Verbier Festival
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Verbier Festival Orchestra Applications 2017

The Verbier Festival Orchestra is one of the most renowned training orchestras in the world. Its participants receive a unique insight into orchestral playing of the highest level through intensive coaching from principal members of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The 2017 programme will run from 1 July to 6 August. Following the coaching period, the orchestra performs six concerts during the Festival, which will be conducted by Music Director Charles Dutoit, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Antonio Pappano, Gianandrea Noseda, and Mikhail Pletnev.

Each place in the orchestra is fully-funded by the festival (including travel costs).

Auditions will take place from mid-January until the beginning of March in the following cities: Budapest, Cologne, Geneva, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, Stockholm, Zürich

Application periods

– Flutes pre-screen: 13 October 2016 15 December 2016
– Live auditions: 13 October 2016 – 3 January 2017
– Video auditions: 13 October 2016 – 31 January 2017

Application fees

– Live auditions: $75.00 USD
– Video auditions: $85.00 USD

Applications are administered online through the website Acceptd

In order to start the application process, please click this link (Acceptd) and follow the instructions on the left hand side under “Start an Application”.

Audition dates

Madrid – 10 January
Auditorio Nacional de Música

Zürich – 13 & 14 January
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

Geneva – 15, 17-19 January
Haute école de musique de Genève

Budapest – 20 & 21 January
Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music

Paris – 24-26 January

Stockholm – 30 & 31 January
The Royal College of Music

Köln – 1-3 February
Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln

New York – 12 – 16 February

Moscow – 3 March

Gnessin Moscow Special School (College) of Music

Please note that for scheduling reasons your final audition date and time will be confirmed to you by email between 7 and 10 January 2017.

Special cases

DOUBLE BASS: Please note that auditions for double bass will only be via video.  Applicants have to submit a video application on Acceptd by 31 January 2017.

FLUTE: Due to the high number of applicants, there will be a pre-screening audition via an audition video on Acceptd. Please submit your video by 15 December 2016. You will receive confirmation that you have been selected for a live audition by 31 December 2016.

PERCUSSION: Please note that live auditions for percussion will only be held in Geneva, New York and Zürich. Percussion players who cannot attend these auditions have to submit an application video on Acceptd by 31st January 2017.

HARP: Please note that live auditions for harp will only be held in Paris, New York and Geneva. Harp players who cannot attend these auditions have to submit a video application on Acceptd by 31st January 2017.

Orchestra membership requirements & conditions

Auditions are open to applicants born between 1 January 1989 and 31 December 1998.

We encourage applicants of all nationalities to apply for participation in the orchestra.

Each place in the orchestra is fully funded by the Festival, therefore travel to and from Verbier, food and accommodation are covered.

Musicians who successfully apply are admitted for one year. They can be re-invited up to twice, but re-invitations are not automatic.

The highest participation age is 28 as of the last day of the Festival.

Musicians selected to become members of the Orchestra will be required to sign an agreement with the “Fondation du Verbier Festival”, accepting the rules of the Orchestra, and making a firm commitment to the entire Verbier Festival Orchestra summer session: from 1 July to 6 August 2017.

Please note that at the live auditions, all works will be played WITHOUT PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT, even if the original work has accompaniment.


VIOLIN Download excerpts

  • Choose one of the following concerti: Bartók No. 2, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn (e minor concerto), Prokofiev No. 1, Prokofiev No. 2, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky. One movement.
  • One movement of a Bach solo work
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 39, mvmt 1 – Allegro, bar 26 to 142
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 3, mvmt 1 – beginning until B
  • Strauss: Don Juan, bars 1 – 62

VIOLA Download excerpts

  • One movement of a solo piece of your choice (Concerto, Sonata, etc.)
  • One movement of a Bach solo work
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, mvt 1, from 3 before O to 12 before R; mvt 2, from 15 bars after A to C
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 9, mvt 1, from bar 84 to 107; mvt 2, from bar 249 to 309
  • Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, opening to 3 bars after rehearsal mark 3
  • Strauss: Salome, from 1 bar after rehearsal mark 7 to 8; excerpt from Salome’s Dance of the 7 Veils; from 3 bars after rehearsal mark 112 to 118

