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Britten–Pears Orchestra

29 July – 8 August 2020

Antonio Pappano conductor • Vilde Frang violin soloist • Valentina Peleggi assistant conductor

BPYAP Covid-19 Update

Whilst it won’t come as a surprise, we are sorry to say that with the sad cancellation of the Aldeburgh Festival we have also had to take the difficult decision to cancel some elements of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme this year.

The following projects have been cancelled:

  • The Art of Performing 14-20 June 2020
  • Mahler & the late Romantics 21-28 June 2020
  • Composition & Performance Alumni Concert 16-19 June 2020
  • Vocal & Piano Alumni Concert 23-26 June 2020
  • The Britten-Pears Orchestra Course 29 July – 8 August 2020
  • The Orchestral Conducting Course 2 July – 8 Aug 2020

We hope that things will have reached some sort of normality by August, but there are just too many unknowns for such a large and international group of participants as the Britten-Pears Orchestra to proceed planning towards it.

Strauss Ein Heldenleben
Elgar Violin Concerto

The Britten-Pears Orchestra returns in 2020, conducted for the first time by Antonio Pappano.

The two composers in this programme are linked by their mastery of orchestral writing, using massive forces and imaginative ways to conjure an almost overwhelming variety and depth of sound. Strauss’ majestic tone poem is one of the most challenging works in the repertoire, mixing music of heroic grandeur and irresistible energy with moments of chamber music-like intimacy. The concerto Elgar wrote for his own instrument is no less dramatic, with the bravura solo part (played here by Vilde Frang) matched by a brilliance and inventiveness in the orchestra.

Young Artists will be immersed in this repertoire through sectionals and tutti rehearsals, preceded by two days of string leadership coaching for the core of the string group. The section tutors are internationally active orchestral musicians from the world’s leading orchestras.

As this course includes an element for emerging conductors, participants will also form the orchestra for a public conducting masterclass with Antonio Pappano.

“My experience with BPO has been invaluable. To be immersed in an intensive, high standard orchestral experience, to network with other musicians at similar stages of their training, to have mentorship from specialists in the orchestral field, and to experience all this in an area of the UK steeped in musical heritage has given me two weeks to remember and hopefully shape my musical career.” Britten-Pears Orchestra 2018 participant


Some rehearsals and the conducting masterclass will be open to the public.
Final Concert: Fri 7 August 2020 7.30pm in Snape Maltings Concert Hall as part of the Snape Proms

For this course, we except applications from the following instrumentalists:
Double Bass
Flute (doubling Piccolo)
Oboe (doubling Cor Anglais)
Clarinet (doubling Bass Clarinet)
Bassoon (doubling Contrabassoon)
French Horn

String players wishing to put themselves forward for leadership positions should prepare the extra excerpts indicated in the audition guidelines. They should also hold dates 27 & 28 July 2020 for leadership sessions.

Apply for the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme

Who can apply

We look for outstanding emerging professional instrumentalists, singers, composers and conductors who are at the start of their career and who are looking for exciting opportunities to further develop their skills and broaden their horizons. There is no formal upper age limit, but we expect that most Young Artists will be over 18 years old and will be either current students or recent graduates of a major music performance, conducting or composition degree course, orchestral academies or opera studios.

How to apply


Our online applications are subject to an application fee, which covers the cost of a specialist panel of top performers and teachers assessing each audition and the administration cost of running our audition platform:

  • 4 – 21 Oct 2019 £25
  • 22 Oct – 4 Nov £35

Deadlines & Results

Application deadline for all courses in 2020: 4pm Monday 4 November 2019
Results for these courses will be sent out by Friday 28 February 2020.

Application deadline for Chamber Music in Residence & Chamber Music Lab 2021: 4pm Monday 6 April 2020
Results for these courses will be sent out by Friday 29 May 2020.