Audition

Information about admittance to the 2022–23 academic year will be posted shortly. We appreciate your patience.

Audition dates, repertoire, and prescreening requirements vary by department. Curtis will hold virtual auditions during February and March for entry in the 2021–22 academic year. Dates are scheduled based on the faculty’s availability. Curtis is unable to honor requests for changes in the scheduled audition dates. Applicants who wish to double-major must audition and gain admission to each department separately.

2021 Audition Calendar 

  Cello   February 14–15
  Composition   March 19–21
  Guitar   February 12–14
  Horn   February 19–21
  Opera (Graduate)   March 12–15 with finals and additional rounds March 19–21
  Timpani and Percussion   

  February 26 (Preliminary round deadline for pre-recorded submissions)       
  March 5–7 (Final rounds: live virtual)
  Viola   February 26–28
  Violin

  February 26–27 (Preliminary rounds: live virtual)
  February 28 (Final rounds: live virtual)
  Voice (Undergraduate)   March 12–15 with finals and additional rounds March 19–21


Instrument departments that are not listed above will not hold auditions this year. We know that this decision is disappointing for prospective applicants to these departments, but we hope this information will help provide context for this news.

Repertoire

(updated 9/9/21)

Composition applicants will submit no more than three original scores with their applications. Submission of accompanying recordings is strongly recommended. Applicants to the composition department have original compositions examined by that department. 

A personal interview in Philadelphia will be required for candidates considered as finalists. 

(If interviewing in Philadelphia is not safe or accessible, interviews in a virtual environment will be considered and scheduled as necessary.)

Conducting applications are accepted for the post-baccalaureate diploma program only. Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.

Prescreening

Applicants must submit a high-quality audio-visual recording. Please see the Curtis website for all relevant deadlines. 

  • 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.

Live Audition (if advanced)

All Conducting Fellow applicants selected for a live audition must demonstrate their knowledge of score analysis, harmony, counterpoint, score reading, and aural maturity in a 45-minute private session with members of the Curtis Musical Studies faculty as well as a 30-minute group session consisting of a series of dictations.

Applicants selected as finalists will move on to the conducting round of the audition.

Live Audition (if advanced)

Applicants will play works selected from categories A through E. Everything except the chamber piece is to be played from memory.

A. Two of the following études by different composers:

  • Regondi, Étude No. 2
  • Regondi, Étude No. 5
  • Regondi, Étude No. 8
  • Regondi, Étude No. 10
  • Sor, Studio in G Major, Op. 29, No. 3
  • Sor, Studio in A Major, Op. 6, No. 6
  • Sor, Studio in C Major, Op. 29, No. 17
  • Villa-Lobos, Étude No. 3
  • Villa-Lobos, Étude No. 7
  • Villa-Lobos, Étude No. 10

B. One of the following complete pieces:

  • J. S. Bach, Chaconne from Partita in D minor, BWV 1004
  • J. S. Bach, Lute Suite No. 2, BWV 997
  • J. S. Bach, Lute Suite No. 3, BWV 995
  • J. S. Bach, Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998
  • Giuliani, Variations on a March by Cherubini, Op. 110
  • Matiegka, Sonata in B minor, Op. 31, no. 6
  • Regondi, Introduction and Caprice, Op. 23
  • Regondi, Reverie-Nocturne, Op. 19
  • Sor, Fantaisie, Op. 7
  • Sor, Fantaisie No. 7, Op. 30
  • Sor, Souvenirs d'une Soiree a Berlin, Op. 56
  • Sor, Fantaisie Elegiaque, Op. 59

C. One of the following complete pieces:

  • Ponce, Thème varié et finale
  • Ponce, Sonata No. 3
  • Ponce, Variations and Fugue on "La Folia"
  • José, Sonata
  • Britten, Nocturnal after John Dowland
  • Walton, Bagatelles
  • Ginastera, Sonata, Op. 47
  • Carter, Changes
  • Berio, Sequenza XI
  • Brouwer, Sonata

D. One of the following concertos (first movement only; accompanist provided) "For 2021 Virtual live audition the concerto should be played with only the solo part performed"

  • Giuliani, Concerto in A major, Op. 30
  • Ponce, Concierto del Sur
  • Rodrigo, Concierto de Aranjuez

E. One of the following chamber pieces (chamber partner provided) "For 2021 virtual live auditions this requirement will be waived"

  • Crumb, Mundus Canis: movements 2 and 4
  • Giuliani, Rondo, Op. 68, No. 2 in B minor (for guitar and piano)
  • Takemitsu, Toward the Sea (for alto flute and guitar), movement 3

Piano (updated 9/21/21)

In order to be considered for a live audition, applicants must submit a prescreening video together with their application. Applicants will be notified in January of their live-audition status.

