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
14 July – 5 August 2024
includes arrival and departure dates
how to apply
Applications to the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra programme are accepted by Video Audition.
Please read the guidelines at the following link before beginning your application and before sending any questions to the Verbier Festival Team.guidelines
Over three weeks the VFJO performs two symphonic concerts and an opera. Repertoire highlights include:
Piano Concerto No. 1 Sz 83
Firebird Suite (1919)
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.
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. Coaches for 2024 will be announced soon. The 2023 coaches were:
David Ballesteros violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Caroline Simon violin
Trondheim Symfoniorkester & Opera
German Clavijo viola
London Symphony Orchestra
Kristina Winiarski cello
Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Ulrika Edström cello
Solo Cellist, Swedish Radio Symphony
Mary Javian double bass
Philadelphia Curtis Institute of Music
Magdalena Bogner flute
Komische Oper Orchester Berlin
Karel Schoofs oboe
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
Aleksandar Tasic clarinet
Novi Sad Academy of Arts
Simon Van Holen bassoon
Jorge Monte de Fez horn
Teatro alla Scala Milano
Philipp Hutter trumpet
Jonathan Reith trombone
Orchestre de Paris
Iwan Jenny percussion
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.