How to prepare
At the audition, NJO candidates will be asked to play a solo piece that they have selected from the NJO solo pieces list and a selection of orchestral excerpts from the NJO orchestra excerpts list. Candidates should make sure they prepare one piece from the NJO solo pieces list and all pieces from the NJO orchestral pieces list. Percussionists will be asked to play a selection of the orchestral excerpts only (no solo piece). NJO will provide a pianist to accompany the solo recital piece. Candidates are allowed to bring their own pianist. With the exception of harp players and percussionists, piano accompaniment is mandatory at the live auditions. The pianist provided by NJO will practise with the candidate just before the auditions. Candidates are obliged to bring a score for the pianist. Please note that the requirements for EUYO candidates differ from those for NJO candidates. Go to our EUYO page for more information.
The key to a successful audition is thorough preparation of both the solo piece and the orchestral excerpts. Make time for your excerpts, listen to recordings of the works and/or take a look at the score. It is important that you play the excerpts accurately, but also with sensitivity to the context of the whole piece, paying particular attention to accurate rhythm, tempi, dynamics and tuning.
Take a look at our video’s below for tips from professional musicians, coaches and jury members.
Auxiliary instruments for woodwind players
Although auditioning for auxiliary instruments (bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, piccolo flute, cor anglais, contrabassoon etc.) is not mandatory for NJO and EUYO auditions, woodwind players are nevertheless recommended to audition for these instruments as well, as they are frequently required in the orchestration. If you wish to apply for positions that include auxiliary instruments, make sure to tick the appropriate box/boxes in the application form in the portal and to prepare the required orchestral excerpts for the auxiliary instrument(s) as well. You can find information on the orchestration of each project in Programme & planning by clicking on an orchestra piece. Woodwind players can always audition for auxiliary instruments, even if the next project does not require this particular instrument, so as to be already accepted for a next project which possibly does require the auxiliary instrument.
Please note that if you audition for one or more auxiliary instruments, a solo piece is only required for the main instrument.
Watch the videos below for tips from professionals as well as NJO members!