ERSO Soloist of the Year Competition

Win the chance to perform a concerto with the Ernest Read Symphony Orchestra, one of London’s leading and longest established amateur orchestras plus a prize of £150.


  • Applications are open to anyone over 18 years of age, of any nationality, who has played in at least one ERSO concert (attending all or the majority of rehearsals) in the relevant period: our June 2023, October 2023 and March 2024 concerts and our Camden children’s workshops in the 2023/34 season.
  • All orchestral instruments are eligible other than piano.  
  • Any players who have been paid to play in concerts (eg harp and percussion) are not eligible to enter the competition.
  • Previous applicants who qualify to apply through taking part in one of this season’s concerts are very welcome to apply other than former winners and also former Finalists who have received a solo opportunity at an ERSO concert.  Finalists who did not receive a solo opportunity are eligible to re-apply.

Application process

Applicants should email a short letter to stating:

  • which concert or project that they participated in to be eligible
  • their chosen concerto including orchestration
  • which movement they will perform at the audition
  • if they will bring your own accompanist or would like to use the professional accompanist provided by ERSO (for which there will be a £20 fee). Candidates will need to provide a copy of their piano accompaniment for their chosen movement prior to the audition. 

Choice of repertoire is free, but applicants are asked to remember that ERSO is an amateur orchestra and that works with very large orchestration or which are outside of the standard repertoire may not be suitable.

ERSO reserve the right not to audition all applicants if they do not appear to be suitable. 

Selection process

Auditions will be held at Camden School for Girls on 4th February 2024.

Candidates will be asked to perform part of one movement of their chosen concerto at the auditions, accompanied by piano and judged by a Panel of ERSO Committee members and the conductor Christopher Stark. The choice of movement is at the candidates own discretion.

All applicants will receive written feedback if requested.

Up to 4 Finalists will be selected to work on their concerto with ERSO and Chris Stark at an open rehearsal on the afternoon of February 25th at Camden School for Girls. 

We will communicate the result of the Final to all candidates and will provide feedback if requested.

The winner will rehearse with Chris and ERSO in June 2023 and will perform their concerto in the concert on 23 June 2024.  They will also receive a prize of £150.

The winner can also request up to 6 complementary tickets for their friends and family.

Applications are now open and will close in Feb 2024