Viola vacancy

24th December 2017

Aurora Orchestra is seeking to recruit a Principal Viola to join the group of sixteen freelance musicians who make up the orchestra’s core team of Principal Players.

Since its creation in 2005, Aurora Orchestra has rapidly established itself in the front rank of British chamber orchestras.  Under the musical direction of Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, it combines the highest quality of performance with a creative approach to programming and an exceptional breadth of artistic horizons: recent seasons have seen the orchestra work with artists ranging from Ian Bostridge, Brett Dean, Robert Levin and Sarah Connolly to Edmund de Waal, Wayne McGregor, Michael Clark and Björk.

Aurora has developed flourishing London series at Kings Place (as Resident Orchestra) and Southbank Centre (Associate Orchestra), as well as UK regional residencies in Bristol, Bury St Edmunds and Canterbury.  The orchestra performs regularly at other venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Royal Opera House, and the Globe Theatre; and for major festivals including the BBC Proms (performances at the Royal Albert Hall in each Proms season since 2010). The orchestra has toured in recent seasons to Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain, with current international relationships including regular appearances at the Kölner Philharmonie and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

Highlights of recent years have included premieres by composers including Julian Anderson, Benedict Mason, Anna Meredith, Nico Muhly, Martin Suckling and Judith Weir; a number of major awards including two RPS Awards and a German ECHO Klassik Award; and recording projects for Warner Classics and Decca Classics.

We are seeking to recruit an outstanding violist with wide-ranging experience at the highest level encompassing solo and chamber work as well as orchestral section leading.  The role is offered on a freelance basis: although varying instrumentation means that personnel requirements will differ from project to project, as a guide we currently expect to be able to offer approximately 70–90 days of work per year, with an expectation that the orchestra’s programme of activity will continue to grow over coming seasons.  Aurora’s core identity is as a chamber orchestra and in the main our projects involve between 10 and 45 players. The orchestra’s repertoire, however, is extremely broad, and projects can vary in scale from small unconducted chamber projects to larger-scale symphonic projects.

The ambitious nature of Aurora’s artistic output means that very often players are offered performing opportunities that might be unusual elsewhere in the UK orchestral sector, including performing solo or chamber repertoire within an orchestral concert, playing whole symphonies from memory, working with collaborators including choreographers and directors, and adopting a distinctively theatrical approach to concert presentation. Aurora Principals are intimately involved in the artistic life of the orchestra, and are actively encouraged to make contributions to the programming process, from suggesting repertoire or possible artistic partners to driving individual collaborative projects. The Principals meet formally approximately four times per year, and are represented at the orchestra’s board meetings through an elected representative who observes the quarterly trustees’ meetings.

The successful candidate will combine the very highest musical ability with outstanding leadership qualities and exceptional versatility across different repertoire, from classical chamber orchestra to complex contemporary music, often within the same concert.  It is envisaged that the role will offer solo performing opportunities within a variety of musical contexts.

To apply for this position please visit

Applications deadline: Sunday 4 February 2018

Shortlisted applicants will be called for audition in central London on 2 & 3 May.  Candidates are requested to advise us of any potential availability issues around these dates with their application.

Full audition details including times, venue and requirements will be sent to successful applicants by mid-February.

Applicants may be interested to see the following examples of recent Aurora projects: