The rules and regulations that apply to new applicants for the summer & winter 2024 WBYO
1. All summer & winter 2024 WBYO applicants must be aged between 16 and 27, inclusive on 10 January 2025.
2. All applicants must hold passports from or have been born in one of the 6 current non-EU countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia). In addition, young musicians from other countries of the Western Balkans (Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, and Slovenia) are also invited to submit their applications to be part of the WBYO.
3. The decision of the WBYO audition panel members in the choice of players is final.
4. All candidates have to compete every year for a place in the Orchestra, even if they have previously played in the Orchestra. Musicians who have been a member or were on the highly commended or reserve list in either or both of the two years prior to the current auditions are automatically eligible for the final round audition and do not need to attend a first-round audition.
5. All candidates must still submit an application form, and submit the required video recording before the closing date. Applications will only be accepted after the deadline or without the requested video recording.
6. Candidates may apply to audition from any Western Balkans country providing that country is the candidate's country of birth, country of residence or country of study/work.
7. As part of the audition process, WBYO seeks the finest young musicians in the Western Balkans who are interested in working at the highest level of excellence and commitment to music and social engagement.
The mission of the Orchestra is to bring the most talented young musicians of the Western Balkans together, uniting them under internationally renowned lecturers and conductors every time in an ensemble that transcends cultural, social, economic, religious and political boundaries, all in the common pursuit of musical excellence. The highest standards are therefore critical to the further success of the WBYO, and the Orchestra seeks as members those who are committed to working towards such high standards.
8. As part of its mission, WBYO is an initiative committed to both the musical and the cultural development of its musicians, as well as to develop their employment prospects. As part of the application process, all applicants will be asked to explain briefly why they are interested in joining WBYO projects and what they hope to gain from the experience if they become a member of the orchestra.
9. WBYO does not charge candidates for auditioning.
The Western Balkans Youth Orchestra warmly welcomes applications from disabled young musicians who satisfy the usual criteria for application to audition. A disabled musician who wins a place in the orchestra will not be omitted because of that disability. The orchestra will try its utmost to ensure that a disabled member of the orchestra can take as full a part as possible in all its activities: not just participation in performances, but also in social activities.
Candidates will be asked to play a prepared piece of their choosing (e.g., a movement from a concerto, sonata with or without piano, etc.) and ALL selected Orchestral Extracts
Besides the registration form, the application process also includes online auditions. The applicants must record a video of themselves playing the mandatory orchestral extracts and their solo piece in ONE TAKE.
The video cannot be from a performance or an older recording. It is to your advantage if the video is high quality and if you play with a pianist.
The solo piece should be 5 minutes at most. It is acceptable to play only five minutes of a longer piece. Please upload only ONE video on YouTube. This is the only format that will be accepted. Ensure the setting is on 'unlisted' (not 'private' or 'public').
Flautists, it is expected that you also play the piccolo at your audition.
Oboists, it is optional to audition on the English horn, but it increases your chances if you do. As for the tours, we will need musicians who can also cover the auxiliary instruments.
Clarinetists, please note that you must bring an auxiliary instrument, but please get only one! Playing an auxiliary instrument increases your chances. As for the tours, we will need musicians who can also cover the auxiliary instruments.
Bassoonists, we understand you may need help bringing a contrabassoon to the auditions. But please let the panel know if you play the contrabassoon.
Percussionists will be asked to play a selection of prepared orchestral extracts only (no solo piece needed).
Woodwind Players, you don't need to prepare a solo piece for your auxiliary instrument, just the orchestral excerpts (bass clarinet, Eb clarinet, piccolo, English horn, contrabassoon, etc.).
Auditions are held project-wise to fill approximately 65 orchestra places. Former/current WBYO members must re-audition, so the competition is high.
However, the WBYO also has a reserve list of about 100 players, which we rely on heavily, and those selected for the reserve list have a good chance of getting asked to play in the orchestra at some point during the year. The experience of auditioning for the WBYO is widely regarded as invaluable preparation for future auditions with professional orchestras.
