Become a member of the string section of the world-class National Arts Centre Orchestra as an Apprentice in the Institute for Orchestral Studies (IOS); find out what’s involved, how to apply, details on the selection criteria and what to expect if accepted.

Applications for the 2016-2017 IOS season are now closed.

About the IOS

The Institute for Orchestral Studies (IOS) is an apprenticeship program designed to prepare highly talented young musicians towards successful orchestral careers. It was established in 2006 under the guidance of former Music Director Pinchas Zukerman, and is funded by the National Arts Centre Foundation through the National Youth and Education Trust.

The RBC Foundation is proud to be the Presenting Supporter of the NAC Institute for Orchestral Studies

“The Institute for Orchestral Studies (IOS) gave me the opportunity to apprentice with superb musicians in a hands-on, integrative learning environment. It is an ideal stepping stone for young professionals.” IOS 2012-2013 Apprentice Aaron Schwebel (Associate Concertmaster, Canadian Opera Company)

You should apply if you

  • Have completed undergraduate or post-graduate studies of a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or double bass), OR
  • Are currently enrolled in undergraduate or post-graduate studies of a string instrument and have written approval from your university of a leave of absence for the duration of the IOS program.
  • Are under the age of 30 as of June 30, 2017.
  • Demonstrate abilities to perform at a high level.
  • Are seeking a career as an orchestral musician.
  • Display artistic excellence, and a potential for development.

If you fit the criteria, please consider applying. To do so, please first review the details of what’s involved:

  • Program Elements
  • Fees (it’s free!)
  • Schedule
  • Audition Requirements
  • Considerations Before you Apply

The deadline for applications is September 15, 2016

Applications for the 2016-2017 IOS season are now closed.

Full Financial Support

Apprentices of the Institute for Orchestral Studies receive full financial support for travel, tuition, and room and board.