Auditions instrumentalists

Auditions instrumentalists

 The Netherlands Bach Society is looking for instrumentalists

• For the Netherlands Bach Society’s young talent programme, the Young Bach Fellowship (YBF), we are looking for 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 bassoon and 1 viola da gamba
• Applicants must be born after September 1st 1991
• Applicants must be resident in the Netherlands and should be eligible for a Dutch work permit that qualifies for payroll remuneration

The auditions for instrumentalists will take place on Monday April 15th 2024 at the Berenkuil, Biltstraat 166 in Utrecht.

The deadline for applications is March 15th 2024.

The Netherlands Bach Society is a professional Early Music ensemble best known for its exciting and inspired performances of 17th and 18th-century repertoire.  We give around 60 concerts a year throughout the Netherlands, Europe and the world.  Our All of Bach project, which features top-quality recordings of J.S. Bach’s works (via, has attracted millions of viewers throughout the world.

Artistic requirements:
Professional instrumental training (does not have to be completed yet)
• Good technique, musicality and expressive way of playing
• Great interest in and experience with ensemble repertoire
• Affinity and experience with performing the music styles of the 17th and 18th century
• Quick and flexible (the audition may include playing a piece at sight)
• Independent and expressive

Repertoire requirements per instrument:
Violin (click here for the sheet music):
J.S. Bach, from BWV 1001, Adagio, presto
• J.S. Bach, from BWV 243, Deposuit
• J.F. Fasch sonata FaWV N:d4

Viola (click here for the sheet music):
J.S. Bach, from BWV 1027, first movement, Adagio
• J.S. Bach, from BWV 244, Blute nur, A part
• J.F. Fasch sonata FaWV N:d4
• J.S. Bach, from BWV 213, aria no.11 duetto ‘ich bin deine/du bist meine’ VIOLA 2, until bar 58
• F.A. Hoffmeister: from 12 Etudes for viola, Etude no. 2, Menuettino

Viola da gamba (click here for the sheet music):
• J.S. Bach, from BWV 1021, Violin sonata, 2nd movement, bc part
• S. Scheidt, Pavan Dolorosa, 3d part
• J.S. Bach, from BWV 1027, first movement, Adagio
• J.S. Bach, from Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244, ‘Ich will dir mein Herze schenken’

Bassoon (click here for the sheet music):
J.S. Bach, From BWV155, first Aria, bars 21 till 42 and da capo till bar 5
• J.S. Bach, From Orchestral suite 1, BWV 1066, bars 20-71
• J.S. Bach, From B minor mass, BWV 232, Quoniam, bars 1-15 and 45-87. Learn both bassoon parts
• J.S. Bach, From Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244, Orchestra II, Aria: 'Ach, nun ist mein Jesus hin’

Candidates must play on period instruments.
The auditions will be accompanied by Siebe Henstra on harpsichord (pitch is a = 415 Hz).
The audition committee is comprised of Benny Aghassi (chair), Mieneke van der Velden, Lucia Giraudo, Femke Huizinga, core members of the Bach Society, and Thies Roorda.

How to apply
1. Confirm your eligibility:
Non-Dutch EU citizens must be registered and pay taxes in The Netherlands.
Non-EU citizens: Please send a copy of your residence permit BEFORE applying.
All applicants must be free for the projects offered (see below).

2. Send an e-mail with your name, address, telephone number, nationality, date of birth, instrument, CV and a recent recording of a piece by Bach, by March 15st at the latest, to Hilde Van Ruymbeke via

Based on the recording and CV, a selection of applicants will be invited to the audition. Please contact Hilde for any inquiries you may have.

About the Young Bach Fellowship
The Young Bach Fellowship offers young professional musicians the chance to learn the craft by performing alongside the experienced musicians of the Bach Society, as well as to work closely with and to go behind the scenes of a world-class ensemble. The fellows will take part in at least 2 projects per season across two seasons (2024-25 and 2025-26), be assigned a mentor – a musician of the Bachvereniging – as well as receive help and advice in career-building. They will also take part in special productions and workshops to round out the transitioning towards a full-fledged professional musician.

What do we offer?
Participation in projects in season 2024-25:

Violin, viola, bassoon: Bezin met Bach ( 5-7 December 2024)
  Bach's at his finest (17 February-2 March 2025)
  St Matthew Passion (31 March - 19 April 2025)
Viola da Gamba: Vriendenconcert ( 8-12 October 2024)
  All Souls (21 October- 2 November 2024)
  Bezin met Bach ( 5-7 December 2024)

• Participation in 2 projects in season 2025-26: to be decided
Please notice that the programme for viola da gamba is for season 2024-25 only!

Payment is based on the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch ensembles, to which the Netherlands Bach Society is a member.

• Extras
- Kick off workshop on September 10th 2024 with members of the NBS including a photo session by a professional photographer
- Other workshops: to be announced;
- 1 complimentary ticket per production to concerts by the Bach Society (subject to availability)

What do we expect from our fellows?
Participation in the above mentioned projects is mandatory
Full commitment & preparation for the project & other activities
• Fellow must be resident in the Netherlands and must have a Dutch work permit that qualifies for payroll remuneration, for the duration of the two seasons of the Programme.