Audition Information

Prescreening

Some programs require prescreening before a Boston audition can be scheduled. Expand the sections below to learn more.

Undergraduate

  • A prescreening video recording is required for all Cello, Flute, Violin, Trumpet, and Voice applicants who would like to audition live at Boston University on our regular January and February audition dates. All other undergraduate programs and instruments are not prescreened.
  • The prescreening video should follow the Audition Repertory Requirements for your instrument (please see list below).
  • Early Decision, Trustee Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, and spring transfer applicants are not prescreened.
  • BUTI alumni applying to the BM program are not prescreened. Simply email us for help with scheduling your audition.
  • Fall transfer applicants in Cello, Flute, Violin, Trumpet, and Voice who wish to audition on one of our regular Boston live audition dates must submit a prescreening video recording by December 2 and an application must be submitted by January 1. Because Boston auditions occur in January and February, and the transfer application deadline is March 1, fall transfer applicants who apply closer to to the deadline may submit a video recorded audition in lieu of a live audition (please see audition and repertory requirements below).

Prescreening Deadline: December 1

Please note that the Audition Repertory Requirements for prescreening are the same as for the live audition (unless otherwise noted on the audition repertory requirement list below for your instrument). Please submit your prescreening video recording online through our DecisionDesk portal. You will need to register and submit your prescreening materials by December 1. Please note that DecisionDesk is separate from our online Undergraduate Application for Admission.

For technical support with your DecisionDesk submission, please contact support@decisiondesk.com.

Other Policies

  • All recordings should be in video format.
  • Recordings must be submitted online through DecisionDesk. Physical CD’s, DVD’s, and tapes will not be accepted. Emailed files and YouTube links are not acceptable.
  • Recordings must be made no earlier than six months prior to the application deadline.
  • Recordings will be evaluated by the same faculty who hear auditions in Boston.
  • Recordings must be in accordance with the audition repertory guidelines (please see below).
  • Applicants who are prescreened will be notified of the prescreening decision by email only.


Graduate

  • A prescreening video is required for all Cello, Flute, Violin, Trumpet, and Voice applicants who would like to audition live in Boston. MM Music Education applicants who wish to take applied music lessons on one of these instruments during their program of study and who wish to audition in Boston must also submit a prescreening video recording.
  • Prescreening is required for all graduate applicants to our Choral Conducting, Orchestral Conducting, and Artist Diploma programs, and a live audition in Boston is required for all applicants to these programs who pass prescreening.
  • Master of Sacred Music degree applicants in Organ and Choral Conducting must submit a prescreening recording.
  • All other graduate programs and instruments are not prescreened.
  • Current BU School of Music students applying to the MM, DMA, or PD programs in the School of Music do not need to submit a prescreening recording – simply email us for help with scheduling your audition. There are no exceptions or waivers to the prescreening requirement for Artist Diploma applicants.

Prescreening Deadline: December 1

(Opera Institute Deadline: January 1)

Please note that the Audition Repertory Requirements for prescreening are the same as for the live audition (excluding conducting applicants, or if otherwise noted on the audition repertory requirement page for your instrument). Please submit your prescreening video recording online through our DecisionDesk portal. You will need to register and submit your prescreening materials by December 1. Please note that DecisionDesk is separate from our online Graduate Application for Admission.

For technical support with your DecisionDesk submission, please contact support@decisiondesk.com.

Other Policies

  • All recordings should be in video format.
  • Recordings must be submitted online through DecisionDesk. Physical CD’s, DVD’s, and tapes will not be accepted. Emailed files and YouTube links are not acceptable.
  • Recordings must be made no earlier than six months prior to the application deadline.
  • Recordings will be evaluated by the same faculty who hear auditions in Boston.
  • Recordings must be in accordance with the audition repertory guidelines (please see below).
  • Applicants who are prescreened will be notified of the prescreening decision by email only.

Auditions

The School of Music hosts auditions on campus in Boston as well as across the country and internationally at regional audition locations. We also allow applicants to most programs to submit recorded auditions. Use the links below to determine which option is best for you.

Who Needs to Audition?

  • All undergraduate applicants must perform an audition regardless of major.
  • Graduate applicants seeking admission to performance-based programs must perform an audition on one of the instruments listed in the Audition Repertory Requirements section below. Graduate applicants in Composition, Ethnomusicology, Music Education (Professional Development Path), Musicology, and Theory do not need to audition.


Boston Auditions

Undergraduate applicants must schedule their own audition online. Auditions can be scheduled only after completion of an online application. To schedule an audition, undergraduate applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Submit your application for admissions to Boston University following the instructions on the BU Admissions website.
  2. Once your Common Application and BU Supplement are received by BU, you will be sent instructions via email from BU Admissions to set up your BU Web Account on the Applicant Link. For assistance with setting this up, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@bu.edu or 617.353.2300.
  3. From the Applicant Link you will be able to access the online audition scheduling system.

Graduate applicants must schedule their own audition online. Auditions can be scheduled only after submission of the online application, at which time you will receive an email with a link to the scheduling system.

2015 Audition Dates

Undergraduate Early Decision, Spring Transfer, Trustee & Presidential Scholar Applicants

  • Undergraduate Early Decision and undergraduate January transfer applicants have a November 1 application deadline, and the audition date will be Friday, November 14, 2014, and auditions must be scheduled before 5pm on Thursday, November 6. If the audition is not scheduled by this date, you will need to submit an audition recording online in order to receive consideration.
  • Undergraduate Trustee ScholarshipPresidential Scholarship, Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship, and Boston High School Scholarship  applicants have a December 1 application deadline, and the audition date for students interested in these particular scholarships will be Friday, December 12, 2014, and auditions must be scheduled before 5pm on Thursday, December 4, 2014. Auditions completed in November will also be considered as part of the scholarship application.  If your audition is not scheduled for one of these dates, you will need to submit an audition recording online in order to receive consideration.
  • All undergraduate and graduate applicants will be automatically considered for available music scholarships. Please schedule one of the above November or December audition dates only if you are applying to one of those special undergraduate programs. All other applicants who wish to audition in Boston must audition on one of the dates below.

All Other Applicants

* An asterisk indicates that a live audition in Boston is required for this particular program or instrument.

Program/Instrument Date Time Location
Artist Diploma* - Prescreening required Feb 2 10am – 2pm Concert Hall
Bassoon Feb 13 9am – 12pm Room 414
Cello - Prescreening required Jan 30
Feb 13
Feb 20
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
Room 167
Room 167
Room 167
Choral Conducting* - Prescreening required Jan 30
Feb 6
8am – 3pm
8am – 3pm
Room 208
Room 208
Clarinet Feb 13
Feb 20
10am – 12pm
10am – 12pm
Room 406
Room 406
Collaborative Piano* Feb 12
Feb 13
10am – 6pm
10am – 6pm
Room 428
Room 428
Double Bass Jan 23
Jan 30
Feb 13
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
Concert Hall
Concert Hall
Concert Hall
Euphonium Feb 6
Feb 20
10am – 12pm
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Concert Hall
Concert Hall
Flute - Prescreening required Jan 30
Feb 13
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
Room B36
Room B36
Harp Feb 20 9am – 11:30am Room 410
Historical Performance - Instrumental Jan 23 11am – 2pm Room 426
Historical Performance - Vocal Feb 13 9am-12pm Room 426
Horn Jan 30
Feb 6
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
Room 408C
Room 408C
Oboe Jan 23
Feb 6
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
Room 167
Room 171
Opera Institute* - Prescreening required Feb 23
Feb 24
10am – 3pm
TBD
TBD
TBD
Orchestral Conducting* - Prescreening required Feb 6 8am – 5pm Room 167
Percussion Jan 30
Feb 6
Feb 13
9am – 12:30pm
9am – 12:30pm
9am – 12:30pm
Room B33
Room B33
Room B33
Piano Jan 23
Jan 30
Feb 6
Feb 13
Feb 20
9am – 12pm
9am – 12pm
9am – 6pm
9am – 6pm
9am – 6pm
Room 409
Room 409
Room 409
Room 409
Room 409
Saxophone Feb 13
Feb 20
9am – 11am
9am – 11am
Room 410
Concert Hall
Trombone Jan 30
Feb 20
10am – 1pm
10am – 1pm
Room 427
Room 427
Trumpet - Prescreening required Jan 30
Feb 13
10am – 3pm
10am – 3pm
Room 420A
Room 420A
Tuba Feb 6
Feb 20
10am – 12pm
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Concert Hall
Room 410
Viola Jan 30
Feb 13
Feb 20
1:30pm – 5pm
1:30pm – 5pm
1:30pm – 5pm
Room 167
Room 167
Room 167
Violin - Prescreening required Jan 30
Feb 13
Feb 20
1pm – 5pm
9am – 5pm
9am – 5pm
Room 171
Room 171
Room 171
Voice – Undergraduate - Prescreening required Jan 23
Jan 30
Feb 6
Feb 13
Feb 20
9am – 12:30pm
9am – 12:30pm
9am – 12:30pm
9am – 12:30pm
9am – 12:30pm
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Voice – Graduate - Prescreening required Jan 23
Jan 30
Feb 6
Feb 13
Feb 20
1:30pm – 5pm
1:30pm – 5pm
1:30pm – 5pm
1:30pm – 5pm
1:30pm – 5pm
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Marshall Room
Marshall Room

Regional Auditions

Undergraduate applicants must schedule their own audition online. Asia auditions can be scheduled by following the instructions at www.usaschoolsofmusic.com. USA auditions can be scheduled only after completion of the online application. To schedule a USA regional audition, undergraduate applicants must follow these steps:

  1. Submit your application for admissions to Boston University following the instructions on the BU Admissions website.
  2. Once your Common Application and BU Supplement are received by BU, you will be sent instructions via email from BU Admissions to set up your BU Web Account on the Applicant Link. For assistance with setting this up, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at admissions@bu.edu or 617.353.2300.
  3. From the Applicant Link you will be able to access the online audition scheduling system.

Graduate applicants must schedule their own audition online. Asia auditions can be scheduled by following the instructions at www.usaschoolsofmusic.com. USA auditions can be scheduled only after submission of the online application, at which time you will receive an email with a link to the scheduling system.

Regional Audition Policies

  • Regional auditions are attended and video recorded by admissions staff, and all recordings will be evaluated by the same faculty who hear live auditions in Boston.
  • Applicants who wish to audition at a regional site are not prescreened.
  • Since regional auditions in the USA can be scheduled only after your application has been submitted to Boston University, we suggest submitting your application early to secure a space in your preferred location as regional audition locations fill up quickly.
  • Undergraduate Trustee ScholarshipPresidential Scholarship, Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship, and Boston High School Scholarship  applicants have a December 1 application deadline, and the Boston audition date for students interested in these particular scholarships will be Friday, December 12, 2014, and auditions must be scheduled before 5pm on December 5, 2014. Auditions completed in November will also be considered as part of the scholarship application.  If your audition is not scheduled for one of these dates, you will need to submit an audition recording online in order to receive consideration. Regional auditions in the USA are not possible for these applicants.
  • Voice applicants who perform at a regional audition must bring their own accompanist. Applicants on any other instrument are encouraged to audition without accompaniment.
  • PercussionHistorical Performance, and Collaborative Piano applicants may not audition at regional sites.
  • Artist Diploma applicants who pass prescreening must audition live in Boston on the designated Artist Diploma audition day.

2014-15 Regional Audition Dates

Asia Auditions

For detailed information please visit usaschoolsofmusic.com.

Seoul, Korea October 5
Taipei, Taiwan October 7October 8October 9
Hong Kong October 10
Singapore October 13October 14
Bangkok, Thailand October 17
Guangzhou, China October 19October 20
Sichuan, China October 22October 23
Shanghai, China October 25October 26
Beijing, China October 29October 30October 31November 1

 

USA Auditions

Houston, TX January 5
Los Angeles, CA January 7
San Francisco, CA January 9
Chicago, IL January 12
Washington, DC January 14
New York, NY January 17January 18January 19

Recorded Auditions

Recording Submission Deadlines

  • Graduate applicants: December 15
  • Regular Decision freshman applicants: January 5
  • Undergraduate transfer applicants: March 1
  • Undergraduate Early Decision and spring transfer applicants: November 15
  • Trustee and Presidential applicants: December 12

Recording Policies

  • All recordings should be in video format.
  • Recordings must be submitted online through our DecisionDesk portal. Physical CD’s, DVD’s, and tapes will not be accepted. Emailed files and YouTube links are not acceptable.
  • Recordings should be made no earlier than six months prior to the application deadline.
  • Recordings will be evaluated by the same faculty who hear auditions in Boston.
  • Repertory guidelines for final audition video recordings are the same as for prescreening recordings and live auditions.
  • Artist Diploma*, Collaborative Piano, Conducting*, and Opera Institute* applicants must audition in Boston (*denotes prescreening is required).

Submission Instructions

Please submit your final audition video recording online through our DecisionDesk portal.

The fee for submitting your audition materials to DecisionDesk is $20 per applicant, but you save the cost of creating a physical recording or portfolio and overnighting it through the mail. For technical support with your DecisionDesk submission, please contact support@decisiondesk.com.

Repertory Requirements

Please select your instrument below to view the audition and prescreening repertory requirements.

Bassoon

BM, MM, DMA, Performance Diploma & Artist Diploma

Applicants should prepare:

  • Three contrasting movements from three different musical periods. At least one work should be from the major solo repertoire. A solo étude is acceptable for one of the selections. Accompaniment is not required.
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • The audition could include sight reading


Bass Trombone

BM
Applicants should prepare two solo works. Solos should be selected from works with a minimum difficulty of Cameos by Jacob, Concerto for Bass Trombone by Lebedev, or Ballade by Ewazen. Solo works should be prepared without accompaniment.

Applicants should prepare three orchestral excerpts, for example:

  • The Creation, Haydn
  • The Ride of the Valkyries or Loehengrin, Prelude to Act lll, Wagner
  • La Gazza Ladra, Rossini
  • Chorale, Symphony #1, Brahms
  • Hungarian March, Berlioz
  • Symphony #3 “The Rhenish,” Schumann

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions:

  • A piece or movement from the Baroque or Classical periods.
  • A piece or movement from the Romantic period.
  • A piece or movement from the contemporary period.

Applicants may also offer appropriate orchestral excerpts.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a masters-level recital program.


Cello*

Prescreening Requirement

Cello applicants to all degree and diploma programs who wish to audition in Boston must first submit a prescreening video recording following the repertory guidelines below no later than December 1. The repertory guidelines for prescreening and for the live audition are the same. Physical recordings sent in the mail are not acceptable. If you plan to audition by recording only, please use our DecisionDesk portal to submit your final audition electronically.

