We are always pleased to hear from potential concerto soloists. In order to assess suitability we are happy to review videos including YouTube performances and audio recordings, with CVs and biographies.

Our annual season comprises four concerts so places are limited. We also look for a diversity of instruments across the season.  Selection includes discussion of repertoire that will complement our planned annual programmes.

To support the orchestra’s engagement with young people, we will welcome offers from soloists to spend time with a local school during their visit.

A number of our young soloists over the years are now pursuing distinguished professional careers. They include: –

Natalie Clein, cellist and artistic director of the Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival, made her debut with DChO at the age of 15, a year before winning the BBC Young Musician and Eurovision Young Musician of the Year competitions. Natalie has returned to play with us on a number of occasions.

Rebecca Gilliver, principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra, Rebecca was soloist at our second ever concert in 1987.  We were delighted to welcome Rebecca back to Dorchester to perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto for our 30th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2017. 

We have enjoyed performances by several BBC Young Musician winners: Guy Johnston, ‘cello; Jennifer Pike, violin; Cordelia Williams, piano; and Laura van der Heijden, cello.

Since 2017 our soloists have included

  • Alexandra Whittingham (classical guitar)
  • Duncan Honeybourne (piano)
  • Hannah McFarlane (‘cello)
  • Diego Incertis Sanchez (french horn)
  • Frida Backman (violin)
  • Dominic Doutney (piano)

For less experienced performers we can offer a Friday evening rehearsal before the ‘on the day’ rehearsal.  We have a loyal and enthusiastic audience who appreciate and are keen to support young musical talent.

For more experienced players we offer an opportunity to gain live concert experience of newly prepared works, perhaps before a recording or a large-venue performance.

Here is some feedback from soloists from recent seasons:

I can’t tell you what a pleasure it was to work with such a friendly orchestra who really put their all into their playing. I felt totally at ease with them and Walter, I also really enjoyed the rest of their programme.“

“Just to say a huge thank you for asking me to play in Dorchester. The orchestra – and yourselves! – were so friendly and cheerful and a pleasure to work with.” 

“It was an absolute pleasure to perform with the Orchestra.”

It was an amazing experience – everyone was so relaxed, friendly and professional. I hope to work with you again in the future.” 

“It was a real pleasure to play with the orchestra, and everyone was extremely welcoming for my entire stay in Dorchester. Also thank you to Walter for your continuous support during rehearsals and the concert.”