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About the Orchestra

Find out all about BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Fact title Fact data
BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff
Principal Conductor
Ryan Bancroft
Conductor Laureate
Tadaaki Otaka CBE
Gavin Higgins
Composer Affiliate
Sarah Lianne Lewis
Lesley Hatfield
Lisa Tregale
Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT PC GCB

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For over 90 years, BBC National Orchestra of Wales has played an integral part in the cultural landscape of Wales, occupying a distinctive role as both broadcast and national symphony orchestra. Part of BBC Wales and supported by the Arts Council of Wales, it performs a busy schedule of live concerts throughout Wales, the rest of the UK and the world. The orchestra is an ambassador of Welsh music and champions contemporary composers and musicians.

The orchestra performs annually at the BBC Proms and biennially at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, and its concerts can be heard regularly across the BBC: on Radio 3, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru.

BBC NOW works closely with schools and music organisations throughout Wales and regularly undertakes workshops, side-by-side performances and young composer initiatives to inspire and encourage the next generation of performers, composers and arts leaders.

During the recent lockdowns, BBC NOW has continued to record and film behind closed doors at BBC Hoddinott Hall and has produced videos, soundtracks and weekly digital concerts that have been seen by 14 million people globally, including an extremely popular video of the Doctor Who soundtrack! Plans for the orchestra include live-streamed concerts and events, tours to different communities throughout Wales and education and community development schemes to include everyone in music making.

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