Section Principal Clarinet - BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Job Introduction

The BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales is one of the UK’s most versatile orchestras, with a varied range of work as both a broadcast orchestra and the national symphony orchestra of Wales. It performs live to tens of thousands of people across the UK and beyond each year including annual performances at the BBC Proms and other International Festivals. The Orchestra has a busy schedule of concerts, broadcasts and recordings for BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Television. Education and community work is central to the organisation, developing exciting, distinctive and memorable experiences for all ages. The Orchestra is supported by the Arts Council of Wales, and forms part of BBC Wales. BBC National Orchestra of Wales is based at BBC Hoddinott Hall, part of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay and is Orchestra-in-Residence at Wales’ National Concert Hall, St David's Hall, Cardiff. We are proud to work with an outstanding group of conductors including Principal Conductor, Ryan Bancroft and Conductor Laureate, Tadaaki Otaka.

Principal Conductor: Ryan Bancroft

Conductor Laureate: Tadaaki Otaka

Leader: Lesley Hatfield


Section Principal Clarinet, BBC National Orchestra of Wales



Round 1

Please register on the BBC Careers Hub and complete the online application form and equal opportunities monitoring form for this vacancy. 

Candidates are also required to submit a short (c.5 minutes) audio/visual recording of the Round 1 excerpts (please download the excerpt booklet from Careers Hub). The visual element will be removed before the panel shortlist to retain candidates’ anonymity.

Guidance for Submitting Round 1 Material

  • Please do not talk on your recording.
  • Please read the ‘Recording Audio/Visual Content Guide’ (downloadable from Careers Hub) before you record. This provides guidance for capturing the best quality audio.
  • Recording your audition material on your phone or tablet is perfectly acceptable; we are assessing the quality of your playing, not the quality of the recording.
  • Recordings should be submitted as MP3/MP4 files.
  • Recordings should be submitted as one continuous take and not edited in any way. Any videos that we perceive to be edited will be discounted.
  • Your file will be too big to email, so we recommend you use a file transfer website such as WeTransfer (free and no account required). Go to and you’ll be able to drag and drop the video into WeTransfer and send it to Vicky James, Assistant Orchestra Manager (

The closing date for all Round 1 elements to be submitted is 5pm on Monday 30th August 2021.


Those shortlisted from the Round 1 recording submissions for a live, in-person (Covid-19 dependent) audition will be contacted by Vicky James as soon as possible after the closing date.

Live, in-person (Covid-19 dependent) auditions will be held in October 2021 (exact dates tbc) at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff Bay.

Live auditions will be held in two rounds and both rounds will take place within the candidate’s scheduled time slot. Round 2 will be screened and Round 3 will be unscreened.

Excerpt booklets for Round 2 and 3 and details of what to expect on the audition day will be sent to shortlisted candidates in advance.

If you have any queries, or if you require any of the audition materials in an alternative format, please contact Vicky James, Assistant Orchestra Manager (


Round 1

  • Accurate rhythm
  • Evidence of musicality
  • Technical ability
  • Accurate articulation
  • Sound

Round 2 and Round 3

Shortlisting criteria for Round 2 and Round 3 will be communicated to shortlisted candidates in advance.

Role Responsibility

BBC NOW is seeking to appoint a Section Principal Clarinet. The clarinet section comprises of 3 players including the Section Principal, alongside Principal Bass Clarinet (Lenny Sayers) and Sub-Principal Clarinet (vacant).

The successful candidate will play as required by orchestration and work in accordance with the BBC/MU Orchestras Agreement. Candidates should have experience of performing in symphony orchestras and evidence through their application of excellence in performance in a professional context. BBC NOW will also consider candidates who are in the early stages of their career and can clearly show potential to fulfil the role. The ideal candidate will be an exceptional player and able to demonstrate commitment to delivering a very high standard of work.

The BBC is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity. We believe that diversity enhances and enriches the arts sector and drives innovation. We positively encourage applications from candidates from all backgrounds and, particularly, from groups who are currently under-represented in the sector.

The Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate will:

  • Have excellent professional orchestral and solo playing abilities;
  • Have the knowledge of the range of repertoire of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales;
  • Have the 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;
  • Have effective people and performance management skills, including the ability to give constructive feedback, deal with sensitive issues and to make difficult decisions;
  • Have good interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and develop harmonious working relationships with a diverse range of people;
  • Have the ability to participate actively as part of a diverse team and supportive of colleagues; and
  • Demonstrate respect for others by being fully prepared and ready to play at the start of every session.


  • Excellent communication and organisational skills;
  • Self-motivated and able to work under pressure;
  • Ability to work co-operatively as part of a team; and
  • Willing to develop positive working relationships with other members of the orchestra and the management team.

Package Description

For this role  /  Ar gyfer y swydd yma:

Welsh language skills are not necessary  /  Nid yw sgiliau yn yr iaith Gymraeg yn angenrheidiol

Applications may be submitted in Welsh, and an application submitted in Welsh will not be treated less favourably than an application submitted in English.  /   Mae modd cyflwyno ceisiadau yn Gymraeg, ac ni fydd cais a gyflwynir yn Gymraeg yn cael ei drin yn llai ffafriol na chais a gyflwynir yn Saesneg.

We’re happy to discuss flexible working.  Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application.  There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to.  Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage. 

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • Benefits - We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 25 days holiday with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

About the Company

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


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