An accompanist is provided for all cello auditions in Boston. Applicants must bring a bound piano score (not single-page photo copies) to the audition. Accompanists are not provided at regional auditions. Accompaniment is not required for prescreening videos.

BM
One of the solo works listed below must be from memory.

  • One movement of an unaccompanied Bach suite.
  • One movement of a standard concerto or sonata.
  • For the live audition only (not prescreening), each applicant also should be prepared to play an étude or study.
  • All major and minor scales, arpeggios and sight-reading may be requested in the audition.

MM & Performance Diploma
We strongly suggest memorization for the Bach, and the concerto from the selected works below.

  • One movement of an unaccompanied Bach suite.
  • One movement of a standard concerto.
  • One movement of a standard sonata with piano (preferably from a different style period from the Bach and Concerto).

DMA & Artist Diploma
We strongly suggest memorization for the Bach and the concerto from the selected works below.

  • A complete unaccompanied Bach suite.
  • A complete standard concerto.
  • A complete standard sonata with piano (preferably from a different style period from the Bach and Concerto).

Choral Conducting*


Prescreening

The prescreening video recording should include 20–30 minutes of the candidate in rehearsal and/or performance with a choral ensemble. Please submit your prescreening recording online through our DecisionDesk portal.

Live Auditions
Selected applicants will be invited to audition in person, and a live audition in Boston is required for those invited. The live audition repertoire will be chosen from the works listed below. Please note that the MM & MSM requirements are different from the DMA requirements for the live audition. Applicants must prepare all of the repertoire listed for the appropriate degree program below.

DMA

  • Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms (movement 1)
  • Bach St. John Passion (2a, b, c, d, e)
  • Haydn Die Schoepfung (opening recitative beginning “Im Anfange”….through the first chorus)
  • Gregorian chant Pange Lingua (consult the Liber Usualis)
  • Josquin Ave Maria (suggested edition Theodore Presser, but others are available)

Each candidate will also be asked to sing an art song and play a solo keyboard composition at the level of a Bach two-part invention.

MM & MSM

  • Mozart Requiem “Lacymosa” (no edition specified, but the candidate should consult a full score)
  • Britten Rejoice in the Lamb (from the beginning through the Nimrod section)
  • J.S. Bach Aus der Tiefe Cantata #131 (conduct from the section starting with the text “Israel, Israel, etc.” to the end)
  • Victoria O Magnum Mysterium (suggested edition: Hinshaw)

Each candidate will also be asked to sing an art song and play a solo keyboard composition at the level of a Bach two-part invention.


Clarinet

BM
Applicants should prepare two works or movements of contrasting styles.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three contrasting works from the:

  • Classical period.
  • Romantic period.
  • Contemporary period.

Orchestral excerpts can be substituted for one or two of the solo works.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Collaborative Piano


Audition Repertory for Collaborative Piano

MM
Note: Applicants for Collaborative Piano must audition live in Boston since the audition requires ensemble playing and sight-reading. Regional and recorded auditions are not allowed. Questions concerning extenuating circumstances may be addressed directly to the chair of the department.

Applicants must audition with all of the following repertoire. If requested, collaborative partners will be provided by the School. Applicants are urged to audition with their own collaborative partners whenever possible.

Vocal (Please prepare all songs in High Keys)

Schubert Ganymed
Brahms Wie Melodien
Fauré La lune blanche lui dans les bois (from La Bonne Chanson)
Debussy C’est l’extase (from Ariettes Oubliées)
Barber St. Ita’s Vision (from Hermit Songs)

Instrumental (Please prepare complete sonatas)

Beethoven Violin Sonata Op. 12 in D major
Brahms Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major

Solo
Work or movement less than 10 minutes in length from the classical or romantic repertoire; memorization not required.

In addition, applicants will be asked to sight-read both vocal and instrumental literature. All applicants will be evaluated through a foreign language /IPA proficiency test.

DMA
In the DMA program, collaborative pianists may choose to focus on either vocal or instrumental repertoire, or a combination of both. Audition repertoire choices reflect the intended focus.

Applicants should choose one (either a. or b.) from each category. All songs should be prepared in the HIGH key.

Category 1
a. Beethoven Cello Sonata No.3 in A major
b. Schubert (prepare all:) Im Frühling Rastlose Liebe

Category 2

a. Brahms Cello Sonata No.2 in F major
b. Strauss (prepare all:) Cäcilie Glückesgenug

Category 3

a. Franck Violin Sonata
b. Debussy Trois Chansons de Bilitis

Category 4

a. Shostakovich Cello Sonata
b. Argento (prepare all:) Six Elizabethan Songs

Category 5

A movement or work of solo piano repertoire less than 10 minutes in length from the classical, romantic, or 20th century repertoire; memorization not required.

In addition, applicants will be asked to sight-read both vocal and instrumental literature. Applicants choosing the vocal repertoire focus will be evaluated through a foreign language / IPA proficiency test.


Double Bass

BM
Applicants should prepare at least two solo works as well as an étude.

