Young creatives

National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO)

Young musicians who are disabled and able bodied play a selection of instruments as part of the National open Youth Orchestra

The National Open Youth Orchestra is a world first. Led by young disabled musicians, it offers a progressive, inclusive training environment that is set to redefine the orchestra for the 21st century.

Following great success, we welcome back NOYO musicians to train with us for a second year, this autumn. Giving young musicians an opportunity to perform on the Barbican stage at a concert in January, and other major UK concert halls throughout the year.

We’re welcoming applications from musicians aged 13-18 who play to Grade 8 standard or equivalent and have a passion for orchestral music. Auditions are free, a fantastic learning experience, and bursaries are available to cover the full cost of a place in the orchestra, including travel to auditions.

NOYO is about empowering some of the UK’s most talented young disabled musicians to fulfil their potential, offering them unprecedented training and performance opportunities. 

NOYO also creates an ambitious musical context in which diversity acts as a catalyst for developing exciting new music. It works with composers to commission more flexible, ‘modular’ repertoire, written for the wider range of digital and acoustic musical instruments.

Informed by the findings of an extensive feasibility study, NOYO is being launched with the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama as its London Training Centre, as well as other key music partnerships around the UK.

Applications now closed

NOYO is generously supported by Arts Council England and ABRSM. 

Musicians playing

Watch: NOYO perform 'The Umbrella'

Some of our current NOYO musicians have joined us from the pilot South-West Open Youth Orchestra. Watch them play The Umbrella, a modular composition by Liam Taylor-West.

Join Young Barbican

Be there when it happens with discounted access to unmissable art and entertainment as well as events and creative opportunities for 14-25 year olds