How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Curtis Institute of Music. Admission is a two-step process: applying and auditioning

 

Audition

 


 

Application Requirements

Prospective students apply to Curtis through the Acceptd platform. You will be asked to create a username and password, which will allow you to save your application before submission. After completing and submitting your application, you will be able to download and view it.

  • Addresses for your parents or guardians and their employers
  • Addresses and dates of study with private teachers
  • Addresses and dates of study at high school and/or previous college
  • A list of scholarships, awards, etc., received and their amounts
  • A response to two of four short essay questions
  • Live audition program (composer and title), in compliance with each department's audition requirements
  • For voice and opera applicants: a description of professional experience, if any, including roles and dates performed, names of performing organizations, nonoperatic musical activities, and dramatic training and experience.
  • A list of composers and works, including technical studies, that you have studied intensively and consider a part of your repertoire
  • An uploadable copy of your most recent academic transcript
  • At least one uploadable copy of a concert or recital program in which you have participated (featuring your name)
  • A credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Diner's Club) to pay the $150 application fee (and $100 screening fee, if applicable)

Applicants under the age of eighteen must have the application cosigned by a parent or guardian.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure the required documents are submitted in English. The official seal and signature of the translator must appear on any translated document.

The following supporting documents are required:

  • The online written consent of the present private teacher
  • Online confidential statements from two musicians, excluding relatives and the present private teacher, who are qualified to judge the applicant's personal and musical talents
  • The most current official transcript of high school and/or college
  • One or two programs from concerts in which the applicant has participated (photocopied programs are acceptable)
  • Bachelor of Music applicants: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) scores, due June 1, 2017
  • Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Professional Studies Certificate, and Diploma in Opera applicants who are not native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the SAT I. Scores due June 1, 2017
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $150 U.S. (payment required to complete online form)
  • Additional $100 screening fee for the following departments:
    • Bassoon
    • Clarinet
    • Composition
    • Conducting
    • Double Bass
    • Flute
    • Horn
    • Piano
    • Trombone
    • Trumpet
    • Violin
    • Vocal Studies (Voice and Opera)

All applicants in bassoon, clarinet, composition, conducting, double bass, flute, horn, piano, trombone, trumpet, violin, voice, and opera are required to submit screening materials online in order to be considered for an invitation to audition in person. There is a $100 screening fee (in addition to the $150 application fee), payable to Curtis to complete the application. If the applicant is invited for live audition, this screening fee will apply as credit towards the $150 audition fee (due by the department's audition date).

Bassoon

Applicants must submit a video recording containing the following:

  • The first movement of one of the following concertos: Mozart, Weber or Hummel
  • One etude of the applicant's choice
  • One standard orchestral excerpt of the applicant's choice

Clarinet

  • The exposition of the first movement of the Mozart concerto (with piano accompaniment)
  • The following orchestral excerpts:
    • Mendelssohn, A Midsummer Night's Dream (beginning to letter A, 6th bar of letter D to 19 bars after letter E)
    • Rimsky-Korsakov, Capriccio Espagnol, movement 1 (letter A to letter B, letter C for 21 bars)
    • Brahms, Symphony #3, movement 1 (bars 26-46), movement 2 (beginning for 22 bars)

Composition

Applicants may submit scores and accompanying recordings for up to three compositions. Submissions of orchestral and large-ensemble compositions are encouraged but are not required.

Conducting

Applicants must submit a high-quality audio-visual recording by December 12, 2017 as follows:

  • Include three to four excerpts showing various musical styles from standard orchestral, operatic, and contemporary works. The excerpts can be derived from performances or rehearsals, and the entire recording should not exceed 20 minutes in length.
  • The recording must be representative of the applicant’s current work.
  • The applicant must be clearly visible.

Double Bass

Applicants should prepare a five- to ten-minute video recording of a work (or works) that best exhibits their skills. The choice should be similar to, but not limited to, the full Double Bass audition repertoire.

Flute

Applicants should prepare a video recording of (at least) one movement from each of three contrasting pieces. Works with piano (or other instrumental) accompaniment should be performed with piano accompaniment.

Horn

Applicants should prepare video recordings of the following. Each work should be one uninterrupted recording.

  • The exposition from R. Strauss's Concerto No. 1
  • The second movement opening solo from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5
  • The opening to rehearsal #1 from R. Strauss's Till Eulenspiegel

Piano

Applicants should prepare video recordings (keyboard in view) of the following. Movements may be individual recordings, but each movement should be one uninterrupted recording.

  • A complete work of J. S. Bach
  • Any Mozart sonata (except K. 545) or any Beethoven sonata (except Op. 49) complete
  • One slow and one fast selection from the works of Chopin for solo piano (no works of Chopin for piano and orchestra will be acceptable)

Trombone

Applicants should prepare video recordings (unaccompanied) of the following. Each work should be one uninterrupted recording.

  • One movement from a concerto, sonata, or other substantial solo work
  • One technical étude by Kopprasch, Tyrell, or Blazhevich
  • One lyrical étude by Bordogni, Rochut, or the equivalent
  • A least three orchestral excerpts of contrasting style

Trumpet

Applicants should prepare a video recording between 10 and 15 minutes in length containing the following:

  • One solo work (not for piccolo trumpet), either a movement of a standard concerto or sonata (not to exceed 8 minutes) or a single movement solo work (not to exceed 8 minutes). Longer works, or individual movements recorded with cuts are acceptable.
  • Three contrasting standard orchestral excerpts

Violin

Applicants should submit a video (recorded in 2017) of the following. Movements may be individual recordings, but each movement should be one uninterrupted recording; please include at least one slow tempo movement:

  • One movement from a Mozart concerto
  • One movement from another standard-repertoire concerto
  • Two movements from a Bach solo sonata or partita
  • A Paganini caprice

Voice/Opera

Applicants should prepare an audio or video recording of three repertoire selections that show contrast in musical styles and tempos: songs or opera arias for undergraduate program applicants and only opera arias for the graduate program. The recording for screening should include accompaniment. Please make certain the recording is of good quality, as the granting of a live audition will depend upon this. Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding live auditions by mid-January.

The application, all required supporting documents, and $150 application fee must be submitted online by the December 11, 2017. (Materials submitted after this date incur an additional $75 late fee.) An additional nonrefundable audition fee of $150 (or $50 for screened departments), is to be paid at the time the applicant is notified of an audition date. This fee must be received by Curtis before the applicant is permitted to audition. All fees are payable in U.S. dollars.

It is understood and agreed that the submission of an application does not obligate the Curtis Institute of Music to provide an audition.

All admitted students are awarded a merit-based, full-tuition scholarship. The applicant, if accepted, assumes full responsibility for all other expenses.

If admitted, the student grants to Curtis the right to photograph and record, use, copy, and/or broadcast by audio and/or video transmission all of the student's (1) performances at Curtis and (2) classes at Curtis. Broadcasts may be used for up to five years after the student's graduation or withdrawal.


 


 

Key Dates

  • September 18: Applications available
  • December 11: Applications due for consideration for fall. An additional $75 late fee will be assessed on applications submitted after this date.
  • February and March: Auditions held at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia
  • April 1: Notification of admission and financial aid status provided
  • May 1: Applicant decision due
  • June 1: Standardized test results due. Accepted candidates are automatically placed into non-degree programs until all official test scores are received.

 


 

Programs

Undergraduate students at Curtis are enrolled in either the Diploma or Bachelor of Music programs. Upon acceptance to Curtis, all undergraduate students are automatically placed into the non-degree undergraduate Diploma program. Students who wish to enter the Bachelor of Music program must meet the program’s entrance requirements by submitting the most current official transcript of high school and (if applicable) college academic work, as well as standardized test results.

Any change from one program to another by post-secondary-school diploma students must be made no later than the end of the second year at Curtis. Diploma students wishing to apply for entrance to the Bachelor of Music program must complete the Degree Program Transfer Application and submit it to the registrar for consideration.

 

Program Requirements

Prerequisite: High school diploma (or equivalent; note that the GED will be accepted by Curtis only if accompanied by exceptional academic achievement)

Native speakers of English: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I)

Pre-2005 SAT I—Verbal: minimum 500

Post-2005 SAT I—Critical Reading: minimum 500

Post-2005 SAT I—Writing: to be evaluated for placement

Non-native speakers of English: Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I) and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Pre-2005 SAT I: Verbal—minimum 500

Post-2005 SAT I: Critical Reading—minimum 500

Post-2005 SAT I: Writing—to be evaluated for placement

TOEFL Written: minimum 550

TOEFL Computer-based test: 213

Post-2005 Internet TOEFL iBT: 79–80

Prerequisite: Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required.

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL Written: minimum 550

TOEFL Computer-based test: 213

Post-2005 Internet TOEFL iBT: 79–80

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required.

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*

TOEFL Written: minimum 550

TOEFL Computer-based test: 213

Post-2005 Internet TOEFL iBT: 79–80

*Curtis no longer accepts flute applicants for the Post-Baccalaureate program.

Prerequisite: Bachelor of Music degree or equivalent 

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required. 

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL Written: minimum 550

TOEFL Computer-based test: 213

Post-2005 Internet TOEFL iBT: 79–80

* The TOEFL scores for students entering the Diploma program will be used for placement purposes only

Native speakers of English: Standardized tests are not required.

Non-native speakers of English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL Written: minimum 550

TOEFL Computer-based test: 213

Post-2005 Internet TOEFL iBT: 79–80

Standardized tests, such as Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), may be requested for placement purposes.

 

 

Policies and Reports

Curtis Institute of Music is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all in every aspect of its operations, including admission, employment, service, and educational programs. Curtis complies with all laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, or gender identity. Curtis is an equal-opportunity employer.

All institutions of higher education in the state of Pennsylvania are required by federal and state law to publish and distribute annually a Security and Fire Safety Report, which includes crime statistics and security policies and procedures. Upon request the Curtis Institute of Music provides a paper copy of this report to any applicant for admission.