Audition Rules and Regulations

Auditions for the participation in the European Union Youth Orchestra are held annually in each of the member countries of the European Union.


The Selection Process:

EUYO works very closely with its local audition organisers in the 27 EU countries. They are responsible for the delivery of the EUYO auditions in their country and we appreciate this collaboration very much.

First round: In several countries where candidate numbers are high or for other administrative reasons there are two rounds of auditions. The panel of the first round of auditions is provided by the local organisers and can consist of one, two or several jurors. Due to the large numbers of applicants there will be a first round of video auditions in Spain and Belgium. Please look at the application form of Belgium and Spain for details. Successful candidates will be informed as soon as possible after the first round that they will be invited to the final round. Please note that it can take a couple of weeks until results of the first round will be sent out, due to the high number of candidates.

Final (second) round:  At the final round of auditions you will be heard by ONE experienced panel member. However, to ensure a fair judgement all auditions will be recorded on video so that they can be judged by a panel specific to your instrument and compared with all other audition candidates across Europe.  

Our tried and tested audition process is designed to ensure fairness across different instruments and countries. This is our highest priority. Your audition is only the first stage of our judging process, as it is followed by an extensive moderation process to guarantee fairness. Your audition is approximately 8 minutes long in which you will play your solo piece and the excerpts. We conduct all auditions in person because meeting the candidate is very important to us.


Rules & Regulations

1. All applicants for the 2020 Orchestra must be aged between 16 and 26 inclusive on 31 December 2019.

2. All applicants must hold passports from one of the 27 current European Union member countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden).


As of 1st February 2020 the UK is no longer an EU member. However under the current transitional arrangements UK players who auditioned in 2019 for the 2020 year and who are offered membership for the 2020 Orchestra are guaranteed that membership until 31 December 2020. 

The eligibility of UK members after the 31 December 2020 will be the subject of any agreements and arrangements between the UK and the EU effected throughout 2020, and will mirror those agreements and arrangements once they become known. Any change in eligibility for UK musicians beyond 2020 will be published in advance of the autumn 2020 auditions for the 2021 Orchestra. 

For more details about the EU/UK Creative Europe proposal click here.  


3. The decision of the EUYO audition panel members in the choice of players is final.

4. All candidates have to compete every year for a place in the Orchestra, even if they have previously played in the Orchestra. Musicians who have been a member or were on the reserve list in either or both of the two years prior to the current auditions are automatically eligible for the final round audition and need not have a preliminary audition. All candidates must still submit an application form before the closing date.

5. Candidates may apply to audition in any EU member state providing that country is the candidate's country of birth, country of residence or country of study/work.

6. As part of the audition process EUYO is seeking the finest young musicians in the EU who are interested in working at the highest level of excellence and commitment. The mission of the Orchestra is to unite Europe's most talented young musicians under internationally renowned conductors in and ensemble that transcends cultural, social, economic, religious and political boundaries, all in the common pursuit of musical excellence. The highest standards are therefore critical to the success of EUYO, and the Orchestra seeks as members those who are committed to working towards such high standards.

7. As part of its mission, EUYO is an initiative committed to both the musical and the cultural development of its members, as well as to developing their employment prospects. All applicants will therefore be asked, as part of the application process, to explain why they are interested in joining EUYO and what they hope to gain from the experience if they become a member.

EUYO makes no charge to candidates for auditioning.

EUYO audition days are extremely busy and candidates not turning up can cause considerable delay to the schedule. Therefore, if you do not turn up at your allotted time without prior notice (messages can be left at the EUYO Orchestra Manager's mobile telephone voicemail and email address 24 hours a day), or without a valid medical reason on the day, you are not allowed to audition for the EUYO in the following year.


Disability Policy:

The European Union Youth Orchestra welcomes applications from disabled young musicians who satisfy the usual criteria for application to audition. A disabled musician who wins a place in the orchestra will not be omitted because of that disability. The orchestra will use its best endeavours to ensure that a disabled member of the orchestra can take as full a part as possible in all its activities: not just participation in performances, but in social activities also.


General information:

Candidates will be asked to play a prepared piece of their own choosing (eg a movement from a concerto, sonata etc) and a selection of Orchestral Extracts Percussionists will be asked to play a selection of prepared orchestral extracts only (no piece).

Woodwind Players, you do not need to prepare a solo piece for your auxiliary instrument, just the orchestral excerpts (bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, piccolo, cor anglais, contrabassoon etc).

Flautists, it is expected that you also play the piccolo at your audition. 

Oboists, it is not obligatory to audition on cor anglais, but it increases your chances if you do, as for the tours we will need musicians who can cover the auxiliary instruments as well. 

Clarinettists, please note that it is expected that you bring an auxiliary instrument, but please bring only one! Playing an auxiliary instrument increases your chances, as for the tours we will need musicians who can cover the auxiliary instruments as well. 

Bassoonists, we understand that you may not be able to bring a contrabassoon to the auditions. But please let the panel know if you play the contrabassoon. 


Auditions are held annually in each of the countries of the EU to fill approximately 120 places. Current members have to re-audition, so the competition is high. However, the EUYO also has a reserve list of about 200 players, which we rely on heavily, and those selected for the reserve list have a good chance of getting asked to play in the orchestra at some point during the year. The experience of auditioning for the EUYO is, in itself, widely regarded as invaluable preparation for future auditions with professional orchestras.

Successful candidates will become members of the 2020 orchestra and will be invited to take part in the 2020 spring and summer tours where they will have the opportunity to work with expert instrumental professors and to perform in the great concert halls of the world with renowned conductors and soloists. Courses normally begin with a 2-3-week rehearsal period, when musicians work in tutti rehearsals and in sectionals with the EUYO Tutors, followed by a concert tour. In addition to the preparation of repertoire for the forthcoming tour, the rehearsal period offers opportunities for chamber music, sport and other recreational and social activities to enable musicians to make the most of working in a multi-national environment. We expect musicians who are invited to become members of the 2020 EUYO to take part in both the Spring and Summer Tours. 

Members of the EUYO do not receive a fee, but tuition, travel (including to and from the tour), food and accommodation are provided free of charge.


Tips for auditions:

The key to a successful audition is thorough preparation of orchestral excerpts. Make time for your extracts and listen to the piece if it is unfamiliar to you and/or take a look at the score. It is important that you play the extracts accurately but also with sensitivity to the context of the whole piece, paying particular attention to accurate rhythm, tempi, dynamics and tuning.

Moreover, we have a page that may help you.

If you have any questions about these rules & regulations then please contact Alexia Higgs, Orchestra Manager, or Lisa Wagner, Orchestra and Projects Coordinator.