Join the AKO Christmas Project 2023

The Atheneum Chamber Orchestra is looking for talented young musicians (14-24 years old) to join the Atheneum Chamber Orchestra (AKO) Christmas Project at the Royal Conservatoire. If you enjoy playing challenging music programmes in a youth orchestra with a high level of musical ability, this audition is for you!

The audition and the project are free of charge. You can apply until Thursday 12th October 2023.

Who are we looking for?

The audition is open to musicians aged between 14 and 24 who live in the Netherlands. A good musical level is required to participate in the audition. Candidates must pass a video audition before being accepted.

Auditions are open for the following instruments

  • 2 cellos
  • 1 double bass
  • 1 oboe
  • 1 oboe/coral oboe
  • 3 clarinets
  • 1 bass clarinet
  • 2 bassoons
  • 1 alto sax
  • 1 tenor sax
  • 1 horn
  • 2 trombones
  • 1 accordion

Compositions of Shostakovich, Grieg, Bernstein, Ravel and many more!

About the Atheneum Chamber Orchestra (AKO)

The AKO is the orchestra of the Royal Conservatoire's School for Young Talent. Founded in 1985, the AKO is primarily a string orchestra. The Atheneum Chamber Orchestra is increasingly developing into a flexible ensemble, such as a small ensemble with harpsichord for Baroque music, a large ensemble with winds for symphonic repertoire, or a large string ensemble for Romantic string repertoire. The orchestra rehearses in the new Amare building on the Spuiplein in The Hague. Click here for more information about the orchestra and the School for Young Talent (in Dutch).

Are you interested? Below you will find more information about the Christmas Project, the audition and the rest of the procedure.

Christmas Project 2023: programme and planning
In order to participate in the Christmas Project, it is necessary that you are available on all the dates listed below.


  • Shostakovich – parts from Suite for Variety Orchestra (Jazz Suite No. 2)
  • Martucci – Notturno op.70 no.1
  • Grieg – delen uit Peer Gynt
  • Barber - Adagio for Strings
  • Ravel - Le Jardin Féerique from Ma Mère l'Oye
  • Gabriella’s Song - As it is in heaven
  • Dream a little dream of me
  • Bernstein – parts from West Side Story



Za 28 oktober 10.00 - 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Za 4 november 10.00 – 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Za 11 november 10.00 - 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Za 18 november 10.00 - 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Za 25 november 10.00 - 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Za 2 december 10.00 - 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Za 9 december 10.00 - 13.00 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag

Zo 17 december 10.00 – 16.30 Amare, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag


18 december soundcheck at 15.30, concert at 20.15 Nieuwe Kerk, Den Haag

19 december soundcheck at 15.30, concert at 20.15 Nieuwe Kerk, Den Haag

20 december soundcheck at 15.30, concert at 20.15 Nieuwe Kerk, Den Haag

  1. If you wish to attend the audition, you must first register using this form.
  2. You will then make a video recording and send it by email to: This email will include the following
    a. A link to your video
    b. Digital copy of the score of the chosen solo piece (attached to the email).
  3. The audition committee will consist of conductor Leonard Kwon, head of Young KC Music Annick van Gennip, production manager Matteo Costanzi and possibly a fourth member. The selection will be based on the video audition. The results of the auditions will be emailed to the candidates no later than one week after the deadline. After a successful audition, the musicians will participate in the AKO Christmas Project or be placed on the reserve list.
  4. After a successful audition, you will be a member of the AKO for at least one project and will be expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts of that project. Successful candidates will be reimbursed for travel expenses.

The deadline for applications (form and video) is Thursday 12th October 2023.

We look forward to hearing your video audition! Best of luck!
Team Young KC

The video audition programme consists of

  • One orchestral fragment of your choice of no more than 2 minutes.
  • A solo piece of your choice of no more than 5 minutes, preferably in contrast to the selected orchestral fragments. We advise you to choose a solo piece that you can perform well and that clearly shows your level, qualities and technique. Piano accompaniment is not required.

    Each candidate sends a video recording (image and sound) via YouTube.

    Pre-recording checklist

    • You must not speak at any time during the recording.
    • No piano accompaniment required
    • Record everything with one camera and in one take, preferably full length.
    • Your audition will be a maximum of 7 minutes in total (audition fragments + solo piece).
    • No visible editing (edited auditions may be excluded).
    • Audition must be one continuous recording, just like a real audition.
    • Your audition video can be recorded using a smartphone camera or tablet. You don't need a professional quality camera.
    • When recording your audition video, use a room with no background noise.
    • Place your equipment in front of a flat wall so that the main light source is behind the camera and the image clearly shows your head, shoulders and torso.
    • Do not stand too far away from the camera or in front of a window.
    • Don't worry if the result is not 100% professional; we understand that you are not in a professional studio.
    • Avoid very reverberant acoustics.

    The recordings will be stored securely and will not be used for any purpose other than to facilitate discussion between the judges without the candidate's consent.

    Upload the video

    The video should be uploaded to YouTube as 'hidden' (make sure you don't select 'private'). Send this, along with the score of your solo piece, to the email address as mentioned under ‘Audition procedure’.

    We look forward to listening to your video audition! Good luck!
    Team Young KC