If you are looking for performance opportunities and support at the start of your professional career, you will find lots of useful information in this section.

Schemes for musicians at the start of their professional careers

Park Lane Group (PLG)

The Park Lane Group provides a platform for outstanding young musicians and performances of special interest. PLG performances help to establish the careers of generations of vastly talented young artists. Many of the PLG's carefully selected performers are among the famous names on the international concert and opera circuit. More hold principal chairs in many leading orchestras and ensembles in the UK and on the Continent. The PLG's annual Spring auditions are in the Southbank Centre's Purcell Room. The PLG concert series are presented in the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, and other prestigious venues, plus sets of events across the UK. Programming often includes works by living and young composers.

Live Music Now! (LMN)

A charitable scheme that promotes concerts in community venues and aims to assist young professional musicians at the outset of their careers by providing paid performance opportunities and training and professional development in the field of music outreach.

Young Classical Artists Trust (known as YCAT)

YCAT provides a unique stepping stone for exceptional young artists who have the potential for international performing careers. Outstanding young classical soloists and chamber ensembles are nurtured and promoted for a minimum of three years, after which YCAT aims to introduce the artists to suitable commercial management to further develop and maintain their international profile. Auditions take place once a year, in three stages. The auditions are open to all instruments, but the categories vary each year.

Making Music's Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists Award

The award is given annually to six of the best up-and-coming classical vocalists and instrumentalists living in the UK. The winning artists benefit from: paid professional engagements with Making Music member groups (orchestras, choirs and music societies); free inclusion in the Selected Artists guide, sent to Making Music's 3,200+ member groups; promotion via Making Music's communication channels (magazine, email, website and social media); and an unpaid lunchtime recital opportunity at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. 

City Music Foundation (CMF)  

Through an annual competitive audition process, CMF selects classical soloists and chamber ensembles, as well as jazz, folk, and world musicians. These ‘CMF Artists’ then engage in a two-year programme that includes artistic and business mentoring as well as professional development workshops. CMF works with the Artists to develop promotional tools, such as websites, photos, recordings and videos, and the Artist Manager arranges live performance opportunities. Musicians are supported by CMF in devising, organising, funding and promoting a bespoke musical project to help them develop a unique niche and selling point.

Philharmonia Orchestra Emerging Artists programme: MMSF Instrumental Fellowships 

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s Piano Fellowships Programme is designed to support the development of talented pianists at the beginning of their career. Three Piano Fellowships are available and consist of an annual grant towards each Fellow's studies and performance opportunities through recital platforms and other Philharmonia Emerging Artists events. For those pianists who are interested in exploring a career as an orchestral pianist, there is an opportunity or one out of the three Fellows to participate in a programme of activity to support this area of their practise.

Applicants must be over the age of 18 and in full or part-time education, or no more than 18 months out of full or part-time education. The Programme is open to applicants of all nationalities; however, if you are from overseas, you will need to demonstrate that you are still in education and will be for the duration of the Fellowship with a valid visa (if applicable).

Schemes for orchestral players

Southbank Sinfonia

Southbank Sinfonia provides an intensive and wide-ranging nine-month programme of performance and professional development for talented graduates embarking on an orchestral career. Every player is awarded a bursary to help towards the cost of living in London, which players supplement with income from their own performing and teaching activities.

Foyle Future Firsts

The London Philharmonic Orchestra's Foyle Future Firsts annual apprenticeship programme helps to bridge the transition period between college and the professional platform. The scheme has a small bursary attached to it, which does not equate to employment by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

European Union Youth Orchestra

Musicians must be aged between 14 and 24 inclusive at the time of applying and must hold passports from one of the 27 European Union member countries. 

Orpheus Foundation

The Orpheus Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation working to provide professional opportunities for some of the finest young musicians in London. By enabling young artists to showcase their achievements in a central London concert platform and by providing a mechanism for intercollegiate collaboration while working in their orchestra, the Orpheus Sinfonia, the foundation delivers a broad range of opportunities to soloists, conductors, ensembles, and orchestral players to further their professional development. Audition details for the Orpheus Sinfonia, orchestra of the Orpheus Foundation, are available on the website.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE)
The Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience for young players
 

The aim of the Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience for young players is to give exceptionally gifted young period instrument players the opportunity to participate in OAE concert projects as well as receiving ongoing mentoring from OAE musicians. The year-long scheme is aimed at students in the final stages of study, bridging the gap between music college and a professional career.

Philharmonia Orchestra Emerging Artists programme: MMSF Instrumental Fellowships 

The Woodwind, Brass and Harp Fellowship Programme is a one year scheme. The String Fellowship Programme is a two year scheme. New Fellowships for percussionists will be launched in 2018/19. 

The Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship programme is open to musicians who are over the age of 18 and in full or part-time education, or no more than 18 months out of full or part-time education. As a guide, the programme has been developed with fourth year undergraduate and postgraduate students in mind.  The programme is open to applicants of all nationalities; however, if you are from overseas, you will need to demonstrate that you are still in education and will be for the duration of the Fellowship with a valid visa (if applicable).

 The Fellowship programme is tailored to meet the individual needs and development rates of the artists, but will include:

  • a grant towards the recipient's studies and in acknowledgement of any travel costs associated with participating in the programme
  • a Mentor within the Philharmonia Orchestra
  • access to a masterclass and seminar programme related to an orchestral career path
  • paid work experience in Philharmonia rehearsals and concerts (woodwind, brass and strings only)
  • a sit-In scheme with the Orchestra's Principal Harpist (harps only)
  • paid work experience in the Philharmonia Education department
  • recital platforms

Schemes for singers

Genesis Sixteen

Do you have a passion for choral singing? Are you aged 18 to 23? Would you like to make a career in ensemble singing? Genesis Sixteen is The Sixteen's fully-funded choral training programme which aims to nurture the next generation of talented young voices and specifically to bridge the gap from student to professional practitioner. During the course of a year, a series of intensive weekend and week-long courses for singers will be led by key artists from The Sixteen, including founder and conductor Harry Christophers. Participants in the programme will receive a bursary for UK travel, accommodation, and board costs while participating on the scheme's four courses, around the UK.

The Merry Opera Company

Merry Opera aims to widen the audience for opera and at the same time provide a training ground for up-and-coming professionals of any age and nationality.

Monteverdi Apprentice Scheme

The Monteverdi Apprenticeship Scheme was set up in 2007 to address the problems faced by young singers attempting to embark on a professional career. The aim of the programme is to give the most promising young musicians on the verge of entering the profession, direct experience of the musical tradition of the Monteverdi ensembles and the working practices of Sir John Eliot Gardiner during a year-long apprenticeship scheme. It offers the participants a unique experience of music making at a world-class level within a high-powered and multi-national group of colleagues, making them exceptionally well-equipped to perform and teach at the highest level and to take up international professional careers.

St Martin’s Voices Fellowship Scheme

The Fellowship scheme provides an opportunity for six singers to enjoy an intensive, focused period of training with others of a similar standard and interests and is an integral part of the choral music programme at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The scheme is aimed at choral singers who have held choral scholarships or similar at university and elsewhere, are in the first stage of a professional career in singing, and wish to develop their skills as choral and consort singers to a high level. St Martin-in-the-Fields is launching the scheme with a six month programme running from February to July 2017, during which time there will be seven projects. Applications for the 2017 scheme close on Tuesday 29 November 2016 at 12 noon.

Junior Fellowships

Trinity Laban Junior Fellowships

A platform for exceptional and aspiring young musicians, providing the support and opportunities necessary to successfully make the leap from full-time conservatoire-based study to excellence in the music profession. These intensive, year-long Fellowships provide individuals with the means and the time to enhance their professional skills and contacts, while pushing and exploring their own artistic development with the invaluable support of a Trinity Laban mentor.  Fellowships are offered to individual performers, piano accompanists and conductors.

Royal College of Music Junior & Piano Accompaniment Fellowships

These awards are offered competitively to aspiring, experienced musicians. They enable musicians to gain experience, confidence and connections of the kind that help them to establish themselves professionally. 

Royal Northern College of Music Junior Fellowship in Conducting

This Fellowship is tenable for two years and provides an opportunity for a young conductor, about to enter the profession, to gain widespread experience with the full range of the RNCM’s ensembles.

Performing in community and health settings

Live Music Now! (LMN)

A charitable scheme that promotes concerts in community venues and aims to assist young professional musicians at the outset of their careers by providing paid performance opportunities and training and professional development in the field of music outreach.

Music in Hospitals  

Music in Hospitals organises concerts for audiences of all ages in hospitals, hospices, day care centres, special needs schools, and nursing and residential homes. Musicians engaged by Music in Hospitals are carefully chosen by audition.

Finding performance venues

British & International Music Yearbook
Lists concert venues including Churches and other venues in London that host recitals
Available to students and graduates of Trinity Laban in the reference section of the Jerwood Library

Auditions and performance vacancies and opportunities

Musical Chairs
Advertisements for classical music performance employment opportunities throughout the world

music-job.com
A portal for job vacancies in the cultural sector and the world's largest job board for orchestra musicians

bühnenjobs.de
Jobs in German orchestras

Rhinegold Online Jobs
Various jobs in music including some performance opportunities

The Association of British Choral Directors (abcd)
For musical director/choir director vacancies

The Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) 
For director of music/organist vacancies

British Choirs on the Net
For choral vacancies & associated opportunities

Church Times 
For organist and choral positions

Gerontius
For choral music vacancies (conductor / musical director / accompanist vacancies)

The Opera Stage
Auditions and work for singers in Europe, the UK and the USA (see website for subscription costs)

Audition Oracle
Opera jobs and auditions in the UK, US and Europe (see website for subscription costs)

YAP Tracker 
An online audition manager with listings of opera auditions and vocal competitions for United States, Canada, Europe and beyond (see website for subscription costs)

Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) 
The ISM is a professional body for musicians in the UK.  Those with full, graduate and student membership of the ISM can benefit from free listing in the ISM Music Directory which is used by members of the public looking to hire musicians including music teachers, performers and composers, as well as free listing in the ISM Handbook and concert and event promotion through their Facebook and twitter pages.

Finding performance opportunities

Music Clubs

Music clubs and societies include singers and instrumentalists in their annual programme of recitals. These societies and clubs are generally members of Making Music, and details can be found on their website. Look for a music club (select 'promoter/festival').

The British & International Music Yearbook (available in the Jerwood Library) also lists clubs and societies and gives details about the concerts they promote.

Resources for performers

Opera and Music Theatre Forum
The representative body for opera and music theatre in the UK; a directory of members is available on the website

Opera Stuff 
Includes links to opera companies worldwide

Sound and Music
For performers looking for contemporary repertoire

Musicians' Diary Services

Freelance orchestral and session musicians may choose to sign up with a diary service to help manage their future engagements and commitments and to negotiate contracts. A diary service will maintain and update a musician's work diary, so that if an offer of work comes through, the diary service team can immediately accept it (or not) on the musician's behalf. Most diary services also offer career advice and assist with the creation of musicians' CVs.

Musician's Answering Service (MAS) 
Students and recent graduates are eligible for a discount

Morgensterns
Students and recent graduates are eligible for a discount

Music Agencies

Please note that a listing in this section does not constitute a recommendation.

Alive Network Entertainment Agency  
Alive Network is a UK music agency specialising in live entertainment for private events. Alive Network books classical musicians, jazz bands, string trios/quartets, harpists, guitarists, pianists, vocalists and small format classical or jazz groups for weddings, parties and corporate events. There are no fees to join. Visit the website for information about joining with a standard profile or to be considered for their Development Programme.

LastMinuteMusicians.com 
If you are a musician available for hire and want to be listed in a musician search, you can list yourself in the UK entertainment directory. Visitors to the site include event organisers, agencies, private clients, wedding planners, musicians, and corporate event planners.

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