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String players receiving coaching

String Experience

Providing string players studying at conservatoires with professional work experience and support.

The LSO String Experience scheme enables young string players at the start of their professional careers to gain work experience by playing in rehearsals and concerts with the LSO.

Since 1992, the scheme has been building the next generation of professional orchestral musicians. Participants are treated as professional ‘extra’ players (additional to LSO members) and receive fees for their work in line with LSO section players. The scheme also presents an invaluable opportunity to tap into the knowledge of LSO musicians and make long-lasting contacts. Approximately 20 current Members of the LSO are previous participants of the String Experience scheme.


The scheme is open to string players studying at the London music conservatoires:

  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal College of Music
  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama
  • Trinity Laban College of Music and Dance

How to Apply

If you are a string player at an eligible London music conservatoire, please speak to a member of your faculty staff about applying.

Auditions take place each Autumn, after which around ten students are selected to participate for that academic year. Workshops with LSO musicians take place prior to this, where candidates are guided through the audition process and receive valuable advice on preparing for their audition.

LSO Member Mentors

Harriet Rayfield first violin
Iwona Muszynska second violin
Robert Turner viola
Eve-Marie Caravassilis cello
Tom Goodman double bass

2023/24 Participants


Victoria Lewis (Guildhall School)
Polina Makhina (Royal College of Music)
Olwen Miles (Royal Academy of Music)
Magdalena Riedl (Royal Academy of Music)


Vanessa Hristova (Royal College of Music)
Hattie Quick (Royal College of Music)


Yunxiaotan Pan (Royal Academy of Music)
Kosta Popovic (Guildhall School)

Double Bass

Will Duerden (Royal College of Music)
Ruohua Li (Royal College of Music)

The LSO String Experience Scheme is kindly supported by the Barbara Whatmore Charitable Trust, the Idlewild Trust and The Thriplow Charitable Trust.

Header image © Mark Allan