Orchestral Artistry

Part of MusM/MPerf in Performance (Guildhall Artist Masters)

Orchestral Artistry is an exciting professional specialism for instrumentalists seeking a career in orchestral playing, reflecting what it is to be a 21st century musician.

Part of the Guildhall Artist Masters programme and delivered in close collaboration with the LSO, Orchestral Artistry offers a course of study which is both highly distinctive and ground-breaking in its scope, in a context akin to a professional environment.

Pierre Boulez famously described the orchestra as ‘an ensemble of possibilities’ – and Orchestral Artistry embodies this challenge. The programme focuses on orchestral training, education and outreach, and early career support for the next generation of orchestral players.

The aim of the programme is to produce fully-rounded, excellent instrumentalists who have acquired the professional and entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and capability to become high achieving 21st century musicians. LSO players share their knowledge and experience; and students gain confidence and a detailed understanding of what’s required at the highest level of the profession.

'Getting to work with someone like Sir Simon Rattle – who you see at the Proms, who’s always in the news, and is such a huge figure in classical music; that’s an incredible opportunity that I never would have had if I hadn’t been on this course.'
~Rosie Bowker, Orchestral Artistry flute

As part of the programme, students receive individual tuition from the Guildhall School’s professors or an LSO player who is also a Guildhall professor.

Key elements of Orchestral Artistry training:

  • Intensive orchestral repertoire training: full orchestra, sectionals and single-instrument classes from Guildhall professors and a variety of LSO members (with regular opportunities to play side-by-side with LSO players in Orchestral Artistry rehearsals)
  • Audition preparation and practice
  • LSO rehearsal sit-ins, either listening within or playing alongside the section
  • Occasional LSO performance opportunities with LSO Discovery at the Barbican and in Trafalgar Square
  • Masterclasses, Q&A sessions and coaching with LSO players, guest soloists and conductors, either as an observer or a performer
  • LSO Discovery: workshops and training with the animateurs and LSO members involved with the orchestra’s flagship education and community programme

Orchestral Artistry students have privileged access to the LSO’s Barbican rehearsals, gaining an insight into the music-making of some of the world’s leading conductors. Recently, these have included the LSO’s Music Director Sir Simon Rattle and Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth; and Marin Alsop, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Mark Elder, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Sir Antonio Pappano and Michael Tilson Thomas. Students may also connect with the Barbican’s International partners: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Australian Chamber Orchestra and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

'When you play next to the wonderful players from LSO, you learn all the ime, and everything they do, you try to bring your own playing. The opportunities I've had so far have taught me so much.'
~Oskari Hanhikoshi, Orchestral Artistry Double Bass

Performance opportunities at Guildhall

Performance opportunities on this course embrace a variety of orchestral contexts, including Guildhall Symphony Orchestra concerts in the Barbican, and the Opera orchestra for productions by the School’s acclaimed Opera department. There is a full programme of chamber music, new music, historically-informed performance and interdisciplinary practice. A diverse programme of core and elective modules from the Guildhall Artist Masters programme enable students to further develop skills in practical subjects and research.

Find out more and apply

Visit gsmd.ac.uk/orchestralartistry for further information and to apply.

Student tuba player