Principal Horn vacancy

13 December 2019

Aurora Orchestra is seeking to recruit a Principal Horn to join the group of eighteen freelance musicians who make up its core of Principal Players.

About Aurora

Since its creation in 2005, Aurora Orchestra has rapidly established itself in the front rank of European chamber orchestras. Under the musical direction of Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, it combines world-class performance with adventurous programming and concert presentation. Recent seasons have seen the orchestra work with artists ranging from Ian Bostridge, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Sarah Connolly to Edmund de Waal, Wayne McGregor and Björk.

Aurora has developed flourishing London series at Kings Place (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 in each Proms season since 2010). The orchestra has toured in recent seasons to Singapore, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain, with current international relationships including regular appearances at the Kölner Philharmonie and Concertgebouw Amsterdam. Its award-winning creative learning programme comprises a host of creative workshops and storytelling concerts for families, schools and young people, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

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 three Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, a German ECHO Klassik Award and a Classical:NEXT Innovation award; and recording projects for Warner Classics, Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon.

Principal Horn position

We are seeking to recruit an outstanding horn player 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 50–70 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 10–45 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 distinct 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
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Application deadline: Monday 20 January 2020

Shortlisted applicants will be called for an audition in London on Wed 26 February 2020. Candidates are requested to mention potential availability issues regarding this date in their application.

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

Recent Aurora projects:

Excerpt from Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique performance at the BBC Proms 2019

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in rehearsal

Aurora showreel