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 were delighted to welcome back Internationally renowned pianist Peter Donohoe on Saturday 11th February to perform the Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninov. This is a wonderful, sparky interpretation of the famous Paganini Caprice No.24 for solo violin is challenging for both soloist and orchestra alike, but Peter played it with wonderful panache and phenomenal speed! Fiona, our intrepid leader, was an absolute star in the Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espanol.  We all had a great time and stage and it was thrilling to see such a large audience also enjoying themselves!

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.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming the fabulous Louise Winter, Mezzo Soprano, who will perform the evocative Sea Pictures by Sir Edward Elgar - a setting of five poems by English poets.  It will be a treat also to welcome members of various York choirs who will join the orchestra on stage to perform the choral sections of the popular Proms pieces in the second half.  The concert will include two world premieres - a concert overture by local composer and long-time supporter of the orchestra, Dick Blackford.  His piece is called Cruachan - named after one of his favourite Scottish mountains.  The second world premiere is a piece by a Graduate of York St John University; Lauren Leigh’s piece is called Motto and is an interpretation of the university's motto “That they might have life, and life more abundantly”.

Do please come along and support this splendid group of players - we look forward to seeing you at one of our concerts!  For more information, please visit the Concerts Page

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 Concert...

13th May, 2017 - 7:30pm

  • Blackford - Concert Overture “Cruachan” (World Premiere)
  • Wagner - Lohengrin, Prelude to Act 1
  • Lauren Leigh - Motto (World Premiere)
  • 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 soirĂ©es, 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: