Apprentices Programme Applications

​For a full description of the Apprentices Programme and details of how to apply, please click here or read on below.

The aim of the Monteverdi Apprentices Programme is to recruit the most promising young performers – those on the verge of entering the profession – and introduce them to the musical tradition of the Monteverdi Choir (MVC) and the working practices of Sir John Eliot Gardiner by way of a year-long apprenticeship, involving participation in projects with the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists (EBS) and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR), as well as additional workshops and coaching sessions with mentors from the Monteverdi ensembles. The Monteverdi Apprentices Programme is free of charge to all participants.

For the successful applicants the benefits are manifold:

  • Training in all aspects of being a professional musician. Intensive workshops allow Apprentices to receive tuition from Sir John Eliot Gardiner and established musicians who act as mentors to participants. Training covers: historically-informed performance practice; vocal technique, diction and language tuition; musical interpretation and contextual insights on composers and repertoire; yoga to improve suppleness and breathing.

‘[The Apprentices Programme] felt like a musical homecoming… in the Monteverdi ensembles there is always a search for naturalness and authenticity.’ Monika Grimm, 2016-17 Apprentice

  • Mentoring to the highest level of choral singing internationally. Each Apprentice is matched to an experienced member of the Monteverdi Choir and receives artistic advice and practical support from their mentor throughout the year.

‘Being told that a specific action or vocal technique will lead to the result required is immensely helpful. It feels as though more time is invested in each piece of repertoire in Monteverdi sessions and that musical effort is channelled effectively.’ Emma Lewis, 2014-15 Apprentice

  • Participating in exclusive pre-rehearsal sessions with Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Apprentices take part in separate preliminary rehearsals to help them become familiar with the repertoire and specific techniques before joining the ensembles in rehearsal for each project.

‘It was a luxury having the time to cover finer interpretational points and technical challenges alongside the other Apprentices on such an intimate level.’ Davina Clarke, 2014-15 Apprentice

  • Working, touring and performing a wide repertoire with professional ensembles. It is vital to young musicians to gain early experience of the rigours of international touring, and our feedback from past participants tells us how much this is valued. We offer multiple opportunities to perform alongside the Monteverdi ensembles in paid professional engagements in the UK and abroad.

‘The opportunity to experience and get to grips with the life of a touring musician in a supportive and understanding environment has been incredibly beneficial.’ Gordon Waterson, 2012-13 Apprentice

  • Launching a performing career. Apprentices will learn about the exacting demands and working practices of our internationally-renowned ensembles. Workshops also culminate in ‘showcase’ performances to industry professionals, family and supporters to prepare Apprentices for marketing themselves in their burgeoning careers.

‘Learning about the demands and expectations of working in the music industry from people who live and breathe it gave a great insight into possible career options.’ Angharad Rowlands, 2014-15 Apprentice

  • Taking part in education and outreach work. Depending on availability, there may be the opportunity to participate in MCO educational projects, communicating your enthusiasm for classical music to children, young people and our wider audiences.

Prospective applicants will likely be familiar with the work of our ensembles but if you require further information, please explore our website or get in touch via:

PROJECTS 2018-19
The Monteverdi Choir will appoint up to eight choral Apprentices for the 2018-19, who will be invited to take part in several projects with the Monteverdi Choir, EBS and ORR. They will be asked to perform concerts in the United Kingdom and on tour in Europe and to attend all associated rehearsals, as well as dedicated workshops and coaching sessions tailored to their musical aims and ambitions.

Exactly which projects the successful applicants participate in will be decided after the auditions and as the year progresses, but successful applicants should be prepared to be called for any of the following periods (please note that dates, projects and repertoire are subject to change):

9-11, 14, 18 September 2018: Verdi Requiem

29 October – 3 November 2018: Verdi Requiem
Lucerne, Vienna, Budapest

28 Feb – 4 March 2019: Workshops
Springhead Trust, Dorset

30 March – 8 April, 12-14 April 2019: Handel Repertoire TBA
London, Paris

16 August – 2 September 2019: Berlioz Repertoire TBA

19-22 September 2019: Workshops & Showcase Recital

Apprentices are always very welcome as observers at rehearsals for MCO projects in which they are not taking part – further details will be provided to successful applicants.

In addition to ad hoc feedback during workshops and rehearsals, verbal and written feedback will be provided on a regular and ongoing basis from mentors and Sir John Eliot Gardiner. At the end of the year Apprentices will be asked to write a brief report on their experience and they will be considered for further professional engagements by the Monteverdi Choir.

All touring expenses (travel, accommodation and per diems) will be covered, and Apprentices will also be paid a half-fee for each project in which they participate. Candidates who are not London-based must note that, unfortunately, any expenses incurred in travelling to and staying in London for rehearsals and local concerts cannot be covered.

Applicants should please send the following to Tom Hansell, via with the subject line ‘Apprentices Programme Application’:

Please ensure that you are available for all projects listed above before making your application.

Applications close at 17:00 on Friday 22 June 2018.

After an initial selection based on curriculum vitae/recommendation letters, we will inform successful applicants if they have been shortlisted for the first round of auditions and arrange a convenient time on 31 July. We regret that it is not possible to acknowledge all applications, and only successful applicants will be contacted once the deadline has passed.

First round auditions will take place on Tuesday 31 July in London

These will be overseen by a panel of current members of the choir. A piano accompanist will be provided. Applicants will need to prepare three audition pieces, as follows:

  • One in German, one in French and one in Italian;
  • That cover three different historical periods, one of which must be Baroque

You should therefore have a total of three contrasting styles and languages prepared for your audition.

The audition panel may request to hear any number of these pieces at their discretion, and the audition may involve a short sight-reading excerpt. It will not be necessary to sing anything from memory, but you may be asked to speak briefly about why you are applying and what you hope to get out of the Apprentices Programme. If you are unable to attend this audition date, please provide an audio or video recording by sending an audio file or filesharing link (Dropbox, WeTransfer, etc.) to the email address listed above with the subject line ‘Apprentices Programme Application’

Second round auditions will take place on Thursday 23 August in London

Those who are successful during the first round of auditions will be invited to a second audition. These will be overseen by Sir John Eliot Gardiner with members of the choir in attendance. A piano accompanist will again be provided. The format will resemble the first round of auditions. It is essential that applicants are available on this date.

Should you require any further information, please email: