Guildhall School of Music and Drama Orchestra

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama Orchestra

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Orchestra

Above: Guildhall students rehearse with Sir Simon Rattle for Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ opera The Hogboon, June 2016

Orchestral Artistry

MMus/MPerf in Performance (Guildhall Artist Masters): Orchestral Artistry

In association with the London Symphony Orchestra

For: Strings, Wind, Brass, Percussion

Introduction to the programme

  • Part One (MMus): one year full-time
  • Part Two (MPerf): one year full-time
    NB. Progression to Part Two is conditional on results from Part One
  • 97 applications / 27 places*

*data from 2015/16 for indicative purposes only

About the programme

Orchestral Artistry is an exciting professional specialism for instrumentalists seeking a career in orchestral playing. Part of the Guildhall Artist Masters programme, it offers a course of study which is both highly distinctive and ground-breaking in its scope, in a context akin to a professional environment.

Watch the video

Find out more about the programme from Guildhall students, staff and LSO players, with footage from rehearsals with Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Antonio Pappano and Bernard Haitink.


In association with the London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Resident Orchestra at the Barbican, attracts outstanding players from all over the world. It has an enviable roster of soloists, conductors and regular artists who feature in its fifty London concerts every year.

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

We value an entrepreneurial attitude to the arts – not only will you master your craft, you will acquire the skills, knowledge and capabilities you need to become a high-achieving 21st-century performing artist.

As part of the course, students receive individual tuition from the Guildhall School’s professors or an LSO player who is also a Guildhall professor. They can also participate in:

  • Orchestral training, sectionals and audition training from Guildhall professors and a variety of LSO players
  • Masterclasses and chamber coachings, either as an observer or a performer, with a variety of LSO players
  • Q&A sessions, masterclasses and chamber coachings, either as an observer or a performer, with international artists working with the LSO.

Other residencies

In addition, members of the Barbican International Associates (such as Concertgebouw Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and Jazz at Lincoln Center) deliver a number of masterclasses throughout the year, enhancing the international flavour of the School and providing insight into the playing styles and sound-worlds of these renowned ensembles.

Part One (MMus)

Orchestral Artistry focuses on excellence in performance, core musicianship skills and leadership and communication. In the first year of the programme, in addition to their one-to-one lessons students receive coaching from LSO players and Guildhall professors in orchestral sectionals, audition experience, and instrumental classes.

There will also be masterclasses from LSO players and international soloists. You will have sit-in opportunities, either listening or playing alongside LSO players in orchestral rehearsals, plus access to a wide variety of educational concerts and workshops.

Part 2 (MPerf)

If you progress to Year 2, you will be given more autonomy in arranging your own assessed projects, as well as continuing activities from the first year. The second year is strongly focused on further development of technical and artistic abilities. Breadth of repertoire, individual creative output and professional experience are also key features.

Students in both years can take part in the LSO’s education and community programmes such as the LSO On Track and Early Years Outreach, as well as Creative Learning projects. This will enable you to learn how community-based programmes are delivered, and meet the professional animateurs, performers and administration teams involved in these projects.

Performance opportunities

Performance opportunities on this course embrace a variety of orchestral contexts, including 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 in Part One from the Guildhall Artist Masters programme will enable you to further develop your skills in practical subjects and research.

Find out more

Visit our Music pages for further information on teaching staff, audition requirements, open days and how to apply.

Postgraduate Funding Support

Find out more about government financial support that is available for this programme.