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.
Details of the 39th season for the York Guildhall Orchestra have just been released. As well as the usual autumn, winter and spring concerts, we shall be adding an extra family concert in January. In addition, we shall be escaping from our usual home of the Barbican up to Helmsley for an all Mozart concert with a smaller, chamber orchestra. We are delighted to welcome a wonderful crop of soloists to play with us this season - Martin Roscoe, Tasmin Little, Ian Bousfield, Rebecca Taylor and Lynne Dawson.
In other news, the orchestra is very proud indeed of our Music Director; Simon Wright was privileged to have been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of York St John University
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.
A welcome return for Martin Roscoe sees one of this country’s foremost interpreters of Beethoven perform the third piano concerto. The concert is top and tailed by Brahms, his turbulent Tragic Overture to start and the wonderful fourth symphony with the famous Passacaglia final movement to conclude the concert.
The YGO venture away from its routine venue for a chamber concert in the Arts Centre, Helmsley. This is a Sunday chamber concert with an all Mozart programme featuring Scarborough raised and up and coming star pianist, Rebecca Taylor.
The orchestra first played the Eine Kleine in 2017 in a concert in Ripon - everyone enjoyed it so much, Simon has included it in this concert! The symphony is rarely played, but it is a glorious piece and deserves to be performed more often.
‘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!
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 the world renowned violin soloists, Tasmin Little, for this concert; she will be performing the wonderful Bruch Scottish Fantasy.
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.
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.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
If anyone wants wishes to join our mailing list, please send an email to: