Skip to main content
Northern Ballet Sinfonia is looking to recruit a Principal Timpanist, doubling percussion as required. The successful candidate will not only be an outstanding timpanist of considerable musical quality, they will also play orchestral tuned and non-tuned percussion to a high professional standard.

Northern Ballet Sinfonia is the orchestra of Northern Ballet, and is one of the UK’s leading ballet orchestras, playing live for the company’s extensive national tours, performing both classics and commissioned scores to the highest standard. The orchestra can also be heard in production broadcasts on national television and in cinemas, both live and recorded.

Northern Ballet prides itself on being at the forefront of the commissioning of new scores, having premiered new ballets by composers such as Richard Rodney Bennett, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Philip Feeney, Sally Beamish and Alexandra Harwood. The Sinfonia has an extensive catalogue of commercial recordings of contemporary ballets.

The orchestra plays for well over 100 performances for Northern Ballet every season, with venues across the U.K from Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre to London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre. The company are continuously engaged to seek additional performing opportunities for the orchestra, and in recent seasons the Sinfonia has given concerts in their own right, participated in collaborations with the Royal Northern College of Music, and recorded for the BBC and SkyArts.

The recruitment process will be as follows:

  • Closing Date: 9.00 am on Monday 10 May 2021.
  • Successful Candidates will be informed by Wednesday 12 May 2021.
  • Audition Date: Friday 25 June 2021 at Leeds Grand Theatre.
  • Trialists to be invited to work with the Company on short term contracts. First trial period is scheduled to take place at the end of September/beginning of October.


The full Job Description is downloadable below.

The successful candidates being put through to the trial stage will be expected to provide and tour with their own instruments and be responsible for the maintenance of such to a high standard. This is in line with what is expected of the appointed individual. Porterage will be remunerated.

To apply for this role, please send your Curriculum Vitae and a covering letter for the attention of Dawn Wilson, HR Manager, to Covering letters should include details of your availability in terms of the audition and trial period.

Please also submit an equal opportunities form as well.

If the application information format is not accessible to you please let us know and we can work with you to ensure all information is provided in the best way possible for you.

Northern Ballet strives to understand, respect and champion diversity in all its forms and believes in embracing diversity within our workforce, repertoire and practices. We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from groups who are under-represented in our organisation. This includes, but is not limited to, people of African or Caribbean heritage, people of South, East and South East Asian heritage and disabled people.


You will be required to perform excerpts from the standard orchestra and the company's repertoire. The excerpts performed will be chosen by the panel at the audition. As part of the audition, the candidate may be conducted, or asked to make small adjustments to their tempo to suit the choreography.

You will also be asked to take part in a brief interview.

Instruments will be provided in the audition and will be as follows:

  • Timpani - Premier with Renaissance heads. 
  • Sizes and ranges are 32" up to B natural, 30" up to D, 28" up to F 25" up to G.
  • Snare drum xylophone and triangle will also be provided.

Please note that Peter Pan, Cleopatra and The Three Musketeers are all available on Spotify, YouTube Music and other streaming services.

  • Peter PanAct one, The Beginning (track 1); Act one, Learning to Fly (track 8, from 1'15")
  • Three Musketeers - En Garde (track 11, from 4'00")
  • Cleopatra Death of Caesar (track 13, from 4'00")

Header image by Jorge Royan (Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported)