About the Orchestra

Find out all about BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Fact titleFact data
BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff
Principal Guest Conductor:
Xian Zhang
Huw Watkins

BBC National Orchestra of Wales gave its first performance in April 1928 and occupies a special role as both a broadcast orchestra and the national symphony orchestra of Wales. The Orchestra is supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

The standard of playing was thrillingly high and Søndergård’s conducting was flowing and involving
Classical Source

The Orchestra is based at BBC Hoddinott Hall, which is named after Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott, and is part of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

The Orchestra presents an annual season at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, where it is Orchestra-in-Residence, as well as concerts in venues across Wales and beyond; including annual performances at the BBC Proms and biannually at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

As one of the six BBC Performing Groups the Orchestra has a busy schedule of recordings, broadcasts and concerts, for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC television. The Orchestra can also be heard on a number of BBC programmes, providing the music for the BBC Natural History Unit’s Hidden Kingdoms, BBC Cymru Wales’s Atlantis and of course as the Doctor Who orchestra.

Who's who

Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT PC GCB

View the full Orchestra List

BBC Hoddinott Hall

The Orchestra's relationship with Alun Hoddinott is enshrined within what has been the most important development for the Orchestra during the current decade: the move into BBC Hoddinott Hall in January 2009, situated in Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay.

Probably one of the most sophisticated orchestral rehearsal and studio provisions in Britain, the hall is primarily a rehearsal and recording studio, but also provides the opportunity to give concerts to audiences of around 350.

The Hall also includes sophisticated facilities for outreach work. The Grace Williams Studio, which can hold up to 60 people, hosts workshops and rehearsals acting as a centre for the Orchestra and Chorus's acclaimed outreach work.

Joining the Orchestra

Positions within the Orchestra are extremely competitive and are subject to auditions and a trial period. Orchestral vacancies are advertised on Musical Chairs. Successful applicants will be asked to attend an audition. Management vacancies are advertised on the BBC Careers Hub website.

For further information about auditions and trials please email now@bbc.co.uk

Get in touch

  • Tel: 0800 052 1812
  • Fax: 0292 055 9721
  • Email: now@bbc.co.uk