“This orchestra is one of the treasures that makes living in York such a delight.”
What's on

York’s renowned Guildhall Orchestra is one of the
leading orchestral ensembles in the North of England

The York Guildhall Orchestra was founded in 1980 by John Hastie with a number of very talented players who enjoyed the experience of exploring the repertoire of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and performing it to a high standard.  That tradition continues to this day under the baton of Music Director, Simon Wright.

Important Notice

We are currently planning our next season, which we hope will commence on 16th October later this year, but everything will depend on the lockdown rules at the time.  Please keep checking back for more up to date information.

Should you wish to join our growing band of Patrons, you will be most welcome.  More details are contained on the Support page.  We are so grateful for their loyal support.

Thank you and our best wishes to you and your loved ones in these difficult times.

What’s on

The plans for next season are coming together – it is likely that the programmes for February and May 2022 will be what we had planned to perform this year; the soloists are available and provisionally booked. October 2021 is a little problematic as we don’t yet know what size orchestra we’ll be allowed to have in the Barbican or what size audience.  the plan is that we will be joined by members of the Leeds Festival Chorus and for the programme to include popular arias.  Keep revisiting this page to check on what’s happening and when tickets might be on sale.

This is clearly as frustrating for you, our loyal audience, as much as it is for our players. We have done some playing and created a couple of virtual playing events, the latest being a Yorkshire Medley – do have a look, it’s great fun; many thanks to Simon Wright for his wonderful arrangement.

When we get going again do please come along to our music making events and enjoy our enthusiasm for playing big symphonic works; your support is vital for the continued success of the orchestra.

Leeds Festival Chorus


with Jennifer Stafford, Oliver Johnston and the Leeds Festival Chorus

More information

Rebecca Taylor


Rebecca Taylor

More information

Martin Roscoe

SATURDAY 14th MAY 2022

Martin Roscoe

More information

** Please note that whilst we will endeavour to perform the concert as shown, the orchestra reserves the right to amend the concert date, concert programme, soloist and ticket pricing should circumstances require. **

John Barbirolli (1965)

Sir John Barbirolli (1899 – 1970)

July 2020 saw the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir John Barbirolli, one of the most eminent conductors of the pre and post-war era and someone who had a significant impact on the musical life of this country.

He was British conductor and cellist. He is remembered above all as conductor of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, which he helped save from being broken up in 1943 –  and then conducted for the rest of his life. Earlier in his career he was Arturo Toscanini’s successor as music director of the New York Philharmonic, serving from 1936 to 1943. He was also chief conductor of the Houston Symphony from 1961 to 1967, and was a guest conductor of many other orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, hte Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic.

At the start of his music career our Music Director, Simon Wright, had the privilege of working with JB (as he was affectionally known).  Click here to read more of Simon’s reminiscences.

Our sponsors

For any performing organisation, presenting concerts is a financial challenge. We’re proud to present our sponsors who allow us to strive as an Orchestra; we are very grateful for their wonderful support.

In Association with our principal sponsor,
York St John University.

Help us to inspire
with music!

We are a registered charity that uses music to inspire people, to bring happiness, relaxation and exhilaration to their lives, helping to make York a better place.

This includes working with the York Music Hub to bring young aspiring musicians to our rehearsals and concerts. We are also working with our principal sponsor, York St John University, helping in their education of young adults who are working towards a career in the world of music.

Proudly supported by

In addition to our loyal sponsors we are very proud to be supported in our aims by the following organisations.

Venues & Tickets

The provisional pricing for tickets for our concerts at the Barbican are priced as follows:

£25.40, £22.05 and £17.55

(Concessions £24.30, £20 90 and £16:40; 
Children and Students £6.30)

All tickets are subject to a service charge and a facility fee as levied by the Barbican Box Office.  The prices quoted here include all relevant charges.

Please note that the Barbican operates a security system to check bags – large bags and backpacks will not be allowed in.  Further details are available here.

The York Barbican is located:

Paragon Street
YO10 4AH.

Tickets are available from the Barbican box office by:

0203 356 5441


The box office also sell discounted parking tickets for the QPark on Kent Street at the rear of the Barbican.


York Barbican
Paragon Street
YO10 4AH

© Copyright 2019 York Guildhall Orchestra

The York Guildhall Orchestra is a registered charity (number 700863).