Every applicant to the Curtis Institute of Music must audition in person. Video and/or audio recordings are not considered in place of a live audition at Curtis except as noted for screened departments. Applicants to the Composition Department have original compositions examined by that department; finalists interview in Philadelphia. Applicants who wish to be double majors must audition separately for each major department and must be admitted by each faculty.
Auditions are scheduled at the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia on specific dates for each department at the convenience of the faculty. Curtis is unable to honor requests for changes in the scheduled audition dates.
The filing of an application does not oblige the Curtis Institute of Music to grant an audition.
Applicants should add firstname.lastname@example.org to their approved senders’ list to ensure receipt of Curtis admissions e-mails. In early January applicants are notified by e-mail that their applications have been received. By late January those who are granted an audition receive an e-mail announcing their audition date. The audition calendar is posted on the Curtis website in January.
Applicants should be aware that auditions may be videotaped and recorded (for panel review only).
Some hotels in the vicinity of Curtis provide special discount rates should you need accommodations during your visit to Philadelphia. Please mention the Curtis Institute of Music when making your reservations. If you mention “college campus visit rate” when making your reservation, you may receive a discounted rate.
- Club Quarters, 1628 Chestnut Street, (215) 282-5100
- The Latham, 135 South 17th Street, (877) LATHAM1 (toll-free)
- Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel Philadelphia, 1701 Locust Street, (800) 333-3333 (toll-free)
Curtis will provide an accompanist for auditions in cello, guitar, flute, opera, viola, violin, and voice. All other auditions are played without piano.
The applicant must supply Curtis’s accompanist with the appropriate piano scores at the time of audition; it is up to the discretion of the audition committee whether the audition will be heard if no music is provided. Photocopied music is not acceptable in place of a score.
No preaudition rehearsal with Curtis’s accompanist is permitted.
Applicants may warm up for thirty minutes in an assigned practice room before their auditions. If an applicant is late for the scheduled audition, the audition committee will decide whether or not to hear the audition. The committee is not obliged to hear all the music that an applicant may have prepared nor to give an audition evaluation.
Audition fee: $150 ($50 for screened departments), payable once the applicant is notified of the audition date.
This fee must be paid before the applicant is permitted to audition.
For non-screened departments, the $150 audition fee is in addition to the $150 application fee. For screened departments, the $50 audition fee is in addition to the $250 application/screening fee.
Some departments permit latitude in the selection of works to be presented, while others require specific repertoire:
No substitutions or exceptions to the stated audition requirements will be permitted. In addition to the stated requirements, applicants may be asked to show their sight-reading ability. A knowledge of piano and music theory is desirable.
While the choice of composition is important, audition performance carries the greater weight. The final admission decision rests upon the evidence of talent shown rather than upon the degree of proficiency already attained. Admission is limited to those whose inherent musical gift shows promise of development to a point of exceptional professional quality.
In major departments with more than one instructor, student placement is determined by the consensus of the faculty of that department.