CELLO Download excerpts

  • One movement of a solo piece of your choice (Concerto, Sonata, etc.)
  • One movement of a Bach solo work
  • Strauss: Heldenleben, Beginning until 4 bars before rehearsal mark 3
  • Strauss: Elektra, from rehearsal mark 110a to 1 bar after 112a; from 5 bars before rehearsal mark 187a until 4 bars after rehearsal mark 187a; from 1 bar before rehearsal mark 1a until 2 bars after rehearsal mark 5a
  • Strauss: Salome, 1 bar before rehearsal mark 125 until 2 bars before rehearsal mark 127
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 9, Mvmt I: five bars after rehearsal mark 7 for seven bars
  • Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, Movement III; rehearsal mark D for 7 full bars (= bar 71-78)
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, mvmt II, bar 21-41

DOUBLE BASS Download excerpts

  • One movement of a Bach solo work
  • Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, from rehearsal mark 28 to 4 bars after 28; from rehearsal mark 77 to rehearsal mark 78
  • Strauss: Elektra, 4 bars before rehearsal mark 57 to downbeat of rehearsal mark 59
  • Strauss: Salome, 6 bars before rehearsal mark 141 to 1 bar after rehearsal mark 142

All applications for the double bass will be via video – there will be no live auditions. Please follow carefully the double bass video application procedures on ACCEPTD.


Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon candidates should prepare:

Woodwind players: At the auditions, you should inform the jury if you play any auxiliary instruments (piccolo, bass clarinet, English horn, etc…). Playing an orchestral excerpt or short solo piece of your choice on auxiliary instruments at the audition is optional, but at the Festival it is expected that all woodwind players will be willing and able to play auxiliary instruments if requested for the summer festival repertoire.


Video pre-screening repertoire (for all candidates) Download excerpts

Flute applicants that are applying only via video should submit a recording consisting of the repertoire listed under “Live auditions”.

  • Mozart Concerto in G Major or Concerto in D Major, 1st mov, exposition and cadenza
  • One movement of a solo work (for flute, not piccolo) of applicant’s choice (with or without piano)
  • Dvorak: Symphony No. 8, mvmt. 4, from letter C to letter E
  • Bizet: Carmen, Nr. 2 Intermezzo

Live auditions (for those invited) Download excerpts

  • Mozart: Concerto in G Major or Concerto in D Major, 1st mvmt, exposition and cadenza
  • Dvorak: Symphony No. 8, mvmt. 4, from letter C to letter E
  • Bizet: Carmen, Nr. 2 Intermezzo
  • Strauss: Salome – Dance of the 7 veils, 2 bars before D to 3 bars after H.
  • Strauss: Ein Heldenleben – 6 bars before figure 14 to 2 bars after figure 14
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 9, Movement 1; 21 bars after figure 16 for 14 bars
  • Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals, No. 10, Volière
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 4, fourth movement, mm 89 – 105
  • (piccolo) Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, mvt 3, meno mosso after Allegro
  • (piccolo) Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9, 2nd mvt from 286 to the end

OBOE Download excerpts

  • A movement from Mozart C major Concerto
  • One movement of a solo work of applicant’s choice
  • Rossini: Overture La Scala di Seta, Opening solo until #3
  • Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin, Prélude, beginning to #2, and #8 to #9
  • Brahms: Violin Concerto, mvmt 2, bar 3 – 32
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, Mvmt 2 opening solo

2 optional excerpts for English Horn:

  • Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture opening solo
  • Dvorak New World Symphony:  Mvmt 2 opening solo

CLARINET Download excerpts

Solo piece (choose one of the 2 pieces below):

