In 1979 The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) presented its first series of concerts in Falkirk, Aberdeen and Dundee during which over 100 young instrumentalists took part.

Today NYOS provides orchestral experiences in classical and jazz music for over 600 students per year aged between 8 and 25, through its comprehensive pathway of orchestras, jazz bands, training ensembles and an ever expanding outreach programme.



1 December 1978

December 1978 the founding of NYOS formally announced when Professor Donald Pack, NYOS Chairman receives cheque for £5,000, first instalment of a £20,000 pump-priming grant from Carnegie UK Trust.


1 January 1979

Original logo for The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.

Original NYOS Logo

1 August 1979

First NYOS Orchestra Course at Trinity College, Glenalmond Conducted by Nicholas Braithwaite with Concerts in Falkirk, Aberdeen and Dundee.


3 August 1980

NYOS Tour of the Highlands and Northern Isles with a concert at Sullom Voe Oil Terminal, which created a record for the Orchestra as the farthest point north at which a symphony orchestra had played in the United Kingdom.


1 December 1981

Up and coming violinist, Nigel Kennedy performs with NYOS as soloist


28 July 1982

Orchestration by Scots - Transportation by Volvo.


30 July 1982

Viking Tour Departure on board P&O Ferries.


1 August 1982

The Viking Tour.  This is a BBC documentary made for the programme Spectrum in 1982, which follows The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland as it embarks on a tour of Orkney, The Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.  


3 August 1983

NYOS perform at the Usher Hall as part of Edinburgh International Festival under the baton of conductor Sir Alexander Gibson


8 August 1985

NYOS celebrate European Music Year with a summer tour to West Germany and Luxembourg, conducted by Nicholas Braithwaite. The programme included highlights such as John McCabe’s Tuning, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1


3 August 1986

Summer ’86 NYOS embark on a tour of Scotland, Norway and the Faroe Islands conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson with soloists Krzysztof Smientana (violin) and Murray McLachlan (piano)


10 January 1987

Percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie featured as soloist on the NYOS Winter tour conducted by John McLeod.


1 November 1987

Richard Chester joins NYOS as Director


3 August 1988

NYOS Summer tour highlights include performing in s’Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, at the Glasgow Festival of British Youth Orchestras and The Royal Albert Hall, London


11 November 1988

Colin MacLean becomes Chairman


1 January 1991

Summer concert with solosit Peter Katin conducted by Sergey Vlasov. 


2 April 1992

NYOS Chamber Orchestra inaugural concert conducted by William Conway


1 August 1993

NYOS Chamber Orchestra Tour of Japan


1 August 1994

NYOS tour of the Netherlands, with performances in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and s’Hertogenbosch


11 November 1994

Ian Harrison becomes Chairman.


12 July 1996

First public performance of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland at the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling. Director of the inaugural orchestra Richard Michael.


1 April 1996

NYOS Chamber Orchestra officially becomes Camerata Scotland


11 April 1997

First public performance of the National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland (NCOS) in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh conducted by James Durrant with a young Nicola Benedetti as orchestra leader.


11 April 1997

A very young Nicola Benedetti performs as leader of NCOS pictured here meeting Lord Wilson, chairman of Hydro Electric


7 July 1997

Camerata Scotland tours Australia in collaboration with Camerata Australia.


17 June 1999

A Royal Celebration is hosted by HRH Prince Edward at Holyrood House to celebrate the achievements and the 21st anniversary of The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.


17 June 1999

HRH Prince Edward at Holyrood House chatting with members of the orchestra


3 August 1999

Members of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland relaxing before the concert in a café opposite Glasgow City Halls.


1 February 2000

Alan Simpson becomes Chairman


1 April 2001

The National Children's Orchestra of Scotland summer course is established


1 January 2002

New Year 2002, Garry Walker conducts NYOS Symphony Orchestra.

A NYOS cellist from 1990 to 1992, Garry was also a member of Camerata Scotland.


1 January 2003

Sian Edwards conducts the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


17 June 2004

A Royal Celebration.  NYOS celebrates its 25th anniversary at Holyrood House.


1 January 2005

Colin Currie performing as solo percussionist with NYOS Symphony Orchestra.  Colin was in the NYOS percussion section from 1990 to 1994 and in 1994 became the first percussion finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition.


10 August 2007

NYOS summer at the Young Euro Classics Festival in Germany.


1 August 2009

NYOS celebrates its 30 year anniversary


2 August 2010

NYOS tour Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the first time, with performances at the University of Limerick, Dublin’s National Concert Hall and Belfast’s Ulster Hall.


1 July 2011

NYOS Jazz Orchestra of Scotland collaborates with Strings players from NYOS Symphony Orchestra to record a wonderful cross-genre piece at Castlesounds Studio in Edinburgh. 


2 September 2011

Camerata Scotland (now NYOS Camerata) performed and recorded 'That Blessed Wood' written by Rory Boyle and conducted by Tecwyn Evans with David Hubbard on Bassoon


1 November 2011

Professor Marjorie Rycroft becomes Chairman


1 May 2012

Incoming Chief Executive Joan Gibson launches three year strategic plan and working model for The NYOS Pathway of musical education.


2 August 2012

NYOS Symphony Orchestra's summer tour features Nicola Benedetti and culminates with a memorable return performance to the BBC Proms.


1 October 2012

NYOS introduces its vision for the new eductaional pathways based on annual membership, staged development and better nurturing of young Scottish talent. The vision:

  • To create a clear journey of musical development from primary school age to pre-professional with various entry and exit points.
  • To nurture talent by providing the best possible training and tutors.
  • To enhance the musical education experience by providing more opportunities to learn and perform.
  • To continually improve the level of playing in all orchestras.

To deliver this vision NYOS made significant changes:

  • The National Children's Orchestra became NYOS Junior Orchestra
  • NYOS created a brand new ensemble between Junior and Symphony levels and NYOS Senior Orchestra was launched
  • A new upper age limit was introduced for NYOS Symphony Orchestra - now up to 25 years old


10 April 2013

NYOS Futures in collaboration with London Sinfonietta perform Steve Reich's 'Varitions for Vibes, Pianos and Strings' with the composer in attendance.


9 April 2013

NYOS Senior Orchestra performs inaugural concert at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh to critical accalim


14 April 2013

NYOS Junior Orchestra performs its inaugural concert at The Sage, Gateshead and receives a wonderful reception.


21 July 2013

NYOS Jazz Orchestra celebrates 21 years with an anniversary party and outdoor perfomance at Dundas Castle with outstanding jazz vocalist Liane Carrol.  


3 February 2014

A Commonwealth Celebration

As the City of Glasgow geared up to host the 20th Commonwealth Games, arts organisations across the city were prepairing, planning and rehearsing for what would be a cultural extraveganza of music, dance and performance throughout the spring and summer. 


2 August 2014

The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) celebrated 35 years of nurturing talent by hosting a 35th Anniversary Gala Concert attended by its Patron, HRH The Earl of Wessex at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. The main flagship orchestra of NYOS, The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, was joined, on stage, by possibly the best trumpet player alive today, Håkan Hardenberger.


20 August 2014

Thanks to a generous legacy bequest made by Judith Worthington (nee Betteridge) in the spring of 2014, The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland was able to purchase the upper two floors of its exisiting offices at 13 Somerset Place in Glasgow with a view to creating performance, rehearsal and audition spaces.

As a violist, Mrs Worthington spent her professional life performing with the Scottish National Orchestra (now RSNO), as well as tutoring aspiring musicians.

Image reproduced here with kind permission of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra archive.


24 January 2015

In 2015 The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland celebrated a year themed Scottish Connections and announced a welcome return to the international stage.


1 June 2015

Due to some unexpected heavy rainfall, the roof of the recently purchased upper floor of 13 Somerset Place began to leak causing flooding and leaks throughout the building. Rather fortuitously, these leaks drew attention to some underlying structural damage between the ground and first floors of the building prompting the full scale renovation works to begin in earnest.


1 July 2015

First floor of 13 Somerset Place before the refurbishments works


2 July 2015

Second floor and landing of 13 Somerset Place bfore the refurbishment works.


1 August 2015

In the summer of 2015, NYOS Symphony Orchestra embarked upon a prestigious tour to China performing at world-class venues in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.



3 August 2015

Prior to the tour NYOS comissioned a short film from behind the scenes at NYOS Symphony Orchestra's summer course in Strathallan and its 'bon voyage' concert in Perth to capture all the excitement during the build up to the Orchestra's 3-date international tour, visiting Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin.


5 August 2015

While in China, NYOS Symphony Orchestra musician's blogged about their experiences and you can read them all here in the News Section of our website.


15 February 2016

First floor of 13 Somerset Place after the refurbishment works.


15 February 2016

Second floor and landing of 13 Somerset Place after the refurbishment works.


25 February 2016

2016 Season Launch - Invitation to the Dance with a Matisse inspired Season Brochure front cover 


25 February 2016

The Season Launch event was a great success and doubled as the grand unveiling of the new NYOS rehearsal, performance and audition spaces. Invited guests were treated to performances from a wind quintet and jazz trio.


2 May 2016

The renovation of 13 Somerset Place reached final completion in May 2016 providing NYOS with new rehearsal, performance and audition spaces. None of which would have been possible without Judith Worthington (nee Betteridge).  Her generous gift will continue to benefit the young musicians of NYOS for many years to come.


5 August 2016

2016 truly was a landmark year for The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS), with NYOS Symphony Orchestra and NYOS Jazz Orchestra invited to give stand-alone performances at the BBC Proms 2016. In this short film we follow NYOS Jazz Orchestra as it welcomes back two of its most celebrated guest artists, Iain Ballamy and Liane Carroll. Both Iain and Liane performed alongside the Orchestra during its two-leg summer tour, and for the all-important BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.


7 August 2016

In this short film we follow NYOS Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the charismatic Ilan Volkov on tour and go behind the scenes to talk to virtuosic pianist Pavel Kolesnikov and Orchestra Leader Yeye Xu during the build up to its BBC Prom performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.


1 November 2016

Chief Executive & Artistic Director, Joan Gibson announces her retirment after five successful years in charge of NYOS.

To read more please click here


6 February 2017

On 6 February 2017 Nicolas Žekulin became the new Chief Executive and Artistic Director of The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS). Nicolas replaced Joan Gibson as she retired after five successful years at the helm of NYOS.

To read more please click here