The musicians who take part in the tours of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester are selected through a highly competitive audition process that takes place every year, between October and December, in around twenty five European cities. An international jury selects candidates from an average of two thousand applicants.
Before the tours, the orchestra rehearses the concert programmes in one of its residence cities: Vienna, Bozen/Bolzano, Lisbon and Interlaken. Preeminent musicians from first-class orchestras, such as the Vienna and the Berlin Philharmonic, supervise the rehearsals in individual sections, while the assistant conductor prepares the orchestra to the point where the tour’s principal conductor can work on the final musical details. During these rehearsal periods, the young musicians gain valuable orchestral experience and receive important inspiration for their future careers. They do not receive a fee for participating in the projects of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, but, with support from its residence cities and its partners, the GMJO covers all costs that arise in conjunction with the rehearsal periods and the tours.