The National Academy Orchestra of Canada (NAO)

New Application Deadline: Thursday, February 22, 2024

About the NAO

The National Academy Orchestra of Canada is Canada’s top professional training orchestra. It is a National Arts Training Program, supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The Training Program

The NAO provides an intensive orchestral performance experience along with mentorship and training in preparation for successful professional careers. A real-to-life rehearsal and performance schedule of varied classical concerts, opera, Broadway and more. The NAO is unparalleled in its training approach which also includes masterclasses, seminars, mock auditions and runout tours. Professional development is provided by some of Canada’s leading musicians and mentors. The NAO program aims to enhance employment opportunities and offers strategies to maintain a long and healthy career. Under the baton of Artistic Director & Conductor Tania Miller, the NAO is orchestra-in-residence for Ontario’s only and Canada’s largest orchestral music festival, based in Hamilton, Ontario.

Apply now below. Don’t miss your chance to be part of something exceptional!

Audition Information

Program Dates

June 17th to August 18, 2024 (9 weeks)*
*some brass and percussion will start June 24 for an eight-week program

Application Deadline

Thursday, February 22, 2024. Online applications only.

Application Fee

There is a $75 CAD non-refundable application fee payable online by MasterCard, Visa, Visa Debit or American Express when submitting an application.


All post-secondary applicants welcome (emerging and early-career conductors) with preference for candidates with B.Mus, Artist Diploma or equivalent. Must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Open to Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents and Student Visas.


Orchestra members will receive $500/week.

Audition Requirements

Our audition requirements have changed for 2024. Please review the new audition requirements below.  The Assistant Conductor will assist the Artistic Director and all guest conductors on all programs at the Brott Festival, including classical orchestra concerts, opera, pops, musicals and choral works.

Repertoire Highlights

  • Beethoven Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”
  • Brahms Symphony No. 4
  • Rossini Barber of Seville
  • Famous Opera Arias in Concert
  • Mahler Symphony No. 5
  • Stravinsky Firebird Suite (1919)

And much, much more …

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply to audition?

All post-secondary applicants welcome (18-30 years) with preference for candidates with B.Mus, Artist Diploma or equivalent.

Can I apply if I'm not a Canadian Citizen?

Yes, you can apply – but only if you are a Permanent Resident or have a Student Visa and a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).  

I'm an NAO alumni. Am I eligible to re-audition?

Yes! The NAO welcomes all alumni to  re-audition, provided you are within the age limit. 

Where will I live in Hamilton?

Musicians are responsible for their own accommodations. All participants will receive a welcome package that includes preferred areas of town for short term rentals and public transit information, etc. Our Festival office staff will be available should you have any questions about moving to Greater Hamilton

Does NAO pay travel for out of town participants?

No, participants are responsible to arrange and pay for their own travel.

What is the audition process for 2024?

The NAO will be accepting recorded video auditions only in 2024. All applicants are expected to upload the required audition material to Youtube, Vimeo, Dropbox, Google etc. and send us the link.

How much does it cost to apply?

The application fee for 2024 is $75 CAD.

What will happen after the auditions?

Candidates will be notified by the orchestra manager whether application is successful or not:

  1. the applicant has been accepted to the program
  2. the applicant is being considered for placement as an alternate
  3. the applicant did not get selected for the program
I have some questions not addressed here or I’m having problems with the application form? Who do I contact?

Please contact Orchestra Manager Woosol Cho at [email protected] or Brott Festival office at 905.525.7664.

NAO reserves the right to refuse any application. 

The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable.

Meet the 2024 NAO Orchestra

Coming soon.

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