Successful candidates will become members of the summer & winter 2024 WBYO. They will be invited to participate in the July/August 2024 orchestra residency and concert tour in the Western Balkans and Germany. They will also be invited to participate in the December 2024 / January 2025 orchestra residency and concert tour in the Western Balkans. They can work with expert instrumental professors and perform in several Western Balkans region concert halls (or open-air).
Additional orchestra concerts in Germany and in the Czech Republic are also planned for the summer & winter 2024 concert tours. (delete the sentence please)
Orchestra residency typically begin with a up two-week rehearsal period, when musicians work in tutti rehearsals and sectionals with the WBYO Tutors, followed by a concert tour. In addition to preparing repertoire for the forthcoming tour, the rehearsal period offers opportunities for chamber music, personal and career development, and other recreational and social activities to enable musicians to make the most of working in a multinational environment.
We expect musicians who are invited to become members of the 2024 WBYO summer & winter projects Western Balkans go Pop & Rock and Western Balkans meet Beethoven.
Members of the WBYO will receive allowances (to be announced after the successful selection process). In addition, tuition, travel (including to and from the tour), and accommodation (incl. breakfast) are free.
Tips for Auditions:
The key to a successful audition and WBYO membership is the thorough preparation of orchestral excerpts and scores. Make time for your extracts/part, listen to the piece if it is unfamiliar to you, and/or look at the score. You must play the extracts/orchestra scores accurately and sensitively to the context of the whole piece, paying particular attention to accurate rhythm, tempo, dynamics and tuning.
WBYO Data Protection Declaration for Auditions:
Protecting your data is important to us. So, we would like to let you know about the personal data WBYO processes in connection with our audition process and for which purpose
1. Your Data
To effectively hold auditions for membership to the WBYO, we will collect, process and store the following personal data for each candidate:
Date of Birth
Address (permanent and residence, e.g. due to studies)
Mobile Phone Number
Name of current college/music school/music faculty and teacher
Short motivation why do you apply for WBYO
Link and downloaded copy of your audition video
Your data will be shared with the WBYO panel members or alumni tutors, and with the WBYO Accelerando project partners, in part or as a whole.
Your data will be saved by us for the duration of the year in which you apply and the following year. Furthermore, your data will continue to be saved for the legally required period, in order to ensure our compliance with the law (usually 7 years, or in some cases, due to requirements of some public funding bodies, 10 years).
This data will be processed for the following purposes:
In order to contact you, and
In order to organize the auditions as described on this website.
If you enter personal data on this website, submitting such data also includes the permission for us to use the data for the purposes stated above. Your data will be safely stored and not shared with third parties apart from the ones listed above. The only exception is the sharing with state authorities, should WBYO be legally obliged to do so.
There is no obligation to actually submit the data we request on our website. However, if you do not submit the data, you will not be able to participate in WBYO’s audition process.
By submitting your application via our online process, you agree to the collecting, processing, storing and sharing of your data to the extent described above.
2. Legal Basis for Data Processing
The legal basis for the processing of your personal data is your application to audition for WBYO, or is to be found in our legitimate interest according to the GDPR, which consists in achieving the goals listed in Item 1 above.
3. Transferring Your Personal Data to Third Parties
In order to safely process your personal data and on our website, we use programs and tools from third-party providers with whom we maintain contracts for data processing, thereby ensuring that these third parties also safeguard your personal data, pursuant to the GDPR. This concerns the following suppliers:
IT Service Provider: ThinkYoung
Application Form Provider: ThinkYoung
4. Your Rights in Connection with Your Personal Data
You have the basic right to be informed about your data, to have such data corrected, deleted, limited, its transportability ensured, and to protest against its storage. To do any of these, please contact the WBYO accelerando project lead partner: ThinkYoung, Place du Luxembourg 6, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you think that the processing of your data is in conflict with data protection law or that your rights regarding your personal data have been infringed in some other way, please contact us, but you are of course entitled to contact the Data Protection Authority.