MM & Performance Diploma

  • The first movement of a standard concerto.
  • A movement from an unaccompanied Bach suite transcribed for bass.
  • Any solo piece of the applicant’s choosing.
  • Standard orchestral excerpts of contrasting tempi and styles.

Pieces need not be memorized.

DMA & Artist Diploma

  • A complete unaccompanied Bach suite.
  • A complete standard concerto.
  • A complete sonata.
  • Standard orchestral excerpts of contrasting tempi and styles.

Pieces need not be memorized.


Euphonium


BM

Applicants should prepare at least two original solo works, one étude or study, and two or three passages from the orchestral repertoire.

Below are examples of literature appropriate for an audition. It is recommended that an applicant select works that demonstrate cantilena style (slow tempo, legato melodic lines, sustained phrasing, singing tone quality) and technical facility (fast tempo, variety in rhythm, correct phrasing, tone quality, clean articulation).

Solos should include a slow and a fast movement from works equal in difficulty to the Sonata by McKay or Sonata by Presser, and other works such as Introduction and Dance by Barat, Concert Piece by P.V. DeLaNux, or Rondo by Presser. One étude or study involving technical problems equal to those posed by such composers as Arban, Rochart, or Blume.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions: one from the Baroque or Classical periods, one from the Romantic period, and one from the Contemporary period. Applicants may also offer orchestral excerpts suitable to his or her own instrument.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Flute*


Prescreening Requirement

Flute applicants to all degree and diploma programs who wish to audition in Boston must first submit a prescreening video recording following the repertory guidelines below no later than December 1. The repertory guidelines for prescreening and for the live audition are the same. Physical recordings sent in the mail are not acceptable. If you plan to audition by recording only, please use our DecisionDesk portal to submit your final audition electronically. Accompaniment is not required for prescreening videos.

BM

  • Applicants should prepare two contrasting movements from either a Mozart Concerto or a Bach Sonata.
  • One additional piece of your choosing from the standard flute repertoire which exemplifies a different style, such as but not limited to: Chaminade Concertino, Faure Fantasy, Piece pour Flute Seule by Ibert, Hue Fantasie, Dutilleux Sonatine, Hindemith Sonata and Prokofiev Sonata. If the work is thru composed, it should be prepared in its entirety. If a multi-movement work, please prepare two contrasting movements.
  • Two contrasting standard orchestral excerpts – one lyrical and one technical. Please refer to the list in the MM requirements for suggestions should you need them.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare a movement of a sonata or concerto from four contrasting works and from the following eras:

  • The Baroque
  • The Classical
  • The Contemporary
  • Either the Romantic or the French School of the 1800s or mid-1900s (complete sonatas and concertos are not required)

Applicants should also prepare all of the following orchestral excerpts:

  • Ravel Daphnis et Chloe
  • Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Incidental Music, Opus 21 and 61
  • Debussy Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
  • Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf,Opus 67

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program, including music from the Baroque Era, Classical Era (concertos are acceptable), French or Romantic Era and a piece composed within the last 50 years. Pieces that demonstrate some knowledge and use of extended techniques would be welcome but are not required. Your selections should represent approximately 60 minutes of music and the committee may choose from this material.


Harp


BM

Applicants should prepare two solo works of contrasting styles: one transcription and one original work; additionally, one étude should be prepared.

MM & Performance Diploma

Applicants must be prepared to perform three compositions, one from the Baroque or Classical periods, one from the Romantic period, and one from the Contemporary period. Applicants may also offer orchestral excerpts.

DMA & Artist Diploma

Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Harpsichord

MM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • A work by J. S. Bach.
  • A work by an eighteenth century French composer.
  • A work from the seventeenth century.

Of the pieces listed above, one should be brilliant and another lyrical.

DMA
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • A major work by J. S. Bach.
  • A work by an eighteenth century French composer.
  • A work from the seventeenth century.
  • A sonata by Scarlatti or Soler.

Of the pieces listed above, one should be brilliant and another lyrical.

Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare a thirty-minute recital program demonstrating the applicant’s technique, musicality, scholarship, and artistry.


Historical Performance

Instrumental

Instrumentalist applicants must demonstrate proficiency by performing a representative sample of appropriate repertoire from the 16th through 18th centuries in at least two different national styles. The audition program should contain one lyrical and one brilliant work.

Vocal

Three languages are required in repertoire from the 16th through 18th centuries. The audition program should contain one lyrical and one brilliant work.


Horn

BM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • Two solo works
  • One étude
  • Two or three passages from the orchestral repertoire

Applicants may be asked to perform all scales and arpeggios that demonstrate musicianship and technique and be prepared to sight read literature appropriate to the instrument.

Auditions should be performed without accompaniment.

Below are examples of literature appropriate for an audition. It is recommended that an applicant select works that demonstrate cantilena style (slow tempo, legato melodic lines, sustained phrasing, singing tone quality) and technical facility (fast tempo, variety in rhythm, correct phrasing, tone quality, clean articulation).

