Hallé Youth Orchestra


Established in 2002, the Hallé Youth Orchestra offers outstanding young instrumentalists aged 13-19 years, who love orchestral music and the buzz of contributing to a large orchestra, the chance to experience playing in a full symphony orchestra supported by professional musicians.

The Hallé Youth Orchestra meets regularly on Sunday afternoons during autumn and spring terms. Each summer, members enjoy a residential course and tour, alternating between UK and Europe, with visits in recent years to Italy, Dublin, Prague, Germany and Scotland. The latest tour took the Youth Orchestra to Lake Garda in Italy. Their busy schedule allowed them to enjoy the sights of this beautiful part of Italy (from taking a cable car up Monte Baldo to seeing Verdi’s opera Aida in Verona’s world famous Roman Arena) as well as performing 3 concerts in Garda, Verona and as part of the prestigious young musician’s festival ‘Musica Riva’

Now embarking on its third season with Music Director, and Assistant Director of the Hallé, Jonathon Heyward, the Youth Orchestra looks forward to performing some challenging repertoire. The concert in December will feature Strauss Horn Concerto No.1 with Ben Goldscheider and Dvorak’s Symphony No.8. An exciting opportunity arises in February as the stage and podium are shared by musicians of all ages. Members of the Youth Orchestra and the Hallé will sit side-by-side for a performance of music by Bernstein and de Falla. In July 2019 the Youth Orchestra will tour together with the Youth Choir to Barcelona.

Since its creation the Youth Orchestra has participated in many exciting projects, including a three-year ‘Stage Players’ project and performance at the Royal Opera House in London, performing in the Manchester International Festival for Victoria Wood’s comedy musical, That Day We Sang in 2011 at the Manchester Opera House, and joining the Hallé’s collaboration with the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra and Choir in September 2014.

As well as familiar repertoire, the Hallé Youth Orchestra also enjoys tackling more challenging works. Highlights have included Copland’s Billy the Kid, Brahms’s Second Symphony, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony and Dvorák’s Water Goblin.

The Hallé Youth Orchestra is very grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Oglesby Charitable Trust, The Radcliffe Trust, The Zochonis Charitable Trust, Pilkington General Charityand many individual benefactors for their continued support of the Youth Orchestra.


2019-20 recruitment

Application for the 2019-20 will open on 21 December 2018.
Application deadline: Friday 3 May 2019
Auditions will be held in late June and early July 2019

Apply online


Join us

Hallé Youth Orchestra membership is for outstanding young musicians aged 13 to 19 years and of Associated Board grade 8 standard or equivalent, who love orchestral music and the buzz of contributing to a large orchestra. Full members take part in rehearsals and concerts during term-time and in other training activities including residential courses and tours. Members are expected to commit to rehearsals on Sunday afternoons in Manchester during the autumn and spring terms from September 2019. There are no activities during the study leave period of May and June. Youth Orchestra members are also expected to attend a residential course and/or tour during the summer holidays of 2020

Membership is free, however all members will be requested to make a voluntary donation to the Hallé as a contribution towards the core costs of maintaining the orchestra. Members are also expected to contribute towards the cost of residential courses and tours where appropriate.

Limited bursaries are available through an application process to help cover the costs of residential courses, tours and travel to rehearsals and concerts. The Hallé is grateful to the Oglesby Charitable Trust for the bursary fund.


Contact us

For all Hallé Youth Orchestra enquiries, please contact Youth Orchestra Manager, Isabelle Orford at on isabelle.orford@halle.co.uk or call 0161 907 9043.


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