Taking part in Young

How would you like to be fully immersed in classical music for two and a half weeks weeks together with your peers from all over Europe? Discover the great symphonic repertoire under the baton of a world-famous conductor. Come and perform as a member of Concertgebouworkest Young!

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Young 2025

In 2025, the fifth edition of Concertgebouworkest Young will take place. Exact dates to follow.

Audition requirements

Young is open to European residents from any background whatsoever. We are particularly open to candidates who can bring a greater degree of diversity to classical orchestral music and/or who have not had access or the opportunity to train at the highest level or to participate in highly qualified youth orchestras, summer festivals or similar experiences outside their communities.

As a participant, you must have a minimun age of 14 and a maximum age of 17 years old during the whole edition of Young 2025.  Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions to this rule.


Each young musician must be nominated by someone who knows him or her well – a music teacher or a conductor of a local youth orchestra, school orchestra or ensemble, for example. The nominator writes a recommendation, which the nominee can attach to his or her application on Muvac.

Two recommendations

You will need two referees (one of whom is the nominator). Your two referees will then make their confidential recommendations based on your personal and musical qualities. Important questions that need to be answered are:

  • What is the musical motivation for making the recommendation?
  • How would the nominee contribute to Young’s other objectives regarding diversity, ambassadorship and hidden talent?

These two recommendation letters (from the ‘nominator’ and the reference) can be attached to the application on Muvac.

Biographical essay

Describe your background, musical experience and education.

  • Where do you come from? Where do you live? Describe your family, your school and your musical and other hobbies.
  • How long have you had lessons? With whom have you studied? Have you won any prizes? Do you have experience playing in an orchestra?

Audition excerpts

For your convenience, we have provided sheet music of the required excerpts for Young application. If you are unfamiliar with these excerpts, or with performing excerpts in general, we encourage you to listen to recordings of the pieces and bring the excerpts to your private instructors or ensemble leaders for their input.


More information to follow.


More information to follow.


More information to follow.

Timpani, percussion, piano & harp

More information to follow.


Audition videos – ground rules

All candidates applying to Young must record videos complying with the conditions set out below.

  • Each performance component must be recorded in one take with no editing. You can, of course, choose to submit the best of more than one take.
  • All videos must have been recorded no later than eight months before the end of the application period.
  • Successful applicants to Young are not required to use professional equipment and/or studio space. If you pay attention to a few details, you can communicate your way of making music successfully using readily available consumer electronics. Many successful candidates have submitted videos made using an iPhone or other smartphone.
  • Watch our video instructions for additional information and suggestions for creating a successful audition recording.

Audition videos – required components

Introduction: before performing your solo selection, please include a spoken introduction in which you state your name, instrument, hometown, and title of the solo work you have chosen.

Solo piece: : The solo piece is preferably the exposition of a classical solo concerto, but can be any work of your choice, or a movement/section of a longer work, provided that it is approximately three minutes in duration. If the piece is longer than three minutes, you may record an excerpt or submit an unedited three-minute section from a longer recording. You may also use a recent solo recording if it meets the Concertgebouworkest Young audition requirements, but please record and upload the spoken introduction separately. A work with piano accompaniment (except if you are applying on percussion) is strongly preferred.

Excerpts:  Each instrument has to play all required orchestral excerpts for their specific instrument.

Scales: please play one major and one minor (harmonic or melodic) scale in any key of your choice with up to four sharps/flats from memory at a comfortable tempo. Each scale should be played twice, once slurred and once separated, using an articulation or bowing of your choice. Violin, viola, and cello applicants should play two or three octaves; bass, wind, and brass applicants should play one or two octaves.

Video essay: you are asked to answer the following questions.

  • Young aims to select young talent who could use a little extra support in their musical career. How does this apply (or not) to your situation?
  • Young aims to represent the diversity of Europe. How can you help us achieve this goal?
  • Young invites Young alumni to become ambassadors for the programme and for classical music in their communities or home countries. What would make you a good ambassador?

Please notice: this video essay should preferably be spoken in English. If that is too difficult, please record it in your own language.


Video guidelines

Where possible, we encourage you to keep the following in mind when making the recording.  

  1. Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Film in a well-lit space, and be sure that there is mostly lighting in front of you (rather than from behind). Place the camera so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times; we should also be able to see both you and your pianist during the accompanied work, if applicable. Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible, while still allowing the image to be framed as described above.
  2. Try to place the camera on a tripod or flat surface when shooting.
  3. Test the audio level so that there is no distortion during the loudest passages of your selections, while also making sure that the softest portions can still be heard. If possible, consider using an external microphone connected to your camera to record your playing and speaking.
  4. Prior to recording your audition video, clean and/or adjust your instrument to be sure it is in the best possible condition. You may wish to ask your music teacher or a professional repair person to look at your instrument to assist with any necessary adjustments.
  5. While it is not necessary to use a grand piano for the accompanied segment, please be sure the instrument is in good tune before recording.
  6. Other than stopping and starting the camera between segments, no editing of the audio or video is permitted. Applicants whose videos show evidence of any cuts, splicing, manipulation of pitch, or other alteration within a performance segment will be subject to disqualification. Please note the selection of a complete, unedited performance segment out of multiple takes is permissible.

Participation in the Young summer camp is free of charge so that anyone has the chance to take part. Travel expenses, too, are reimbursed. Young is made possible by support from private individuals, funds and the business community.