National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

The world's greatest orchestra of teenagers

London, United Kingdom


The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) is internationally celebrated as the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers. Recruiting its 164 teenage musicians from every background and every corner of the UK, the orchestra rehearses in residence three times a year, working with the world’s leading conductors, tutors and soloists. The orchestra performs in the UK’s most iconic concert halls, and its distinct sound, performance verve and musical brilliance is celebrated in five-star reviews in the national media. In 2016 NYO was proud to receive the RPS Ensemble Award, and in 2012 was the first organisation to be awarded the Queen's Medal for Music. NYO is an extraordinary emblem of what the nation’s teenagers can achieve. Since its founding in 1948 by Dame Ruth Railton, NYO has nurtured the dreams of teenage musicians including many leading musical voices; from Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Mark Elder and Kwamé Ryan to Alison Balsom, Thomas Adès and Judith Weir. NYO alumni sit in 25% of principal seats in London orchestras, have founded ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, Aurora Orchestra, and Multi-Story Orchestra, and hold leadership positions at major conservatoires. NYO musicians are the future of orchestral music and powerful advocates. We think of NYO as an innovation engine, fuelled by teenagers’ energy, creativity, skills and desire to engage with other teenagers, who are their future audience. Through NYO Inspire, NYO musicians lead workshops all over the UK to include hundreds of their musical peers in ensembles. Thousands of teenagers experience thrilling symphonic performances by NYO in their schools. NYO also hosts unique pre-concert receptions for teenagers. NYO is renowned for its bold approach to new music, giving world premieres by leading composers. In recent years the BBC Proms has given a platform for music by Anna Meredith, Tansy Davies and Iris Ter Schiphorst. NYO joyfully promotes new music within its ranks, with a dedicated section of seven prolific teenage composers. NYO is Southbank Centre’s Associate Orchestra and, as Classic FM’s Orchestra of Teenagers, collaborates with the broadcaster to offer £5 tickets to under-25s to all NYO concerts. The BBC generously broadcasts all NYO concerts on BBC Radio 3. NYO relies on voluntary donations for over 70% of its income. Every year, we welcome our individual, trust, corporate and legacy supporters to concerts and events. They are all committed to supporting our musicians and ensuring that they enjoy empowering and transformative experiences in NYO and NYO Inspire. Most members pay subsidised fees but the organisation works hard to develop bursaries to ensure any young person with talent can apply regardless of financial means.



RPS Ensemble Award

Royal Philharmonic Society


Queen's Medal for Music

Her Majesty the Queen

People who have worked with National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain