Vacancy Search

Search Jobs  

Principal Harp, BBC Symphony Orchestra

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

The BBC Symphony Orchestra is one of the UK’s leading orchestras. It has played a central role at the heart of British musical life for almost 90 years and has a high profile both in the UK and on the international stage. The BBC SO has an outstanding reputation for its performances of a wide range of music with particular emphasis on 20th century and contemporary music; each year giving the world premieres of a number of works commissioned by BBC Radio 3.

As the flagship orchestra of the BBC, the BBC SO makes at least a dozen appearances each year at the BBC Proms, including the First and Last Nights. All BBC SO concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving it the highest broadcast profile of any UK orchestra.

The BBC SO gives frequent performances under its present Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo, Semyon Bychkov and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.  In addition the Orchestra performs regularly with many other international conductors and soloists. The BBC SO is Associate Orchestra of the Barbican in London and performs an annual concert season there of up to 25 concerts, including a number of concerts and events focusing on a single composer. Recent seasons have also seen the BBC SO embark upon a series of critically acclaimed performances of opera in concert.  The BBC SO performs at a number of music festivals both in the UK and abroad, and undertakes regular major overseas tours.

Studio recordings play an important role in the Orchestra’s life, both for BBC Radio 3 and for commercial recording companies, whilst a strong commitment to community and outreach work involves the Orchestra in a number of adventurous learning projects working with schools and members of the local community

Role Responsibility

  • To sit as Principal and to lead the section as required. 
  • To maintain the high standard of professional playing and musical and artistic excellence required by the Orchestra. 
  • To familiarise oneself with the relevant parts, including solos, in advance of the first rehearsal and performances. 
  • To support professionally any Leaders and Conductors engaged by the Orchestra.
  • To take responsibility for the style, intonation, balance, ensemble, rhythm and preparation of the section in conjunction with Leaders and the Chief Conductor. 
  • To lead and manage the section effectively, and to share responsibility with the management for the performance of players within the Section.

Are you the right candidate?

To be successful in this role, you will need:

  • Excellent professional orchestral and solo playing abilities.
  • Knowledge of the range of repertoire of the BBC Symphony  Orchestra.
  • Ability to both lead and work collaboratively to inspire and contribute to performances that meet the highest musical standards by providing artistic direction and by motivating members of the section.
  • Effective people and performance management skills, including the ability to give constructive feedback, deal with sensitive issues and to make difficult decisions. 
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and develop harmonious working relationships with a diverse range of people 
  • Demonstrates commitment to maintain the reputation of the Orchestra. 
  • Participates actively as part of a diverse team and supportive of colleagues. 
  • Ability to plan ahead in order to prepare parts, organise allocations and to make the best use of the resources available.

For more information please contact  Lucie Tibbits, Orchestra & Tours Assistant, BBC Symphony Orchestra on 0207 765 4210.

For Careers Hub technical issues, please ring the Careers Hub Support team in the first instance on: 0370 024 3477 

(NB:  If possible, please do not include photographs on your CV.)

Package Description

Continuing Contract

(To work 60%-65% of the Orchestra’s schedule).



Solo audition rep (unaccompanied):

Mozart:      Concerto for Flute and Harp         1st Movement  up to Figure. F

                                                                        2nd Movement up to Figure E

Debussy:    Dances Sacree et Profanes         1st Movement

Plus orchestral excerpts

Auditions are expected to take place in London on October 13 and November 2.



Please remove any photographs or graphics from your CV before uploading. 

Please note that you will receive confirmation that we have received your application once you click "submit".

About the BBC

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here


This website is using cookies to improve your browsing experience. If you navigate to another page without changing the settings below you consent to this. Read more about cookies.