Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra
JOIN THE VERBIER GENERATION: 15 JULY TO 3 AUGUST 2019
The Verbier Junior Festival Orchestra (VFJO) is an international orchestral training programme for musicians aged 15 to 18. Over three weeks, close to 60 of the world’s most talented budding orchestral musicians live, work and play in the Alpine villages of Verbier and Le Châble. They are coached by a roster of established musicians from around the globe, many of whom are Verbier Festival Orchestra alumni and who now perform in prominent orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, San Francisco Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart.
This summer, from 15 July to 3 August 2019, VFJO musicians will prepare and perform three public concerts during the Verbier Festival: one of symphonic works, one featuring a soloist, and a final performance of opera in collaboration with the Verbier Festival Academy‘s Atelier Lyrique. The featured opera for 2019—Mozart’s Magic Flute—will be conducted by Stanislav Kochanovsky.
Verbier Festival Artist Training programmes are delivered in English.
Explore the tabs below for application guidelines or download documentation here.
Applications to Verbier Festival Artist Training Programmes are now closed.
The 2019 VFJO live auditions took place in: Berlin, Cologne, Geneva, Moscow, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, St Petersburg, Vienna and Zurich, from January to early March 2019.
2019 Programmes Deadlines
Live Audition Applications
17 December 2018
Video Audition Applications
22 January 2019
Important Information for Percussionists
Live auditions will be held only in Geneva and New York. If you cannot audition in one of these cities, please apply via video.
Who Can Apply?
Applicants to the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra (VFJO) must be be aged 15 to 18 on 30 June 2019.
Musicians are invited to become members of the VFJO 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 (3 August 2019).
Successful candidates, whether minors or adults, are required to sign an agreement with the Fondation du Verbier Festival, thereby committing to the entire VFJO summer session from 15 July to 3 August 2019, and accepting all rules of the Orchestra, and accepting all rules of the Orchestra.
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
8 – 9 am
Breakfast and travel to Le Châble
9 – 10 am
Private practice and warm-up (optional yoga, meditation, stretching)10 am – 12:30 pm
12:30 – 1:30 pm
1:30 – 4:30 pm
5 – 6 pm
Return to Verbier
6 – 11 pm
Dinner, structured downtime, Verbier Festival concert and/or group activities
9 – 10 am
10 am – 5:30 pm
Mountain hike, kayaking and fondue lunch break in the Alps*
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Verbier Festival Orchestra concert
9 – 11 pm
Downtime in the chalet
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.
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 organised and supervised by qualified professionals.
Lodging & Meals
The Verbier Festival provides high quality accommodation to VFJO musicians, in partnership with reputable summer camp organiser, Altitude International Summer Camps. 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 two to four dormitory style rooms, complete with single occupancy beds, shared bathrooms and fully equipped common spaces for shared activities. Whereas the chalets will house participants of both sexes, each room will be an exclusively single-sex areas. Towels, sheets, pillows and a duvet are all provided. Each ‘home away from home’ is permanently staffed by qualified live-in ‘leaders’ who coordinate breakfast and dinner meals, organise cleaning schedules, supervise all ‘down-time’ and ensure that curfews are respected.
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.
In an effort to provide the best possible services to VFJO musicians, the Verbier Festival has partnered with Altitude International Summer Camps, 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.
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).