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.

39th Concert Season

November 18th saw us in our first away adventure for quite some time - an all-Mozart concert in Helmsley Arts Centre to a sell-out audience went very well indeed - so well that we are planing a return visit at some time.  The strings and woodwind produced a crisp chamber sound and Rebecca played superbly well; a very ppular concert.

 Our next visit to the York Barbican will be a New Year concert on Saturday 5th January at the earlier time of 3:00pm.  Lynne Dawson will be our narrator and host taking us through a programme of works by York’s very own John Barry, Viennese waltzes and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.  Great fun for all the family See our Concerts Page for details on location and tickets.

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 on our events, please visit the Concerts Page.

5th January, 2019 - 3:00pm

  • Barry - Out of Africa
  • Strauss - Emperor Waltzes
  • Strauss - Tritsch-Tratsch Polka
  • Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf
  • Barry - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (A View to a kill)
  • Lehar - Gold and Silver Waltzes
  • Strauss Thunder & Lightening Polka
  • Barry - Born Free (Lions at Play)
  • Strauss - Champagne Polka
  • Strauss - Blue Danube Waltzes

Happy New Year’ - a selection of music for all the family, compèred by the president of the orchestra, Lynne Dawson.  Lynne is also the narrator in the wonderful family favourite, Peter and the Wolf. There will be various famous waltzes and polkas from by Strauss family.  Interspersed between these works will be popular John Barry themes. It is hoped to involve local groups of dancers as part of the entertainment - who knows, we might be able to put in a dance floor for audience members to participate!

Lynne Dawson
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9th February, 2019 - 7:30pm

  • Humperdinck - Overture Hansel & Gretel
  • Emily Lawler - Elemental Soundscapes
  • Sibelius - Symphony No.6
  • Bruch - Scottish Fantasy
          soloist - Tasmin Little
  • Tchaikovsky - Sleeping Beauty Suite

The winter concert sees the orchestra continue with its journey through the major symphonic works of Jean Sibelius - this time it is his 6th symphony. As part of our involvement with our partner, York St John University, we work with their students.  Emily Lawler’s piece is one the orchestra worked on in 2018; it plays with the different sounds that orchestral instruments can produce.

We are thrilled to have secured world renowned violin soloist, Tasmin Little, for this concert; she will be performing the wonderful Bruch Scottish Fantasy.

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18th May, 2019 - 7:30pm

  • Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre
  • Grondahl - Trombone Concerto
          soloist - Ian Bousfield
  • Korngold - Pierrot’s Tanzlied and Marietta’s Lied from Die Tote Stadt
  • Pryor - The Bluebells of Scotland
  • Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring

It will be a great pleasure to welcome back Ian Bousfield to perform with us again after his triumph last season.  This time it is the glorious, but little known concerto by Grøndahl.  Ian will also play two arias by Korngold and (by popular demand) the astonishing variations on The Bluebells of Scotland by Arthur Pryor.

The concert finishes with one of the more difficult pieces in the orchestral repertoire, the fantastic Rite of Spring by Stravinsky.

Ian Bousfield
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Venue and tickets

The York Barbican is located on Paragon Street, York, YO10 4AH.  It is run by SMG (Europe) Ltd

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.  Please note that SMG charge additional card and transaction fees that are outside our control.

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 just before the concerts!

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


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 - info@yorkguildhallorchestra.com




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. All information is held in accordance with our
privacy policy

If anyone wants wishes to join our mailing list, please send an email to:  



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Web site designed and maintained by Geoff Egginton
Last updated 1 December  2018

York St John UniversityYork St John University
City of York Council
York Music Hub
Making Music
Shepherd GroupThe Shepherd Group
Bettys & Taylors of HarrogateBettys & Taylors of Harrogate
Fulprint of York
O'Neill Associates
Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors

The York Guildhall Orchestra is a registered charity (number 700863).

It is affiliated to Making Music, which represents and supports amateur vocal, instrumental and promoting societies throughout the United Kingdom.

The York Guildhall Orchestra is grateful for the assistance received from the City of York Council

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