As of March 16, 2022. 

For audition excerpts and information about what to prepare, see the main BPYO Audition page

How do I schedule an audition?

This year's auditions must be submitted on video. The audition form may be found here. You can also call the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra office at (617) 470-8382 with any questions. While most openings are filled in the spring, we do hold auditions in early September to fill any remaining spots. 

What questions will be asked in the audition interview?

The motto of the BPYO is “shaping future leaders through music.” Please give some thought to how you hope to contribute to society with your music, how you would like to change the musical landscape, and what aspects of music you are most passionate about.

When do rehearsals take place?

Saturdays, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

What is the rehearsal format?

Sectional rehearsal, 2:30 to 3:30; Full rehearsal, 3:45 to 6:30.

Who will lead the sectionals and how will they be structured?

Leading Boston musicians, some members of the Boston Symphony and some principal players of the Boston Philharmonic, will direct the sectional rehearsal. Some sectionals will be for specific instruments and some for woodwind, brass, percussion, or strings.

When is the first rehearsal?

September 17, 2022

Where are the rehearsals held?

Rehearsals are held at the Christian Science Reflection Hall in the Back Bay.

What concerts are scheduled for the 2021-2022 season?

We are planning two concerts in Symphony Hall and one in Sanders Theatre. We are tentatively planning a tour for the summer of 2023. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

What repertoire is planned for next season?

Stay tuned!

What age do I have to be to play in the BPYO?

Players must be age 21 or younger on September 15, 2022. Exceptions will be considered for older players who are still enrolled in undergraduate degree programs. Requests for age exceptions should be made by writing to

Can you estimate the proportion of pre-college and college members?

The current membership of the BPYO is about 50% pre-college, and 50% college age.

Do high school members have a chance to fill leadership positions?

Yes, all players will be equally considered for principal chairs. In some instruments there may be multiple principal chairs.

Does the BPYO take tours?

Yes! In 2019, BPYO performed in Brazil. BPYO toured Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, and the Netherlands in June, 2018. BPYO toured Peru, Argentina, and Uruguay in 2017. In 2016, BPYO performed two concerts in Carnegie Hall and six concerts in Spain. In June, 2015, BPYO completed an 8-concert tour of the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland. BPYO traveled to the Netherlands in June, 2013, performing concerts in 5 halls including the Concertgebouw. BPYO performed in New York's Carnegie Hall in December, 2013.

How does Mr. Zander guide the players in leadership skills?

At the beginning of each rehearsal, Mr. Zander gives a weekly leadership assignment to members of BPYO. After each rehearsal players are asked to write reflections on the rehearsal and their experience in the BPYO, referred to as “white sheets.” These provide a unique ongoing dialogue between Mr. Zander and all of the players. Often players’ comments provide the impetus for significant discussions about the power of music, the role of musicians, and the mission of an orchestra like the BPYO, leading to the development of leadership capacity. From time to time Mr. Zander will also facilitate group discussions on the nature and practice of leadership. He is a highly sought-after international speaker on leadership, motivation, contribution, creative thinking and living a passion filled life. See and

What is the cost of participating in BPYO?

BPYO is a tuition-free ensemble. There is no mandatory participation fee, and no one is excluded based on financial considerations. BPYO is dependent on the contributions of generous members of our community, including the families of BPYO members. BPYO families are asked to contribute as generously as they are able.

What is the relationship between the BPYO and the BPO?

The BPYO is a division of the BPO not-for-profit corporation. The BPO serves as the management of the BPYO in all aspects, providing all musical, production, marketing and fiscal resources. BPYO members are invited to attend BPO performances, and are coached by members of BPO in rehearsals.

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