Solo work: First movement exposition only of Strauss or Mozart Concerto. Excerpts from: Brahms Symphony No. 3 scherzo movement and first horn solo of Shostakovitch Symphony No. 5 low tutti section 1st movement, Wagner short call from Siegfried’s Rhine Journey and Strauss Til Eulenspiegel opening 1st horn calls.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions.

  • One work or movement of a work from the Baroque or Classical periods.
  • One work or movement of a work from the Romantic period.
  • One work or movement of a work from the Contemporary period.

Applicants may also offer orchestral excerpts suitable to his or her own instrument.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Oboe


BM
Applicants should prepare solo works and études or studies written expressly for the instrument, as well as be prepared to play passages from the orchestral repertoire, all scales and arpeggios, and sight read.

Auditions are usually performed without accompaniment.

Below are examples of the literature appropriate for an audition. Consider works that demonstrate cantilena style (slow tempo, legato melodic lines, sustained phrasing, singing tone quality) and technical facility (fast tempo, variety in rhythm, correct phrasing, tone quality, clean articulation):

Sonata No. 1 or No. 2 by Handel; First movement from Sonata by Hindemith; First movement, F Major Quartet, K. 370 by Mozart; or works equal to these in difficulty. Orchestral repertoire: major passages from works such as Symphony No. 4 (slow movement) by Tchaikovsky; Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) by Beethoven; symphonies by Brahms, Schumann, or Mozart; or symphonic works equal to these in difficulty.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions:

  • One from the Baroque or Classical periods.
  • One from the Romantic periods.
  • One from the Contemporary period.

Applicants may also offer orchestral excerpts suitable to his or her own instrument.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Orchestral Conducting*


MM & DMA

Prescreening
The prescreening video should include 20–30 minutes of the candidate in rehearsal and/or performance with an orchestral ensemble. Please submit your prescreening recording online through our DecisionDesk portal. Physical DVD’s sent in the mail are not acceptable.

Live Audition
Selected applicants will be invited to audition in person, and an audition in Boston is required. The live audition repertoire will include the following works:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C, all movements (with two pianists)
  • Igor Stravinsky: L’histoire du Soldat, “Royal March” (with ensemble)

The live audition will also include an individual interview that will examine skills in conducting, sight-singing (in all clefs), keyboard, dictation, musical terminology, score-reading, orchestration, and analysis. Candidates will conduct an ensemble as the final part of the audition.


Organ

BM
Applicants should prepare:

  • A work by J.S. Bach (a chorale prelude, or a prelude and fugue excepting “little”)
  • A work from before 1750
  • A work from after 1800 (until the present)

Of these, one should be lyrical, another brilliant, and they should represent two different nationalities. A short sight-reading test will be given.

MM
Applicants should prepare:

  • A work by J.S. Bach (a large chorale prelude, trio sonata or major prelude and fugue)
  • A work from before 1750
  • A work from 1800-1900
  • A work from after 1900 (until the present)

DMA
Applicants should prepare:

  • A major work of J.S. Bach
  • A work from before 1750
  • A work from 1800-1900
  • A work from after 1900 (until the present)

Of these, one should be lyrical, another brilliant, and they should represent at least two different nationalities.

DMA
Applicants should prepare a thirty-minute recital program demonstrating the applicant’s technique, musicality, scholarship, and artistry.

If you have any specific questions regarding repertory, please email Prof. Peter Sykes, Chair of Historical Performance.


Percussion

Note: Percussion applicants may audition live in Boston or submit a video recording online. Regional auditions are not possible as percussion equipment is not available at regional audition sites.

BM
Applicants should prepare original solo works, appropriate transcriptions, and études or studies.

Suggestions of specific compositions and examples of the literature appropriate for an audition are listed below. Where the requirements allow substitutions, percussionists should consider works demonstrating rhythm, supple wrist manipulation, and correct physical stance (such as are required for playing mallet instruments).

Three separate compositions should be performed, one each on timpani, snare drum, and mallet instrument. The difficulty level should equal that in the following studies: snare drum, Godenberg or Cirone; mallets, Goldberg or Gates; timpani, Goodman or Friese. Sight reading may also be given.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare four solo pieces, utilizing the snare drum, timpani, 2 and 4 mallet, as well as three to five excerpts from the classical orchestral repertoire on snare drum, mallets, and timpani.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Piano

BM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • One work or movement of a work by J.S. Bach.
  • One movement of a sonata from the Classical period (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or similar).
  • One work or movement of a work from the Romantic period (Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, Brahms, or similar).
  • One work or movement of a work from the twentieth century (Debussy, Ravel, Copland, Bartók, or similar).

All works should be performed from memory.

Applicants should be well grounded technically and show evidence of superior musical ability. Applicants should be able to play all major and minor scales, including melodic and harmonic minor scales, at a moderately rapid tempo (for example, metronomic markings of 120 per each group of three-eight notes) and broken chords in octave position in all keys. Applicants should be able to read simple music at sight.

Arrangements of popular music, jazz compositions, reductions, simplifications, and/or transcriptions of original compositions are not acceptable for auditions.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare at least three compositions:

  • One work from the Baroque.
  • One work from the Classical.
  • One work from either the Romantic or Contemporary periods.

