherished more than ever. It still pushes for change, and still stands for excellence, diversity and exploration. And almost three decades on, there’s still no orchestra in the world quite like it.

London Gypsy Orchestra

+44 (0)7791 873183

London, United Kingdom

The London Gypsy Orchestra brings together 20 musicians of all backgrounds and nationalities to perform vibrant, passionate and energetic music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

The LGO was established in 2005 by violinist Gundula Gruen, and is currently led by accordionist Pete Watson.

The group performs in a variety of venues and formats – from evening gala concerts to theatre venues and festival appearances.

Venues have included the Union Chapel, St George’s Bristol and Carling Academy Oxford, and festivals have included the Pulse Festival on the South Bank, Dorchester Arts Festival, Rhythms of the World, the London International Gypsy Film Festival and the Ealing Jazz Festival.

City of London Sinfonia

+44 (0)20 7621 2800

City Of London Sinfonia, London, United Kingdom

London

The City of London Sinfonia (CLS) is the orchestral home to over 40 outstanding professional musicians, who come together in the shared belief that music has the power to transform people across all areas of society.

They give over 75 performances every year anywhere from an East London club to international concert halls, cathedrals and opera houses, or communities who because of location or opportunity would not otherwise experience outstanding professional music-making. They spend over 150 days every year in schools where social background often creates a barrier to creativity and ambition, hospitals for young people with severe and challenging conditions, and with older people dealing with loss of loved ones and memory.

CLS were the first orchestra to establish a year-round programme dedicated to making music in schools, hospitals and communities. That programme, Meet the Music, currently spends over 170 days in the community every year making music with a wide range of people, now reaching over 14,000.

National Children’s Orchestras

+44 (0)19 3441 8855

57 Buckingham Road, Weston-super-Mare, United Kingdom

South-West England

The National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain (NCO) operate the UK’s premier symphony orchestras for children. We offer children a life-changing experience with training from top professional musicians.

Our performances are renowned for their intensity, vivacity and commitment, but above all their professionalism. The NCO has six national age-banded orchestras, open to children from 7-13 years old. Membership is on an annual basis, with auditions taking place in October each year.

The National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain provides young people with a world-class foundation for orchestral performance and musicianship. We bring together hundreds of 7-13 year olds from across the country and offer them a life-changing experience – meeting like-minded people and being guided by top professional musicians. As well as creating a safe, stimulating environment in which to explore and enhance their skills and passions, our friendly residential courses also help to broaden the social development of our young musicians.

Established in 1978, the NCO has gone from strength to strength, building up an international reputation as an outstanding orchestra whose maturity belies the age of its members. The NCO has performed in a wide variety of concert venues, from the Royal Albert Hall in London to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, and promises audiences an entertaining and uplifting performance.

Passionate about music, our musicians aspire to the highest standards. Welcome to the next generation of world-class music professionals.