SSO Concerto Competition

YWMF are very pleased to offer this competition in conjunction with Scarborough Symphony Orchestra

The Orchestra...

Scarborough Symphony Orchestra is an experienced amateur orchestra in North Yorkshire with a long-standing tradition of innovation. Not only do they know the standard concerto repertoire inside out, they also embrace the lesser-known reaches of the concerto repertoire under the experienced baton of London-born conductor, Tubist and educator Shaun Matthew.

Shaun won the RNCM's Mortimer Fruber Prize for the conducting of contemporary music and regularly conducts some of the UK's finest orchestras; for instance, the Chineke! Orchestra (as part of Grace Jones' Meltdown Festival concert), the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.

Drawing from his Caribbean roots and growing up in East London, Shaun is a passionate and vocal champion of arts education and advocacy; he curates classical music outreach concerts for school-aged children across the UK and has worked with Chineke! Junior Orchestra and the Trinity Laban Conservatoire's Symphony Orchestra. He has also served on the panel of the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama's prestigious Lutine prize.

He currently holds the position of Professor of Tuba at the University of York.

The Competition...

The SSO Concerto Competition was established to offer young musicians the opportunity to learn the skill of concerto playing in a welcoming environment, receiving mentorship from one of the UK's leading musical educators.

This is very much an educational experience, and we are looking for players from all backgrounds up to the age of 20. We hope to find someone with passion and drive, a distinct musical identity, an ability to communicate from the heart and a readiness to learn. Previous concerto experience is not necessary.

There are two rounds:

Round 1 is online, via a video submitted to YouTube. Please see here if you're not sure how to do this. You will need to save the link to your YouTube clip to put on your entry form.  The judges will choose 6 players to go through to 

Round 2, held live in Yorkshire on 27th April 2024

The winner will go on to perform a concerto of their choice with Shaun Matthew and the SSO on 10th May 2025. They will receive a fee of £250.

Enter here


Candidates must be under 20 on August 31st 2025 and born in the UK. Sadly, pianists are excluded from the competition.

The video submission for Round 1 should be a movement of a concerto, 10 minutes or less. Players should introduce themselves before playing, stating their name, age, where they are from and what they are going to play. The video must be done in one take; edited videos will not be accepted.

Round 2 will be held live in Yorkshire on 27th April 2024. Players should prepare a 20 minute programme which showcases musical depth, versatility and originality. Players are expected to bring their own accompanist. Should you need an official accompanist you must let us know on your application form. Late requests will not be possible.

Candidates must be available for rehearsals on the evening of Friday 9th May and for a rehearsal and concert on Saturday 10th May. They will also be invited to attend a rehearsal in early April, date to be agreed between both parties.

There is an entry fee of £50, payable at the time of entry. This is is non-refundable. In cases of genuine financial difficulty you can contact us about our fee remission scheme. 

The deadline for entries is midnight on Saturdy 30th March 2024