A new orchestral apprenticeship scheme has been launched by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Royal College of Music. Starting this July, the Pathways scheme will give up to 15 postgraduate students the chance to participate in rehearsals with the acclaimed orchestra and perform in a special concert.
The year-long scheme was set up to help aspiring orchestral musicians develop their orchestral performing skills. Several other UK ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, run similar schemes in a bid to bridge the gap between conservatoires and professional life.
‘It’s quite rare to get a full-time orchestral job before 30,’ says Vasily Petrenko, principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in a recent interview with BBC Music Magazine. ‘Young musicians find they haven’t got the necessary experience of playing in a professional orchestra, and at the same time they have all the technical abilities.’