The Verbier Festival Orchestra (VFO) is a rite of passage for today’s exceptional young orchestra musicians. It is recognised as one of the best training orchestras on the planet.
Since its founding in 2000, the VFO has brought together rising talents with the foremost conductors and soloists of our time. Nowhere else in the world does the Orchestra’s Music Director Valery Gergiev spend more time in one place each summer than in Verbier. The orchestra includes 97 musicians aged 18 to 28; normally half of its musicians are accepted new to the programme each year. Once accepted, musicians may be re-invited for up to two additional years. Musicians receive intensive coaching from principals of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in preparation for three weeks of rehearsals and concerts with its esteemed Music Director and guest conductors. VFO alumni have gone on to join leading orchestras around the world, including Berlin, New York and Vienna Philharmonics, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, and entirely make up the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra.
27 June – 1 August 2022
includes arrival and departure dates
Age & Nationality
Musicians of all nationalities between the ages of 18 and 28 as of 1 July 2022 may apply.
costs for successful candidates
The Verbier Festival will cover the cost of return travel from each musician’s place of residence to Verbier. Musicians who travel from or return to a location other than their place of residence—and who subsequently face an increased travel cost—are responsible to the pay the difference in fare.
The Verbier Festival will also cover tuition fees and provide lodging, lunches and dinners, plus a stipend for daily breakfast.
Applications open: 20 October 2021
Deadline: 19 January 2022
Application Fee: USD 85
There are no live auditions for the VFO 2022. Applications will be accepted by video submission only.
All members of the 2021 VFO have been invited to return for 2022 and therefore some sections of the orchestra do not have an opening. In such a case, should your application be worthy, you will be placed on the reserve list and may be invited in the event that a musician withdraws. Read ‘Orchestra Section Openings’ in the application guidelines for more information.guidelines / apply now
repertoire highlights 2022
First, Fourth and Fifteenth Symphonies
Un Ballo in Maschera
Le Sacre du printemps
Applicants are required to perform one or two solo works (depending on instrument) as well as orchestral excerpts.repertoire excerpts
Musicians who choose to take part in Verbier Festival Academy programmes do so voluntarily and are therefore obliged to accept and follow rules set out by the Fondation du Verbier Festival in order to make its programmes viable and compliant with local law. In the interest of public safety, the Verbier Festival Academy requires all students to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 for the duration of the programmes in which they take part. All students accepted to Academy programmes will also be obliged to be regularly tested as part of the Festival’s repetitive testing scheme. The Festival reserves the right to make changes to its Covid-19 protection plan as required.
Music Director, VFO
Arguably the most distinguished conductor in the world, Valery Gergiev is a champion of discovering and nurturing new musical talent. He is a vivid representative of the St Petersburg conducting school and a former pupil of the legendary Professor Ilya Musin. In 1988 Maestro Gergiev was appointed Music Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, and in 1996 became its Artistic and General Director. Under his direction, the Mariinsky Theatre has become a major theatre and concert complex, without par anywhere in the world. Despite a schedule that would daunt even the busiest politician, Maestro Gergiev has been a regular visitor to the Verbier Festival and, in 2018, was appointed Music Director of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.
In preparation for work with their formidable maestro and other distinguished conductors, VFO musicians and Academy Conductors receive intensive coaching from musicians of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The list of coaches for 2022 will be listed here soon. In the meantime, the list of 2021 coaches follows:
Derrick Inouye conductor
Caterina Szepes violin
Nancy Wu violin
Désirée Elsevier viola
Dorothea Figueroa cello
Leigh Mesh double bass
Chelsea Knox ﬂute
Nathan Hughes oboe
Jessica Phillips clarinet
William Short bassoon
Joseph Anderer horn
David Langlitz brass
Timur Martynov trumpet
Greg Zuber percussion