“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 trying to plan our next season, but everything will depend on whether or not we will be allowed to hold public events.  The current season is cancelled, much to our disappointment, but we are hoping that things will be better for the beginning of our next season in October.  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 the support of our patrons.

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

What’s on

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect the orchestra’s future.  Following the cancellation of our October event we have now regretfully decided that our February and May concert events should also be cancelled.  The current lockdown restrictions are such that we are unable to consider holding events for the short term future; the plan at the moment is that we will next perform on 16th October 2021.  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 it is for our players. We are planning some virtual playing events, which we will advertise here and on our Facebook page.  We had great fun with our Christmas Lockdown Medley – so much so that we are planning another video; watch this space!

When we get going again – and we will – 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.


Rebecca Taylor

More information

Martin Ros


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

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).