Verbier Festival

Verbier Festival Orchestra


The Verbier Festival Orchestra (VFO) is recognised as one of the world’s best training orchestras. Since its founding in 2000, the orchestra has united the most accomplished young orchestral musicians from across the globe with the foremost conductors and soloists of our time, among them Maestro Valery Gergiev, its Music Director.

The 2019 VFO summer programme continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence with concerts conducted by Valery Gergiev, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, Lahav Shani and Fabio Luisi. Programmes will include monumental symphonic works including Bruckner’s Ninth, Mahler’s Second and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphonies, Stravinsky’s Petrushka, and Richard Strauss’s opera Die Frau ohne Schatten.

Explore the tabs below to learn how to apply for the 2019 VFO programme or download documentation here.

Apply to the Verbier Festival Orchestra

Applications to Verbier Festival Artist Training Programmes are now closed.

The 2019 VFO live auditions took take 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 Harpists and Percussionists

We will not be auditioning live for harp applicants, and therefore only video applications are possible.

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 Orchestra must be aged 18 to 28 on 1 July 2019.

Musicians are invited to become members of the Orchestra for one edition of the Verbier Festival. They may be re-invited twice; these re-invitations are not guaranteed. To be re-invited, musicians must be aged 29 or younger on the last day of the festival (3 August 2019).

Successful candidates are required to sign an agreement with the Fondation du Verbier Festival, thereby committing to the entire Verbier Festival Orchestra summer session from 1 July to 3 August 2019, and accepting all rules of the Orchestra.

Fees & Costs

Application Fee
$75 US

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

Costs for Successful Candidates
Each position in the Verbier Festival Orchestra is fully funded by the Verbier Festival, including travel to and from Verbier, lodging and meals.

This is an investment of more than CHF 20,000 per musician.The Festival looks for donations of scholarships to help to offset these costs. A scholarship for one VFO musician is CHF 5,000

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 2 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’ here. You must play the works as if you were giving a live audition (i.e. straight-through in the order listed). The recording must be made in one shot, without cuts or edits.
  • The recording of the one or two solo works (depending on the instrument) should be approximately three minutes’ duration each (typically the exposition of the concerto or sonata), without any accompaniment. Please choose a place which makes musical sense to stop; recordings that are 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 3 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 VFO 2019 Audition Excerpts for your instrument.




Double Bass





French Horn


Tenor Trombone

Bass Trombone





Verbier Festival 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 VFO.

Laura Sandrin (Brussels), Flute

Valérie Arsenault (Montréal), Viola
Yada Lee (Toronto), Violin
Sharon Wei (Toronto), Viola

Can Gao (Beijing), Violin

Emma Gibout (Aquitaine), Violin
Célestin Guérin (Paris), Trumpet


Arabella Bozic (Munich), Viola
Pablo Aparicio Escolano (Berlin), Percussion
Maria Castro (Stuttgart), Bassoon
Theresa Schneider (Leipzig), Viola

Matyas Major (Kuala Lumpur), Cello

Maria Kropotkina (Den Haag), Viola
Evgeniya Peschanskaya (Den Haag), Viola
Naomi Shaham (Amsterdam), Double bass

Wiktor Modrzejewski (Kraków), Violin

Elizaveta Yarovaya (Moscow), Violin
Sofia Lebed (Moscow), Viola

Aleksandar Tasic (Rakovac), Clarinet

Zorik Tatevosyán (Madrid), Violin

Aleksander Daszkiewicz (Bern), Violin
Olivia Rose Francis (Zurich), Violin
Zofia Neugebauer (Basel), Flute
Baris Önel (Zurich), Violin
Giulia Ott (Basel), Harp
Coline Richard (Lausanne), Flute
Quentin Sanchez (Geneva), Cello
Cigdem Tuncelli (Lausanne), Violin
Emilie Weibel (Basel), Violin

Marina Aikawa (New York), Violin
Mariya-Andoniya Andonova (New Haven), Double bass
Seth Biagini (New York), Cello
Jonathan Butler (Boston), Cello
Chen Cao (Philadelphia), Cello
Corbin Castro (Houston), Horn
Andrew Chilcote (Miami Beach), Double bass
Jennifer Yunyoung Choi (Miami Beach), Cello
Hyun Jee Chung (Boston), Violin
Benjamin Crofut (Tuscaloosa), Double bass
Hunter Gordon (Port Angeles), Bassoon
Felicity James (Los Angeles), Violin
Jung-Hsuan Ko (Rachel) (New York), Cello
Mitchell Kuhn (New York), Oboe
Natsuki Kumagai (Minneapolis), Violin
Ji Min Lee (New York), Violin
Won Suk Lee (Philadelphia), Percussion
Natalie Loughran (New York), Viola
Mariam Machaidze (New York), Violin
Erika Mitsui (New York), Violin
Joshua Newburger (New Haven, CT), Viola
Andrew Pedersen (Houston), Double bass
Kevin Quill (New York), Violin
Samuel Sparrow (North Carolina), Clarinet
Ian Sullivan (New York), Percussion/Timpani

Frequently Asked Questions

I will be younger than 18 or older than 28 on 1 July 2019
We do not accept applications from candidates younger or older than the stated requirements. Musicians aged 15 to 18 may consider the Verbier Festival Junior 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.

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 CV be in a language other than English?
Yes, we accept CVs in English, French, German or Spanish.

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