The Summit of Music-Making
for a new generation of orchestral musicians
The Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra (VFJO) is an international orchestral training programme for musicians aged 15 to 18.
The VFJO was launched in 2013 by conductor Daniel Harding and has evolved into one of the most intensive artist training programmes available to young musicians today. Members of the orchestra rehearse and perform alongside talented instrumentalists from around the globe, are coached by musicians from some of the world’s top orchestras, and attend concerts by a roster of their musical idols during one of the most inspiring classical music festivals in the world. Over three weeks, these young musicians live, work and play in the Alpine villages of Verbier and Le Châble, situated in the glorious the Swiss Alps.
Every summer, for three weeks, close to 60 young musicians aged 15 to 18 are selected to join the Verbier Festival’s artistic community through the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra.
15 July to 6 August
14 July to 5 August
Who Should Apply
Applicants of any nationality who will be aged 15 to 18 on 1 July 2018 may apply to be a member of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra (VFJO).
Musicians are invited to become members of the Orchestra for one edition of the Verbier Festival. They may be re-invited three times; these re-invitations are not guaranteed. To be re-invited, musicians must be aged 18 or younger on the last day of the festival (6 August 2018).
Successful candidates, whether minors or adults, are required to sign an agreement with the Fondation du Verbier Festival, thereby committing to the entire Verbier Festival Orchestra summer session from 15 July to 6 August 2018, and accepting all rules of the VFJO.
Apply to the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra
THE APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS NOW PASSED.
Applications to all Verbier Festival Artist Training Programmes are submitted through the Acceptd on-line platform. Read information about how to submit an application under the tabs below.
Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra musicians may submit an application by video audition or choose to audition live in Berlin, Cologne, Geneva, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris or Zurich. Live auditions take place from mid-January to early March 2018.
Live Audition Applications
17 December 2017
Video Audition Applications
21 January 2018
Decisions will be communicated
9 March 2018
Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra Ambassadors include members or former members of the Orchestra from around the world. They are available to answer your questions about the application procedure or auditions and are happy to share information about their experiences as part of the VFJO.
Pingping Zhang (Beijing), Cello
Languages: Mandarin, English
Nicolas Bernal Montaña, (Medellín), Violin
Languages: Spanish, English
Gabriel Esteban, (Geneva), Cello
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Çiğdem Tunçelli, (Lausanne), Violin
Languages: French, English, German, Turkish
Natalie Loughran (New York), Viola
Typical Orchestra Day
8 – 9 am
9 – 10 am
10 am – 12:30 pm
12:30 – 1:30 pm
1:30 – 4:30 pm
5 – 6 pm
6 – 11 pm
Recreational Activities: Discover the Magic of Verbier!
There is plenty of time to take advantage of the Verbier Festival and the many leisure and sporting activities offered in Verbier. You can attend Festival concerts and Academy masterclasses, play sports or go hiking or swimming. All activities are organized and supervised by qualified professionals.
9 – 10 am
10 am – 5:30 pm
5:30 – 6:30 pm
9 – 11 pm
Activities include group games, swimming, movie nights, kayaking, ropes course, volleyball, indoor Olympics, talent night, bowling, etc.
*All activities are under the supervision of qualified, experienced camp leaders with First Aid training. Specialized activities will be run and overseen by staff with recognised qualifications.
The Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra performs three concerts at Salle des Combins—the Verbier Festival’s main stage. The first two performances are orchestra concerts, and the third, on 5 August 2018, is a collaboration in a semi-staged opera performance with singers of the Verbier Festival Academy, conducted by Stanislav Kochanovsky.
Musicians are also encouraged to embrace the spirit of the festival by collaborating with other musicians in the popular late-night fest’off Windows Concerts chamber series series and in community concerts through the region.
Room & Board
The Verbier Festival provides high quality accommodation to VFJO musicians, in partnership with reputable summer camp organiser, Altitude. Traditional Swiss chalets have been specially selected to welcome the musicians in style, comfort and within proximity to festival concerts and masterclasses.
Located within a few minutes from the heart of Verbier chalets welcome up to 15 musicians in four to six dormitory style rooms, complete with single occupancy beds, shared bathrooms and fully equipped
The Verbier Festival believes in the importance of a nutritious, healthy diet. To this end, all meals are prepared using only fresh, local products. Breakfasts and dinners are served in the chalets in a family-style ambiance whereas lunches are buffet-style meals offered at the canteen of the Collège where participants rehearse daily. Special needs and dietary restrictions are respected.
With a few exceptions, all musical activities take place in rehearsal spaces in Le Châble (a village south of Verbier). For transfers between Verbier and Le Châble, the Verbier Festival will provide passes for the lifts that transport musicians to Le Châble. Several vans are also available depending on weather.
Health & Safety
Every effort has been taken to ensure that participants are cared for throughout their stay in a safe, healthy environment adapted to their needs. There is a dedicated and experienced team on-hand 24/7 to meet a range of scenarios. Group ‘leaders’ are trained in First Aid and other safety courses.
In the event of a minor accident, or should a participant fall ill, staff is on hand day and night. Any medication taken by participants will be stored in a secure area and dispensed by qualified ‘leaders’ as required. In the extremely unlikely event of a more serious emergency, Verbier boasts two state-of-the-art medical clinics. A regional hospital and two university hospitals are only 40 and 75 minutes away respectively (or just ten minutes by helicopter).
In an effort to provide the best possible services to VFJO musicians, the Verbier Festival has parntered with Altitude, a Verbier-based summer and winter camp known internationally for its quality of service and professional staff. Altitude boasts over ten years’ experience in caring for and working with children and young adults of all ages and nationalities.
Its mission is to provide a positive arena for participants to learn, laugh and build confidence. As part of its responsibilities over the summer, Altitude provides several highly qualified, experienced councillors who act as ‘leaders’ to small groups of about 15 participants.
Whereas most activities, musical or otherwise, will be undertaken together as a whole group, these smaller sub-groups will live in the same chalets, eat breakfasts and dinners, and travel together.
English is the primary language of the VFJO. However, the staff of the Verbier Festival and Altitude reflect the diversity of VFJO musicians and speak several languages other than English.