Youth Concerto Competition

The 2024 YCC

The Preston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition is one of the few opportunities for talented young musicians to perform a concerto work with a full symphony orchestra. The competition has been running since 1988, and 2024 will be the 35th occasion.

There is an audition process, from which finalists will be selected to perform at the competition concert on the 8th September, 2024.

Following the increase in entries in recent years, the audition process for 2024 is in two stages:

  1. All applicants are asked to submit a video recording, uploaded to YouTube by 24 April.
  2. A minimum of 20 applicants will be invited to audition in person on the 15th of May.

Applications are now closed

Full application rules and key dates are shown below.

Key Dates for the 2024 Youth Concerto Competition

10 AprilApplications open; applications must include a YouTube link to the applicant’s video recording
24 AprilApplications close at 5pm (your video should also be uploaded by this time)
28 AprilNotification of invitation to attend in-person auditions
15 MayIn person auditions at Bernie’s Musicland, Ringwood (with accompanist)
7 SeptemberRehearsal for all finalists
8 SeptemberCompetition Concert, Darebin Arts Centre, Preston.

Youth Concerto Competition rules 2024

Age Limit
The Competition is open to players of orchestral instruments and piano who are 18 or under on 1st July 2024. (Please note that this is a change from 2023).

A complete work with orchestral accompaniment or selected movements may be submitted. Maximum duration should be 15 minutes. For unusual works please check the availability of orchestral parts.

Previous winners and finalists’ lockout
In order to give as many young musicians as possible the chance to perform with the orchestra, finalists are not eligible to enter in the year following their concert participation; winners are not eligible to enter the following two competitions. This does not apply for entries with a second instrument.

Applications for the 2024 competition open on the 10th April, and close at 5pm on the 24th April. Applications are made on the YCC page of the Preston Symphony Orchestra website. A link will be available from the 10th April. Late entries may be accepted at the discretion of the Secretary. Applicants chosen for in-person audition will be notified by 28 April.

Following the increase in entries in recent years, there is a two-stage audition process in 2024:

  • Video submission: All applicants should submit a video recording playing their chosen work. It does not have to include an accompanist. The duration should be a minimum of 5 minutes from the start of the solo part, with a maximum of 15 minutes. Please see the guidelines below for advice on how to submit the recording via YouTube. 

  • In-person auditions: 
At least 20 applicants will be selected to attend in-person auditions on 15 May. For this, entrants should prepare one or more sections of their selected work to demonstrate their potential as a performer. Entrants should provide their own accompanists (assistance with names is available). The audition will last about 7 minutes. Auditions will take place during the evening of 15th May, 2024 at Bernie’s Music Land in Ringwood.

At least 5 entrants will be selected to perform with the Preston Symphony Orchestra in the competition concert on 8th September 2024.

Finalists will be required to rehearse with the orchestra three times, twice on selected Tuesday evenings in the weeks before the concert and at the final rehearsal on Saturday 7 September. The amount of rehearsal time for each finalist may vary to accommodate the complexity of the orchestral accompaniment of individual works.

Preston Symphony Orchestra will supply the adjudicator(s) whose decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

The winner receives $500; other finalists receive $100.
As well as the overall winner’s prize, there is an Audience Prize, chosen by ballot at the end of the concert.

Guidelines for applicants and uploading your YouTube video

There are two-stages to the selection of finalists for the Youth Concerto Competition in 2024. All applicants are asked to submit a video recording by 5pm on the 24 April, from which selected players will be invited to the auditions on 15 May.

  • Applicants need to record a good quality video recording of their chosen work that we can use to assess their playing.
  • Recordings made on mobile phones or tablets will be acceptable.
  • The video should last not less than 5 minutes from the entry of the soloist and no more than 15 minutes.
  • Applicants will need to upload their video to YouTube and provide the link to it in the YCC application form. Guidance on how to upload to YouTube is shown below.
  • Applicants may choose whether to play with or without their accompanist on the video. However, if selected for an audition, all applicants must audition with an accompanist.
  • A minimum of 20 applicants will be shortlisted from viewing the videos.
  • If selected for in-person audition, applicants should play the same piece that they played in their video.

Instructions for uploading to YouTube

Applicants may choose either a Public (listed) or Unlisted upload. Unlisted videos are invisible in search results, subscriber feeds and user video tabs, but anyone with the link can see and share your video.

  1. Open YouTube and sign in with a Google account.
  2. Click the “create video” button as seen in the relevant image below
    • On a computer – click the “movie camera” icon in the top menu bar.
    • On an iPhone – click the “+” icon in the bottom menu bar.
On a computer: click the "movie camera" icon in the top menu bar:
On a computer: click the “movie camera” icon in the top menu bar
On an iPhone: click the “+” icon in the bottom menu bar
  1. Follow the prompts.
  2. A link will be automatically created and displayed – but this will be a private link and you need to be able to share it with us.
  3. At the end of the upload process you will be prompted to select the Visibility for your video. Depending on what device you are uploading from, and your Google account settings, the default visibility my be Private or Unlisted or Public.
    • Select either Unlisted or Public.
    • Remember, an unlisted video will not show up in searches, but a publicly listed video can be seen by anyone and discovered in search results, subscriber feeds and user video tabs.
  4. Make a copy of the link and paste it into your competition application. Of course, you can also share it with friends via email.

For more details about how to upload a video, see:

If you need to change the visibility of your video after it has been published:

  1. Open up YouTube Studio with your Google account.
  2. Select “Your channel”
  3. Select “Manage videos” or “Your videos”
  4. Click on the video you want to share and click the Visibility box.

For more details about how to change the Visibility and other settings, see:

Any queries should be directed to: [email][/email]

This page was last updated on 11th Mar 2024

See the list of previous competition winners

Read about the 2023 Competition

Read about the 2022 Competition

Read about the 2018 Competition

Read about the 2019 Competition

The 2020 and 2021 competitions were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.