Established in 2002, the Hallé Youth Orchestra offers outstanding young instrumentalists, aged 13-19 years, the chance to experience playing in a full symphony orchestra supported by professional musicians. It is for young musicians who love experiencing orchestral music and the buzz of contributing to a large ensemble.

The Youth Orchestra meets on Sunday afternoons during the autumn and spring terms. Each summer, members enjoy a residential course or tour, with visits recently to Germany, Italy, Spain and Scotland.

The Youth Orchestra played a key role in the Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition 2023, helping to find its next Music Director, Euan Shields, who joined us in September 2023.

Euan and the Youth Orchestra performed for the first time in December 2023 with an exhilarating programme including music from Bernstein’s West Side Story; the Youth Orchestra have recently performed Shostakovich Symphony No.6 alongside the Hallé Orchestra for their annual Side by Side project, conducted by Sir Mark Elder. Further appearances include the annual Youth Ensembles Celebration along with smaller Chamber Ensemble engagements.

As well as familiar repertoire, the Hallé Youth Orchestra also enjoys tackling more challenging works. Recent highlights have included Mussorgsky orch. Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition, Britten Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes and Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances. The 2021-22 season included a new commission by Oliver Vibrans entitled Monomyth and last season the Youth Orchestra premiered a new commission by Artist in Residence Dobrinka Tabakova entitled Swarm Fanfares.