Verbier Festival

Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra


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 submitted through the Acceptd on-line platform.

Application Fee: USD 25

Applicants to the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra may choose to audition live or to submit an application by video audition.

Live auditions will take place in: Berlin, Cologne, Geneva, Moscow, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, St Petersburg, Vienna and Zurich, from January to early March 2019.


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.

Fees & Costs

Application Fee
25 USD

Live Audition Expenses
Applicants are responsible for their own expenses related to live auditions (travel, accommodation, etc.)

Costs for Successful Candidates
The Verbier Festival covers the entire cost of tuition, accommodation and meals for each musician.
Musicians are responsible only for the cost of travel (and visa if any) to take part in the VFJO programme.

Invest in a VFJO Musician
The Verbier Festival depends on the generosity of donors to ensure that participants in its Artist Training Programmes are not asked to pay tuition fees. The cost of training for each VFJO musician is more than CHF 10,000. The Festival looks for donations of scholarships to help to offset these costs. A scholarship for one musician is CHF 3,500.

Donate a Scholarship

Live Auditions

You will be notified of your live audition date and time by email by the end of December 2018. Should you already know that you are unavailable on a particular date, please inform Samuel Goldscheider, Orchestras Manager. While the Orchestras team does its best to accommodate scheduling requests, it cannot guarantee that all requests can be met.

Please note: Dates and venues are subject to change; do not book your travel or accommodation before receiving confirmation of your audition.

There will be a jury of at least two people in each live audition, and each audition will also be video-recorded by the jury.

12-14 January – Cologne: Hochschule für Musik und Tanz

15-17 January – Geneva: Centre Saint-Boniface

18-19 January – Paris: Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse

21 January – Rome

24-26 January – Zürich: Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

27 January – Vienna

30 January-1 February – Berlin: Orania Hotel

2 February – Moscow: Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music

4 February – St Petersburg: Mariinsky Theatre II, Prokofiev Hall

19-25 February– New York

22 February – Philadelphia: Curtis Institute of Music

Video Auditions

If you are submitting an application by video audition, you must read ALL of the following instructions before starting your application or recording your video:

  • Instructions on how to make a great audition video can be found in this tutorial
  • Please note that you must perform all the works/orchestral excerpts listed under ‘Audition Repertoire’. You must play the works (both solo and orchestral) as if you were giving a live audition (i.e. straight-through in the order listed). The recording must be made in one take, without cuts or edits.
  • The duration of the one or two solo works (depending on the instrument) should be approximately three minutes’ each (typically the exposition of the concerto or sonata), without any accompaniment. Please choose a place which makes musical sense to stop; works slightly longer than three minutes are acceptable.
  • Please take into account the size of the room and its acoustic as well as your distance from the camera: the more reverb in the room, the closer you should be to the camera (usually three metres or 10 feet).
  • The use of artificial reverberation or any other audio modification software is strictly prohibited.
  • IMPORTANT: listen to your recording to check that it is what you want the jury to hear.
  • Once you are ready to upload your recordings, choose ‘Video Audition’ in the application’s ‘Audition City’ dropdown menu.
  • Upload the video.
  • Once you have submitted your application and paid the application fee, you cannot return to your profile to upload a video.

Audition Repertoire

Please click the link below to access the VFJO 2019 Audition Excerpts for your instrument.




Double Bass





French Horn





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
Language: English

Typical Day

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
Lunch break

1:30 – 4:30 pm
Orchestra rehearsal

5 – 6 pm
Return to Verbier

6 – 11 pm
Dinner, structured downtime, Verbier Festival concert and/or group activities

11 pm
Lights out

Sample Day-Off

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

11 pm
Lights out

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 equippedcommon 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.

Daily Commute

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 Festivalwill 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.

Visit Altitude International Summer Camps

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).

Frequently Asked Questions

I will be younger than 15 or older than 18 on 30 June 2019
We do not accept applications from candidates younger or older than the stated requirements. Musicians aged 18 to 28 may consider the Verbier Festival Orchestra. Musicians aged 18 may apply to either the VFO or VFJO.

When will my live audition be scheduled?
The specific dates of auditions in each city will be listed here in October / November 2018. You will be notified of your assigned date and time by email by the end of December 2018.

I already know that I’m not available on the day planned for my preferred audition city.
What shall I do?
Should you already know that you are unavailable on a particular date, please inform Samuel Goldscheider, Orchestras Manager. While the Orchestras team does its best to accommodate scheduling requests, it cannot guarantee that all requests can be met

Is priority given to either live or video audition applicants?
Priority is not given to those who audition live. However, we recommend auditioning live in order for the jury to meet you in person.

Can I bring a pianist to my audition?
All auditions are unaccompanied, so you cannot bring a pianist.

Does the quality of sound for video applications matter that much?
Yes, the sound quality is of great importance for your video audition. Please read the ‘Video Audition’ information in this document.

Can I play a different concerto movement or a different excerpt than the one listed under “Audition Repertoire”?
You must play the concerto movement or excerpts listed for your instrument – in order for us to be able to judge all of the applicants fairly, we cannot accept any changes to this list.

Can my personal video introduction be in a language other than English?
We do not accept personal video introductions in a language other than English. It is important for us to evaluate your level in English in order to make sure that you can easily exchange with your fellow musicians, coaches and conductors during the project.

Do I need to record my video with or without the score/sheet music?
You may record your video with the score/sheet music.

Other Questions
Please email:
Samuel Goldscheider
Orchestras Manager


Charlotte Malherbe
VFJO Manager