Auditions take place annually and are currently closed.

Applications for the 2018 YCAT auditions will open towards the end of 2017.

Read the FAQs

Categories for the 2017 auditions

  • Strings
  • Woodwind, Brass & Percussion
  • Voice
  • Solo Piano
  • Collaborative Piano (chamber/accompaniment)
  • Ensemble (3-6 instrumentalists)

About the YCAT Auditions

  • Auditions take place annually.
  • Those auditioning measure their performance against a standard of excellence and not against each other. The juries look not only for exceptional musical talent, but also for artistic individuality and projection as a performer.
  • No set number of musicians are selected in any one year.
  • The audition fee is £30 (inc. VAT).
  • Applications for the 2018 auditions will open towards the end of 2017.
Additional prizes

in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society

We are delighted to announce that three additional prizes will be awarded through the 2017 YCAT auditions:

  • The RPS Emily Anderson Prize (£2,500) will be awarded to an outstanding young violinist of any nationality.
  • The RPS Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize (£5,000) will be awarded to a British string trio or quartet, to be used towards development of performance opportunities.
  • The RPS Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award (£5,000) will be awarded to an ensemble of 3-10 performers, to be used to help secure performance opportunities.

All three prizes are judged separately from the continuing YCAT audition process and decided in collaboration with the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Eligible ensembles wishing to apply for the Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize or the Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award will be required to audition separately on Thursday 23 March 2017. All ensembles at this audition will be notified immediately as to whether they will proceed to the YCAT semi-final auditions the following week. More information about these prizes, including guidelines for eligibility, can be found here.

The Emily Anderson Prize will be awarded at the semi-final auditions. More information about this prize, including guidelines for eligibility, can be found here.


  1. Musicians must have completed (or be in the process of completing) a recognised course of study for their instrument/voice. If your nationality is from outside the European Union, you must have the correct visa to be able to perform regularly in the UK without the need for individual work permits. This does not currently include Tier 4 student visas.
  2. The age limit for instrumentalists is 28 and for singers 30 (as at 25 May 2017). Chamber ensembles must have an average age of 28 or under.
  3. Entrants must not be under commercial management at the time of application.
  4. YCAT reserves the right to accept or refuse auditions to any applicant at its absolute discretion and without giving reasons.
  5. Artists who have been heard before may apply again and will be considered for an audition at the discretion of YCAT.
  6. Artists requiring accompanists and page turners will be expected to make their own arrangements and cover all the expenses involved.
First Round Auditions

Video submission

30 minutes of repertoire (free choice which demonstrates a versatile, varied and strong musical character) – this may be comprised of separate videos, provided each complies with the requirements below:

  1. The video(s) must be UNEDITED and indisputably be from a live performance. Ideally this will be recorded using a single position camera
  2. The performance must have taken place after 1st July 2016
  3. The video(s) should commence with a brief, clear, spoken introduction giving your name and the repertoire about to be performed

Alternatively, if you have existing video material which is already viewable on YouTube and fulfils the above requirements, then please indicate the relevant link(s) on your application form. If you are submitting existing links, there is no need to record a separate spoken introduction. You may also send links to private YouTube videos if you prefer.

Semi-Final Auditions

Private round

Semi-final auditions will take place at:

22 Mansfield Street

Wednesday 29 March 2017
Thursday 30 March 2017
Friday 31 March 2017

The general repertoire requirements (excepting Piano Chamber/Accompaniment category) are free choice. This can include material submitted in the first round video audition.

  1. Instrumental applicants submit 100 minutes worth of repertoire
  2. Vocalists submit 60 minutes worth of repertoire
  3. Ensembles submit 120 minutes worth of repertoire (complete works)
  4. Piano Chamber/Accompaniment applicants submit 120 minutes of repertoire in both instrumental and vocal music. You will be required to bring your own vocal and instrumental duo partners to audition.

While free choice, the repertoire chosen should clearly reflect your current strengths and aspirations and ideally cover a range of genres and styles, e.g. solo and duo works, concertos where appropriate, song repertoire, operatic and oratorio. Most importantly, we hope that your choice of repertoire reflects clearly where you feel you communicate a strong sense of your musical personality along with an awareness of central core repertory essential for a successful career as a performing artist or ensemble.

Please prepare the full programme for this audition. You will be able to choose your opening work, and then the panel will choose the following piece(s).

Final Auditions

Public round

Final auditions will take place at:

Wigmore Hall
36 Wigmore Street

Thursday 25 May 2017, 3pm and 7pm