ESO’20 becomes ESO’21

August 2021, a summer full of Mahler

While we originally planned to have this festival in August 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic called for postponing this project. The exact tour dates still have to be determined, but ESO 2021 will kick off in Belgium, where we will gather to rehearse and prepare for the concerts. After a week of rehearsals, the orchestra will tour in Belgium and neighbouring countries.

The first round of applications is now closed! If you have not applied yet, there is a possibility for a second round of video auditions. However, this second round will only be open for seats that haven’t been filled yet.

There is a procedural audition for all applicants in the form of a short video. Don’t let this scare you: we believe via video audition, we give everyone an equal chance to apply (rather than first come, first served-principle) and the opportunity to motivate their application. We are looking for students with a lot of motivation to join the ESO as we believe that the atmosphere within the orchestra is extremely important. So in the video we will ask you to play (a part of) a piece of choice and to explain your motivation to participate in this new project.

Are you, your city or your university interested in hosting one of the concerts during the concert tour, don’t hesitate to contact


The exact tour dates still have to be determined, but will be communicated on this page as soon as possible.

We will tackle Gustav Mahler’s Sixth Symphony “Tragic”. This Symphony comes with a full-sized orchestra (+/- 100 musicians). 

More info coming soon…

  • Conditions 
    • You are a student, (preferably) with orchestra experience.
    • You do not study to become a professional musician.
  • Procedure 
    • Step 1: Register via the tab ‘Registration’. Here we ask some basic information about yourself and your musical experience. 
    • Step 2: Record a video that counts as your audition and send it to us via WhatsApp. We do not only focus on your musical talent: Your enthusiasm and motivation to join the ESO are least equally important! We expect a 5 minutes lasting video in which you shortly motivate your choice to apply (2’) and play us a piece of your choice (3’). Please beware, 3 minutes is not long, so please select your piece carefully. The goal is to show us your basic musical capabilities in your video. (For example: Schindler’s List is not a good option)

Your registration is only finalised when we receive your video. If there is no video and only the registration form is completed, you will not be considered in the selection. 

Sidenote: if you have the ambition to play first part for any instrument (i.e. concert maestro, leader of string sections, first flute, first trumpet…) we would kindly ask you for a slightly more extended video: 3’ motivation (including your explanation why you aspire the first part) and 5’ piece of choice. 

    • Step 3: Wait patiently. We will process all videos and make a selection.
    • Step 4: All applicants that fulfilled the registration form and sent a video will be contacted with the news whether or not you got selected. 
    • Step 5: For everyone selected, we ask a fee for the entire project 2021. This fee of 50 euro per person should be paid by bank transfer. 

This price includes: 

      • Accommodation  
      • Catering: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drinks are provided during the rehearsals 
      • Access to organised group activities 

Price does not include transportation to and from Brussels.

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“OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE WITH ONLY 10 HOURS OF REHEARSAL (this is no cap-lock, this is my enthusiasm!)”

~ anonymous participant of ESO’17