Talent Development

Jerwood Pit Perfect

Glyndebourne’s development scheme for young professional instrumentalists.

Pit Perfect is our unique programme where young recently graduated professional instrumentalists join the Glyndebourne Sinfonia, gaining their first professional operatic experience.

The players participate on an equal footing with regular players in the Orchestra and are paid for their participation. We offer places to selected instrumentalists each year depending on our repertoire and which positions are available. The programme, now entering its sixth year, extends Glyndebourne’s cornerstone commitment to nurturing young talent from all backgrounds. No other programme in the country offers newly graduated players real-world professional work experience over a concentrated period by putting them straight in at the deep end – the fastest way to learn.

This programme is made possible thanks to the generosity of Jerwood Foundation.

Successful applicants will join the Orchestra for at least one of the autumn productions.

Participants to the scheme will be mentored by a member of the orchestra and receive further opportunities including one to one lessons, the chance to sit in on extra rehearsals/performances. They will also participate in seminars on life in the music profession.

This year there is also an extended programme of paid chamber music performances, including commissions of new works by our Balancing the Score composers, in which all Pit Perfect players will be involved.

A good number of former Pit Perfect players have gone on to receive further professional work with the Glyndebourne Sinfonia.

Pit Perfect positions are available for the following instruments ONLY who will take part in all rehearsals and performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni:
  • 2 violins
  • 1 cello
  • 1 Double Bass

String players will be required to play with ‘modern’ set-up only.

Applications from other instruments will NOT be accepted.

Associate Pit Perfect positions are also available to applicants for the following instruments ONLY who will take part in a number of rehearsals and sit in on at least 2 performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni:
  • 1 bassoon
  • 1 timpani

Applications from other instruments will NOT be accepted.

This new initiative is in order to include instruments where we would not normally have a vacancy in the Orchestra.

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2023

Applications are open to the following only

a/ Students finishing their studies (graduate or postgraduate) during 2022 or 2023
b/ Any player who has NOT gone on to pursue a postgraduate course and who graduated NO EARLIER than 2021

We can only accept applications from instrumentalists who are British-based.

All applicants must be available for all rehearsals and performances with the Glyndebourne Sinfonia for their production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni from October until December 2023.

Application requirements

The initial selection process will require applicants to fill out the application form and submit the following by 31 March 2023:

  • CV (to include orchestral and chamber music experience to date where applicable)
  • Two references from musicians of standing (the applicants must provide and upload the references)
  • High-quality AUDIO ONLY recording (MP3) containing not more than 15 minutes of music, preferably including two contrasting works of your own choice, with or without accompaniment. You should include at least one ‘standard’ work for your instrument. We request that applicants avoid sending performances of lesser-known or contemporary works and focus on core repertoire for your instrument in your recording.
    • You may record your two works separately, but they must be combined into one single digital file for submission please.
    • Your recording should always be labelled with the names of the works and your own name in the title please.
Recording Requirements for Timpani applicants only

1/ Solo work
2 – 4 minute solo work of your own choice

This work should be equivalent to what you might expect to programme for a Conservatoire final recital or asked to prepare for a professional timpani audition.

2/ Excerpts
Please prepare the following 3 excerpts:

If you wish to play either/both of the excerpts below along to a backing audio with orchestra which is audible in your recording this is absolutely fine:

Beethoven ‘Fidelio
Mozart ‘Le Nozze di Figaro Overture (start from bar 250)

Britten ‘Nocturne‘: from Figure 15 and stopping the bar before Figure 19. Please record this with no backing audio.

Timpanists only – orchestral excerpts for your application recording can be found HERE on this link.

In the interests of equality, diversity & inclusion all audio recordings will be numbered and assessed ‘blind’ by our panel.

Applicants will be notified if they are to be invited to audition during April 2023. Successful candidates will be invited to audition in London during late April, early May 2023.

If you have any enquiries, please email: pit.perfect@glyndebourne.com

Glyndebourne is an Equal Opportunities Employer and a Registered Charity. We promote equality, diversity and inclusion in our workplace and actively encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply. We are committed to being open and inclusive and ensuring our organisation is representative of the communities that we serve. To support this commitment and to help us develop our policies and procedures, we ask all job applicants to complete our Equal Opportunities Monitoring form.

Glyndebourne’s autumn programme is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Image credits: Pit Perfect 2022, photo by James Bellorini

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