The ERSO Talent Programme was created in 2017 to bring together all of ERSO’s work with emerging professional musicians with the aim of helping young musicians to bridge the gap between formal training and a musical career through the provision of valuable professional experience and mentoring.  In recent years the ERSO Talent Programme has provided opportunities for emerging orchestral musicians, soloists, conductors and composers.

In its 2023/34, the ERSO Talent Programme will focus upon providing opportunities for: emerging opera singers through our March opera project; emerging professional orchestral players through our Paid Section Leader scheme and emerging soloists in our ERSO Soloist of the Year competition.

Since ERSO was founded, members have always included talented music students and young professionals at the start of their careers who are keen to gain experience. Famous names who benefitted from training and experience with ERSO during their early professional lives include: horn player Dennis Brain, clarinettist Jack Brymer, oboist Evelyn Rothwell and flautist James Galway.

Ernest Read also provided opportunities for young soloists, especially for musicians from within the orchestra. The first ERSO player to get this chance (in 1931) was the young Evelyn Rothwell, who went on to become one of the UK’s most famous oboists. Other famous soloists who benefitted from working with ERSO early in their careers include: the young Jacqueline du Pre who gave her first ever performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto with ERSO (known then as the London Senior Orchestra) back in December 1959 and Guy Johnston who got his earliest solo opportunity at 14 years old when he performed the Lalo Cello Concerto with ERSO at the Royal Festival Hall. Guy went on to win BBC Young Musician of the Year, became a famous solo cellist and a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and recently said:
“I’ll never forget it- Lalo in the RFH aged 14 or so! Thank you ERSO”