Principal Oboe vacancy

2 November 2023

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

A chamber orchestra stand on the stage of an empty concert hall, playing their instruments

About Aurora

With its signature creative ethos, Aurora Orchestra combines world-class performance with trailblazing presentation and programming. Founded in 2005 under Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon, it has quickly established a reputation as one of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras, garnering several major awards including three Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, a German ECHO Klassik Award and a Classical:NEXT Innovation Award.

Collaborating widely across art forms and musical genres, Aurora has worked with an exceptional breadth of artists, ranging from Sarah Connolly, Ian Bostridge and Leonidas Kavakos to Wayne McGregor, Edmund de Waal and Björk. In recent years, Aurora has pioneered memorised performance (without the use of printed sheet music), and is thought to be the first orchestra worldwide to perform whole symphonies in this way. This distinctive approach forms part of a broader commitment to Orchestral Theatre: adventurous productions that rethink the concert format and offer bold new ways to engage with orchestral music. Based in London, Aurora is Resident Orchestra at the Southbank Centre and Resident Ensemble at Kings Place. The orchestra regularly tours to major venues across the UK and internationally.

Aurora inspires audiences of all ages and backgrounds to develop a passion for orchestral music. Through an award-winning Creative Learning programme, Aurora regularly offers workshops and storytelling concerts for families, schools and young people, including children with special educational needs and disabilities. In 2022, Aurora launched Aurora Classroom, a pioneering learning resource programme for primary schools, including its first feature film for young children and a wide range of resources to help teachers deliver music activities in the classroom. Unit 2, titled ‘Meet the Instruments’, was launched in July 2023.

Principal Oboe position

We are seeking to recruit an outstanding oboe 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 regularly, and one or more represent the players as an observer to the orchestra’s board 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 positionplease click here to apply through muvac.

Application deadline: Friday 8 December 2023

Shortlisted applicants will be called for an audition in London in the week beginning 19 February 2024. Candidates are requested to mention potential availability issues regarding this date in their application.

Full audition details including repertoire, times, venue and requirements will be sent to successful applicants by early January 2024.