All works should be performed from memory.

Examples of representative literature include preludes and fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier and toccatas by J.S. Bach; Sonata in E-flat Major, op.81a, by Beethoven; Sonata in B minor, by Chopin; Pour le Piano, Estampes, Images, Book I or II, by Debussy; and Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, op. 24, by Brahms.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Saxophone

BM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • solo works
  • études
  • Passages from the orchestral repertoire.

Sight reading may be given at the audition.

Below are examples of the literature appropriate for an audition. You should consider works that demonstrate cantilena style (slow tempo, legato melodic lines, sustained phrasing, singing tone quality) and technical facility (fast tempo, variety in rhythm, correct phrasing, tone quality, clean articulation):

Sonata by Paul Creston or Bernard Heiden, Glazunov’s Concerto, Paule Maurice’s Tableaux de Provence. Candidates should play contrasting movements or sections of one-movement works. One slow and one fast étude by Ferling and one étude from Karg-Elert 25 Caprices, Book 1 (or a work of comparable difficulty).

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions:

  • One from the Baroque or Classical periods.
  • One from the Romantic period.
  • One from the Contemporary period.

Applicants may also offer orchestral excerpts suitable to his or her own instrument.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Tenor Trombone

BM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • Two solo works (without accompaniment).
  • Three orchestral excerpts.

Below are examples of literature appropriate for an audition.

It is recommended that selected works demonstrate both technique (fast tempo, variety and correctness of rhythm, correct phrasing, clean articulations, correct style, phrasing all with musical line) and legato, espressivo style (slow or moderate tempo, sustained phrasing, melodic lines). Solos should be selected from works at least as difficult as Morceau Symphonique by Guilmant, Concertino by David, or Cavatine by Saint-Saens.

Excerpt Examples:
Requiem, Tuba Mirum, tenor trombone solo, Mozart
Hungarian March, Berlioz,
The Ride of the Valkyries or Loehengrin, Prelude to Act lll, Wagner
Bolero, 1st Trombone solo, Ravel,
La Gazza Ladra, Rossini
2nd Trombone solo from Russian Easter Overture, Rimsky-Korsakov
Chorale, 1st Trombone part, Symphony #1, Brahms
1st trombone solo, Symphony #3, Saint-Saens

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions:

  • One from the Baroque or Classical periods.
  • One from the Romantic period.
  • One from the contemporary period.

Applicants may also offer appropriate orchestral excerpts.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.

Trumpet*


Prescreening Requirement

Trumpet applicants to all degree and diploma programs who wish to audition in Boston must first submit a prescreening video recording following the repertory guidelines below no later than December 1. Physical recordings sent in the mail are not acceptable. If you plan to audition by recording only, please use our DecisionDesk portal to submit your final audition electronically. Accompaniment is not required for prescreening videos.

BM Prescreening

  • Characteristic Study #1 from J.B. ArbanComplete Conservatory Method for Trumpet (Cornet)
  • Etude #2, 4, or 6 from Théo Charlier 36 Études Transcendantes
  • One movement from a solo of the applicant’s choosing

BM Audition

  • All selections from the prescreening list
  • Three excerpts (all Trumpet 1) chosen by the applicant among:

-Copland: An Outdoor Adventure (Lyrical Solo)
-Mahler:Symphony No. 5 (mvt. 1, opening solo)
-Mussorgsky/Ravel:Pictures at an Exhibition (Opening Promenade
-Ravel:Piano Concerto in G (mvt. 1, Figure 2 to Figure 3
-Respighi: Pines of Rome (mvt. 2 offstage solo)
-Stravinsky:Petrushka (Ballerina’s Dance)

  • Sight reading and playing by ear will also be tested

MM and Performance Diploma

MM & PD Prescreening

  • Etude #1, 3, or 5 from Marcel Bitsch Vingt Études
  • Etude #2, 4, or 6 from Marcel Bitsch Vingt Études
  • Arthur Honegger Intrada
  • Orchestral excerpts (all Trumpet 1): Schumann:Symphony No. 2 (mvt. 1, mm. 1-13); J.S. Bach:Magnificat (mvt. 1, mm. 1-15);Gershwin:Concerto in F (mvt. 2, m.5 to Figure 1)

MM & PD Audition

  • All selections from the prescreening list
  • One movement from a solo of the applicant’s choosing
  • Sight reading (including standard orchestral excerpts) and playing by ear will also be tested

DMA & Artist Diploma

DMA & AD Prescreening

  • Two movements (one slow, one fast) from a Baroque era concerto
  • J. Haydn Concerto in E flat (mvt. 1, with cadenza composed by the applicant
  • One movement from a post-1930 sonata for trumpet and piano
  • One movment from a post-tonal work
  • Orchestral exceprts (all Trumpet 1): Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (Mambo, from the high solo to the end of the movement); Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade (mvt. 4, Letters C-D and T-U); Scriabin: Poem of Ecstasy (7 before Figure 11 to 9 before Figure 20)

DMA Audition

  • All selections from the pre-screening list
  • Additional solo repertoire as offered by the applicant (optional)
  • Sight reading (including standard orchestral excerpts) and playing by ear will also be tested

AD Audition

Material equivalent to a masters-level recital program

Tuba

BM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • Two solo works.
  • One étude or study.
  • Two or three passages from the orchestral repertoire.