  • Debussy : Première Rhapsodie
  • One movement of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto
  • Excerpts
    • Beethoven: Symphony No. 6: Mvmt II from 1 bar before D to 1 bar before E
    • Strauss: Salome: Opening solo to rehearsal mark #1; 4 before rehearsal mark #78 to 3 after #78
    • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4: mvmt I mm 115-120; mvmt III mm 185-193
    • Sibelius: Symphony No. 1: opening solo to Allegro energico
    • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3: mvmt II – entire

Eb clarinet (optional):

  • Strauss: Ein Heldenleben: rehearsal mark #14 to 7 bars before #16
  • Strauss: Salome: 3 bars before rehearsal mark #78, Salome’s Dance: 3 bars before R to 3 bars after U
  • Mahler Symphony No. 9: Mvmt I – mm. 270-272, mvmt I – mm. 413-420, mvmt III – mm. 270-283

Bass clarinet (optional):

  • Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 – Mvmt II Scherzo #23 to 13 bars after #24
  • Khachaturian: Piano Concerto – #220 to #235

BASSOON Download excerpts

  • One movement from Mozart B Flat major Concerto
  • One movement of an additional solo work of applicant’s choice
  • Mozart: Overture Le Nozze di Figaro, 139-171
  • Ravel: Bolero, solo
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, mvmt 1, bar 1 to 12
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, mvmt 2, ending solo


HORN Download excerpts

  • One movement of a Mozart Concerto
  • One movement of an additional solo work of applicant’s choice
  • Beethoven: Symphony no. 9, Mvmt 3: 4th horn solo
  • Strauss: Salome, solo in the Dance of 7 Veils
  • Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, Horn 1, Bars 1-17
  • Mahler: Symphony No 9, Mvmt 1 – Bars 381-391; Mvmt 3 – Bars 523-529

TRUMPET Download excerpts

  • 1st movement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E-flat in its entirety (played on B-flat trumpet)
  • Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, 7 bars before reh mark 50 to reh mark 53
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 9, mvmt 3, bars 352-381
  • Strauss: Salome, 2 bars after reh 315 to 2 bars before reh 318
  • Stravinsky: Petrouchka: Ballerina’s Dance, Waltz, Death of Petrouchka

TENOR TROMBONE Download excerpts

  • Two solo pieces (or movement of pieces) of contrasting character and period
  • Mozart: Requiem (Tuba Mirum)
  • Ravel: Bolero, solo, 3 bars after #10 to #11
  • Mahler: Symphony No 3, from #13 to #34
  • Wagner: Ride of the Walkyries
  • Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben, from #60 to 3 bars before #66; from 1 bar after #71 to #74

BASS TROMBONE Download excerpts

  • One movement of a solo work of your choice
  • Berlioz: Hungarian March
  • Schumann: Symphony No 3, mvmt IV, opening
  • Mahler Symphony No 2: mvmt V, 10 to 11 and 25 to 8 after 26
  • Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels
  • Wagner: Die Walküre, trombone call

TUBA Download excerpts

  • One movement of a solo work of your choice
  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, mvmt IV, 56 to 6 bars after 57
  • Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels
  • Stravinsky: Petruschka, 100 to 101
  • Mahler, Symphony No 2, mvmt V
  • Wagner, Walküre, tuba call

HARP Download excerpts

  • Two solo pieces (or movement of pieces) of contrasting character and period.
  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, mvmt II
  • Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker, Valse des fleurs
  • Mahler: Symphony No. 9, from the beginning until bar 102
  • Strauss: Elektra (1 page in download)
  • Strauss: Salome (4 pages in download)

There will be live auditions for harp players in Paris, Geneva and New York only. For anyone not auditioning in these cities please follow the specific harp video application procedures on ACCEPTD.


PERCUSSION Download excerpts


  • Bach: Bach Sonata Nr. 2 in b minor, Tempo di Bouree mvmt., played without repeats

Snare Drum

  • Prokofiev: Lt Kije, Opening 1 to 2.
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol – Scena e Canto Gitano, long roll plus 10 measures
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade – 3rd mvmt., D to E – 4th mvmt., P to R;


  • Stravinsky: L’Oiseau de Feu (1910) 127 – 133
  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4, 3rd mvmt., bars 206 – 208
  • Messiaen: Oiseaux Exotiques 6 – 7


  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9– 1st movt., 19th measure after to the end
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 – 1st mvmt., begin 2 measures before T to the third measure before U
  • Martin: Concerto for Seven Winds

There will be live auditions for percussion players in New York, Geneva and Zürich only. For anyone not auditioning in these cities, please follow the specific percussion video application procedures on ACCEPTD.

Video audition instructions

For Flute and Double bass players, and for all applicants not able to attend live auditions, you also have the option of uploading a video on Acceptd.

Please read carefully the following points before starting your application:

– Register on Acceptd and create your profile.

– Create your audition video. Instructions on how to make a great audition video can be found in this tutorial.

– Please take into account the size of the room and its reverb as well as your distance to the camera: the more reverb in the room, the closer you have to be to the camera (which should be at least 3 meters/10 feet).

IMPORTANT: listen to your recording to check that it is what you want the jury to hear.

– Please note that you have to play all the pieces and the orchestral excerpts straight through in the order listed. The recording has to be made in one shot, similar to a live audition.

– The recording of the solo piece(s) should not exceed 3 minutes per piece (typically the exposition of the concerto or sonata – please find a suitable place in the music to finish) and piano accompaniment is optional for all pieces.

– Choose “Video application” in the dropdown menu “Audition city”.

– Upload your video.

– Please note that once you have submitted your application and paid the application fee, you cannot go back to your profile and upload your video.

For all video auditions, the deadline for submitting your full application, uploading your video and paying the application fee is 31 January 2017.

Our ambassadors

Our ambassadors are all current or former members of the Verbier Festival Orchestra. Located all over the world, they are here to answer your questions about applications, auditions or to share their own experience of being part of the VFO. Feel free to contact your local ambassador, they will be pleased to help you!



North America/ USA


Frequently Asked Questions

I was born before 1 January 1989 – may I still apply ?
Unfortunately we do not accept applications for those born before 1 January 1989.

What date and time will my audition be?
Please check the page “Audition dates” to find out when live auditions will be in each city. We will organize each individual audition time once we have received all applications, and you will therefore receive your precise audition date and time between 7 and 10 January 2017 (for live applicants in Madrid, you will receive this information by 6 January).

I already know that I’m not available on the day planned in the audition city, what shall I do?
If you already know you cannot make a certain time for your audition, please notify Samuel Goldscheider who will try to accommodate your time accordingly, although this cannot be guaranteed.

Is priority given to either live or video audition applicants?
No – both have an equal chance of joining the orchestra.

Does the quality of sound for video applications matter that much?
Yes, the sound quality is of great importance for your video application – please read carefully the “Video audition instructions” on our website.

I am a flute player and I would like to submit a video application only. Do I have to submit the pre-screening repertoire or the full audition repertoire and is the deadline for video applications 15 December 2016 or 31 January 2017?
For flute players submitting a video application only, you should record the repertoire listed under “Live auditions”. The deadline is 31 January 2017.

Does the flute pre-screen video need to be recorded in one take?
Yes, as with all video auditions, the recording should be made from one take.

Can my CV be in another language than English?
Yes, we accept CVs in English, French, German or Spanish.

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

How long should each solo piece be for the video application?
The recording of the 2 solo pieces should not exceed 3 minutes per piece (typically the exposition of the concerto or sonata).

Will my application fee be reimbursed if I am not accepted into the programme ?
Unfortunately we cannot reimburse applicants if they are either accepted or not into the programme. Fees are used to pay the costs of the auditions and therefore cannot be returned.

For any other questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Samuel Goldscheider.