The Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) and the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is proud to announce that EUYO players:

  • Andrei Mihailescu (Romanian, double bass)
  • Nina Ashton (English, bassoon)
  • Cillian Ó Ceallacháin (Irish, trombone)

have been offered places on the Budapest Festival Orchestra’s new apprenticeship programme.


On 9 May, 2014, a small number of musicians took part in an audition to work with Maestro and Budapest Festival Orchestra Music Director Iván Fischer. Considered one of the ten best orchestras in the world, the Budapest Festival Orchestra is a success story of Hungary’s musical life.


The European Union Youth Orchestra is committed to creating opportunities for paid employment for Europe’s finest musicians. This unique partnership is one step towards the provision of a more extensive international apprenticeship and exchange programme in the orchestral sector, dedicated to fostering young instrumental talent and providing a genuine platform for professional placement.


The innovative scheme will enable EUYO players and recent alumni to join the Budapest Festival Orchestra for up to 10-12 weeks’ work during the BFO's 2014/15 season. The three EUYO players will be paid as normal members of the BFO, with travel and accommodation costs also covered, and will gain invaluable professional experience working with one of the world’s top orchestras, during one season.


EUYO Chief Executive Marshall Marcus declared “with the announcement of the first group of successful candidates for the EUYO's new Apprenticeship Scheme, the partnership between the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra can be seen to offer a tremendous opportunity for talented young European musicians. From this experience the successful candidates will gain much: a greater awareness of the challenges and demands of professional orchestras, the experience of working with a world-famous conductor and a truly great orchestra for a prolonged period of time, and, vitally, witness the results of their efforts with professional concerts in the world’s most renowned and prestigious concert venues.”


Successful placement with the Budapest Festival Orchestra is particularly poignant for Irish trombonist, Cillian Ó Ceallacháin, “I am absolutely delighted to have been accepted on to this scheme.  It is a very exciting opportunity as I end my time as a student and begin my career as a professional musician.” Nina Ashton, English bassoonist could not hide her contentment and is anxiously awaiting the chance to work with the BFO, “…..I'm really excited! It will be an honour and fantastic experience to rehearse and perform alongside the wonderful musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and I'm very much looking forward to working with Maestro Fischer. A big thank you to EUYO and BFO for the incredible opportunity!” Recent alumnus Andrei Mihailescu, Romanian double bassist, expressed his gratitude for this and other opportunities presented to him: “I am so grateful to all of you for always providing us with unique opportunities, and now even more so!”