York BarbicanYork Barbican

Orchestra in Residence

“The City of York can be proud of the orchestra that bears its name.”

York’s renowned Guildhall Orchestra is one of the leading orchestral ensembles in the North of England.  It is an exceptionally fine and large amateur/volunteer symphony orchestra. 

Regularly working with top class international soloists, it is capable of giving high-quality performances of some of the most demanding large-scale works in the orchestral repertoire.

The Orchestra’s 37th season started with a bang on Saturday 15th October with a rousing rendition of Strauss’ tone poem Don Juan - probably one of the harder pieces in the symphony orchestra repertoire!  Jamie Walton makes a welcome return to perform with the Orchestra in the glorious Concerto for Cello and Orchestra by Antonin Dvorák – full of rich tunes so evocative of his homeland. Alongside the concerto, we performed the ever-popular Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar.

Many thanks to the orchestra members for working so hard on the pieces - and to our wonderful, loyal audience for coming along and listening to us, especially given that there were other music events happening in York

Our next concert is on 11th February 2017; the orchestra will continue its plan to perform all the major orchestra works of Jean Sibelius; this season it will be the turn of his fourth symphony to be performed in the February concert.  This is a challenging work, but nonetheless very rewarding to listen to and appreciate how Sibelius was really starting to develop his own style.  We shall also include in each concert a piece of that quintessential English composer, Sir Edward Elgar.

Next May will feature something a little different with a concert of Proms style music - many of the usual favourites.  Fun for all the family.

Do please come along and support this splendid group of players - we look forward to seeing you at one of our concerts!

Venue and tickets

The York Barbican is located on Paragon Street, York, YO10 4AH.

Tickets are available from the Barbican box office - by phone on 0844 854 2757, or via their web site.  You can collect tickets during box office opening hours which are 10:00am to 2:00pm on weekdays - or from 6:30pm on concert days.

We would urge anyone wanting to come to our concerts to try and sort out their tickets before turning up on the night.   The box office is open from 6:30pm on the day of the concert, but it can get very busy.

The box office also will sell discounted parking tickets for the QPark on Kent Street at the rear of the Barbcan.

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Next Season...

11th February 2017 - 7:30pm

  • Elgar - Cockaigne Overture
  • Sibelius - Symphony No.4
  • Rachmaninov - Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini:
           soloist - Peter Donohoe
  • Rimsky-Korsakov - Capriccio Espanol
2 Donohoe Portrait 2 (Susie Ahlburg)

“Peter Donohoe played as if visited by the spirit of Rachmaninov”,
Rian Evans, The Guardian

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13th May, 2017 - 7:30pm

  • Blackford - Concert Overture (World Premiere)
  • Wagner - Lohengrin, Prelude to Act 1
  • Elgar - Sea Pictures:
            soloist - Louise Winter
  • Poulenc - Les Biches
  • Elgar - Pomp & Circumstance March No.1
  • Trad arr. Henry Wood - Fantasia on British Sea Songs
  • Arne arr. Malcolm Sargent - Rule Britannia
  • Parry arr. Elgar - Jerusalem
Louise Winter

“...Louise Winter a warmly maternal Larina.”  Eugine Onegin/Garsington,
Sunday Times, June 2016

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Sponsorship & support...

For any performing organisation, presenting concerts is a challenge, not least because of the expense.  The committee of the orchestra work hard in a voluntary capacity to keep expenditure to a minimum, however costs can be quite startling.

The orchestra continuously strives to balance the twin aims of improving the already high standard of performance and the increasing popularity of the concerts, whilst at the same time advancing financial stability.  A major influence on the financial status of the orchestra is the increasingly necessary support from commercial sponsors.

Please the Sponsorship page for more information on how you might be able to exploit the possibilities that sponsorship of a respected and renowned organisation like the York Guildhall Orchestra.  Further information can be obtained from our Corporate Affairs Manager, Peter Vaughan.




The loyal support of patrons make an invaluable contribution to its success and financial security.  This enables the orchestra to promote exciting events that otherwise would be impractical. 

Benefits may include advance notice of the orchestra’s activities, the opportunity to attend rehearsals, privileged booking for the orchestra’s concerts, an invitation to after-show soirées, an invitation to social events run by the orchestra.

We are very grateful to our patrons for their financial assistance - especially those who enter into a Gift Aid agreement.

For more information on how you could support the orchestra, please visit the Patrons page.

Keep in touch...

At the request of many friends of the orchestra and members of our loyal audience, we have been asked to set up a mailing list. 

This has now been done and we will publish occasional newsletters containing information about the orchestra and future concerts.

If anyone wants to further with , please send an email to: