500 musicians aged between 18–28, who were either born in or are studying in one of the ten countries around the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia or Sweden), submitted applications and will audition in one of four cities: Copenhagen (30 November); Riga (1 December); St Petersburg (2 December) and Berlin (3 and 4 December).
With around 100 places in the orchestra in 2016, competition to join is fierce, although it varies according to instrument. According to statistics, while 105 violinists have signed up to audition for 30 places, 64 flautists, 32 trombone players and 46 clarinettists have applied for the more limited wind and brass sections. 19 per cent of applications come from musicians who have already been in the orchestra, and 81 per cent are from new players, ensuring that more players from across the region will be able to have the special BYP experience, while the orchestra maintains its identity and continuity at the same time.
Auditions follow BYP’s innovative formula of being both mini masterclass and audition, offering everyone who attends the chance to benefit in some way, even if they aren’t selected, and making sure that the most talented and responsive players are chosen for the orchestra. Coaches offer feedback to players on their performance and work constructively with them in the masterclasses, which are open to the public. Coaches for the auditions this year are Jan Bjøranger and Justas Kulikauskas for strings, Martin Kuuskmann and Andrej Zust for woodwind and brass, and Damien Bassman for percussion.
For more details about our auditions, see www.auditions-bmef.eu.