Could YOU be our next ERSO Soloist of the Year?

Would you like to win the chance to perform a concerto with ERSO, conducted by Chris Stark?

The winning soloist will also have the amazing opportunity to have a solo piece created for them by the winner of our ERSO emerging composers’ competition and will perform this piece as the soloist with ERSO in our 90th Birthday Gala concert at the prestigious Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music in 2021.

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2019 Winner Henry with ERSO


Applications are open to anyone over 18 years of age, of any nationality, who has played in at least one concert with ERSO in the 2019/20 season including rehearsals.   All orchestral instruments are eligible.  (NB the repertoire this season does not require any orchestral pianists so sadly pianists will not be eligible to enter unless they play an orchestral instrument to grade 8+ standard and are able to take part in a concert).

All candidates must be available for the audition dates in April, the Final on 10 May, the planned rehearsal dates in June 2020 & the concert on 21 June.  All will take place at Camden School for Girls, Sandall Road, NW5 2DB apart from the concert which will take place at St John’s Church, Waterloo Road, SE1 8TY.

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2018 winner Callie Brennan with Conductor Emeritus Peter Stark

Application process

Applicants should send a CV to with a covering letter stating the concerto they would perform should they win the competition.  Please include the orchestration for this concerto.

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 applicants if they do not appear to be suitable.

Selection process

Auditions will be held at Camden School for Girls on 19th April 2020.

Candidates will be asked to perform part of one movement of their chosen concerto at the auditions, which will be accompanied by piano and judged by a Panel of ERSO Committee members and the conductor Christopher Stark.  Candidates will need to provide a copy of their piano accompaniment prior to the audition.

Candidates can bring their own accompanist or one can be provided by ERSO for a modest fee of £17 which needs to be paid prior to the audition.

Up to 4 finalists will be selected to work on their concerto with ERSO and Chris Stark at an open rehearsal on May 10th 2020. 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 over the remainder of the scheduled and perform the concerto in the concert.  They will also receive a prize of £100.

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Applications open on 1 September 2019 and close on 15 March 2020