Orchestras: VFJO

The Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra (VFJO) is an international orchestral training programme for young musicians aged 15 to 18. Nearly 60 students are mentored by the orchestra’s Music Director, James Gaffigan, and coached by a roster of established players from about the world.

with generous support from

Loterie Romande
Fondation Juchum


Meet the 58 musicians selected for the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra in 2024.

programme dates

includes arrival and departure dates


14 July – 5 August 2024


13 July – 4 August 2025

how to apply

Applications to our 2024 programmes have now closed. Applications for the 2025 edition of the VFJO will open in early October 2024.

Please read the guidelines at the following link before sending any questions to the Verbier Festival Team.


repertoire 2024

In 2024, the VFJO performs two symphonic concerts and an opera. Repertoire highlights include:

Piano Concerto No. 1 Sz 83

Firebird Suite (1919)


james gaffigan

Music Director

James Gaffigan is the second Music Director of the VFJO, after the founding Music Director Daniel Harding, who served from 2013 to 2016. Gaffigan’s history with the VFJO goes right back to its beginnings, having conducted the orchestra in its inaugural summer when it was known as the Verbier Festival Music Camp. He has since watched it evolve into a permanent and important fixture of the Verbier Festival Artist Training programmes. During the 2024 Festival he will conduct all three of the VFJO’s concerts, including two symphonic concerts and one opera.

coaches 2024

Coachings, sectional rehearsals and private lessons are led by a roster of established orchestra members from around the world, many of whom are former musicians of the Verbier Festival Orchestra.

David Ballesteros violon 
London Symphony Orchestra

Caroline Simon violon
Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera

German Clavijo alto 
London Symphony Orchestra

Nicolas Hartmann violoncelle
Violoncelle Solo, Orchestre National de Lyon

Mary Javian contrebasse
Philadelphia Curtis Institute of Music

Magdalena Bogner flûte
Komische Oper Orchester Berlin

Aleksandar Tasic clarinette 
Novi Sad Academy of Arts

Simon Van Holen basson
Contrabassoon Solo, Concertgebouw Orchestra

Clément Charpentier-Leroy cor
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

Nadine Schneider trompette
Trompette Co-Soliste, Orchestre National d’Île de France

Jonathan Reith trombone
Trombone Solo, Orchestre de Paris

Robin Fourmeau percussions
Sinfonieorchester Basel


The VFJO works closely with Altitude, a Verbier-based summer and winter camp known internationally for its quality of service and professional staff. Altitude boasts many years’ experience in caring for and working with children and young adults of all ages and nationalities. Its mission is to provide a positive environment for young people to learn, laugh, and build confidence.

Altitude provides several highly qualified, experienced councillors who lead groups of no more than 15 VFJO students each. Most activities—musical and otherwise—are undertaken together with all VFJO students. These smaller groups live in the same chalets, eat their breakfasts and dinners and travel together.

English is the primary language spoken for all VFJO activities, but the staff of both the VFJO and Altitude come from many different countries and speak a variety of languages.