Scales, arpeggios and sight reading may be given at the audition.

Below are examples of literature appropriate for an audition. It is recommended that an applicant select works that demonstrate cantilena style (slow tempo, legato melodic lines, sustained phrasing, singing tone quality) and technical facility (fast tempo, variety in rhythm, correct phrasing, tone quality, clean articulation):

Solos should include a slow and a fast movement from works equal in difficulty to Sonatina by Boda, Suite by Hartley, etc. Études or studies involving technical problems equal to those posed by such composers as Blazhevich, Fink, Tyrrel, Knaub, or Vobaron. Orchestral repertoire such as major passages from works by Mahler, Kodály, Wagner, Strauss, Verdi, or Prokofiev.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare three compositions:

  • One from the Baroque or Classical periods.
  • One from the Romantic period.
  • One from the Contemporary period.

Applicants may also offer orchestral excerpts.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare material equivalent to a master’s-level recital program.


Viola

The School of Music provides a piano accompanist for string auditions in Boston. Applicants must bring a bound piano score (not single-page photo copies) to the audition.

BM
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • One movement of an unaccompanied Bach Suite.
  • One movement of a standard concerto or sonata.
  • An étude or study

We strongly recommend memorization of either the Bach or Concerto.

Three-octave scales, arpeggios and sight-reading may be requested in the audition.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare one movement from each of the following:

  • An unaccompanied Bach Suite.
  • A standard concerto (Walton, Hindemith, Bartok, or the equivalent).
  • A romantic or a 20th-century sonata with piano.

We strongly suggest memorization for the Bach and the concerto.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • A complete unaccompanied Bach suite.
  • A complete Romantic or 20th-century sonata with piano.
  • A complete standard concerto (Walton, Hindemith, Bartok, or the equivalent).

We strongly suggest memorization for the Bach and the concerto.


Violin*

Prescreening Requirement

Violin applicants to all degree and diploma programs who wish to audition in Boston must first submit a prescreening video recording following the repertory guidelines below no later than December 1. The repertory guidelines for prescreening and for the live audition are the same. Physical recordings sent in the mail are not acceptable. If you plan to audition by recording only, please use our DecisionDesk portal to submit your final audition electronically.

An accompanist is provided for all violin auditions in Boston. Applicants must bring a bound piano score (not single-page photo copies) to the audition. Accompanists are not provided at regional auditions. Accompaniment is not required for prescreening videos.

BM
Applicants should prepare at least two solo works, one from memory. We suggest the following:

  • One movement of solo Bach.
  • One movement of a standard concerto or sonata.
  • For the live audition only (not prescreening), each applicant also should be prepared to play an étude or study

Three-octave scales, arpeggios and sight-reading may be requested as well.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare one movement from each of the following:

  • An unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita.
  • A standard concerto.
  • A standard sonata with piano (preferably from a different style period).
  • A virtuoso show piece.

We strongly suggest memorization for the Bach, the concerto and the show piece.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare the following:

  • A complete unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita.
  • A complete standard concerto.
  • A standard sonata with piano (preferably from a different style period)
  • A virtuoso show piece.

We strongly suggest memorization for the Bach, the concerto and the show piece.

 


Voice*


Prescreening Requirement

Voice applicants to all degree and diploma programs who wish to audition in Boston must first submit a prescreening video recording following the repertory guidelines below no later than December 1. The repertory guidelines for prescreening and for the live audition are the same. Physical recordings sent in the mail are not acceptable. If you plan to audition by recording only, please use our DecisionDesk portal to submit your final audition electronically.

Applicants to the Opera Institute should follow the Opera Institute Audition Requirements.

The School of Music provides a piano accompanist for voice auditions in Boston only. Applicants should bring a bound piano score (not single-page photo copies) to the audition. Applicants who choose a regional audition must bring an accompanist.

BM
Applicants must prepare three songs from memory from the classical art song repertoire in at least two languages, including English. They may be chosen from the Italian, German, French, and English art song repertories. Songs with guitar accompaniment, popular songs, or show tunes are not acceptable for auditions.

The auditioning faculty is not concerned with the number of years of voice study; rather, they are interested in vocal quality, potential, and musical background including music theory, piano, or some other instrument.

MM & Performance Diploma
Applicants should prepare and perform from memory a total of six (6) selections as follows:

  • Four selections drawn from the standard classical repertory: Lieder, French and Italian art songs, oratorio, or contemporary vocal literature.
  • Two contrasting arias from the operatic repertory.

DMA & Artist Diploma
Applicants should prepare an audition program of recital length in four languages: English, Italian, German, and French. Two contrasting arias from opera and one aria from oratorio should be included.