Prescreening

Applicants must submit a video of the following:

  • A complete work of J.S. Bach
  • One of the sonatas listed below, complete:
    • Any Mozart sonata (except K. 545)
    • Any Beethoven sonata (except Op. 49)
    • Any of these five Haydn sonatas:
      • A flat major, Hob. XVI:46, L. 31
      • C minor, Hob. XVI:20, L. 33
      • E flat major, Hob. XVI:49, L. 59
      • C major, Hob. XVI:50, L. 60
      • E flat major, Hob. XVI:52, L. 62
  • One slow (lyrical) and one fast (virtuosic) selection from the works of Chopin for solo piano (no works for piano and orchestra will be acceptable)

No substitutions for the above repertoire will be allowed.

Video requirements:

  • playing from memory
  • both hands showing
  • recorded not more than six months before the application deadline
  • movements may be recorded separately, but each movement should be one uninterrupted recording with no splicing or editing (except equalization and/or reverb)
  • each selection should be a separate file, clearly labeled according to the format: Last Name, First Name | Composer, Title, Key, Opus Number | Movement Number (example: Smith, Joe | Beethoven Sonata in F minor, Op. 2, No.1 | IV)

Live Audition (if advanced)

Applicants must be prepared to play from memory, in addition to all of the prescreening repertoire above, a complete major work (minimum 10–12 minutes in length) of their choice.

 

Organ (updated 9/21/21)

Applicants will play from memory:

  • A prelude and fugue by J. S. Bach
  • Any third movement from a Trio Sonata by J.S. Bach, BWV 525–530
  • Two movements from the romantic or contemporary literature, one of which should be a slow movement

Organ applicants will also be asked to sight read. A modern composition will be sent to each auditionee one month prior to auditions and will be performed (optional: from memory) at the audition.

The organ in Field Concert Hall is an Aeolian-Skinner, 5 manuals, 116 ranks. See detailed specification .

All string applicants must be prepared to play all major and minor scales and arpeggios in fluent tempo.

 

Violin (updated 9/9/21)

Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.

Prescreening

All applicants must play from memory.

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

  1. One movement from a major concerto.
  2. One movement from a Mozart concerto including cadenza
  3. Two movements from a Bach solo sonata or partita
  4. A Paganini caprice

Live Audition (if advanced)

All applicants must be prepared to play all major and minor scales and arpeggios in fluent tempo.

If you are applying for a Bachelor of Music or Diploma program, please prepare:

  1. A complete major concerto
  2. A complete Mozart concerto
  3. A complete Bach solo sonata or partita
  4. A Paganini caprice

All applicants must play from memory.

If you are applying for a Post Baccalaurate Diploma program, please prepare:

  1. All of the same repertoire requirements as Bachelor’s candidates above, PLUS
  2. A complete sonata from this list: Faure A Major, Schumann a minor, Brahms G Major, or Schubert A Major Duo
  3. A commission from a Curtis student composer written expressly for the audition, for solo violin and under five minutes in length. The piece will be sent to all those who pass the prescreening round, as soon they’ve been selected.

All works should be played from memory except the sonata and the new commissioned piece. 

 

Viola (updated 9/21/21)

Prescreening

Each piece or movement should be submitted without edits, with a single camera angle that shows your hands and arms clearly. The entire prescreening program should be memorized.

  1. A major movement of at least 7 or 8 minutes’ length from the concerto chosen for the live round (see list below). For example, if playing Bartók in the live round, submit the 1st movement for prescreening; if playing Schnittke, submit the 2nd or 3rd movement; if playing Penderecki, submit a substantial (7–8 minute) stretch of the work; and so on. With accompaniment.
  2. Two movements from the Bach work chosen for the live round (see list below). Please omit any repeats.
  3. The short unaccompanied work or movement from the 20th or 21st century chosen for the live round (see list below). 

 

Live Audition (if advanced)

Entire live audition program should be memorized except item 2 in the list below.

All string applicants must be prepared to play all major and minor scales and arpeggios in fluent tempo. Applicants will play:

  1. An entire major concerto from the 20th or 21st century, such as Bartók, Walton, Hindemith Der Schwanendreher, Penderecki, Schnittke, or Higdon. The concerto does not have to be chosen from this list, but should be at a similar level of scope and difficulty.
  2. An entire sonata or sonata-like work drawn from the 19th century or later, for example a Brahms sonata, Vieuxtemps Sonata Op. 36, Schumann Märchenbilder, Bax Sonata, Hindemith Sonata (1939), or Shostakovich Sonata. The piece does not have to be chosen from this list, but should be at a similar level of scope and difficulty.
  3. An entire unaccompanied work by J.S. Bach, drawn from either the Cello Suites or Violin Sonatas and Partitas.
  4. A short, unaccompanied work or movement from the 20th or 21st century, for example a movement from a Reger suite or Hindemith solo sonata, a movement from the Ligeti Sonata, the Penderecki Cadenza, Joan Tower’s Wild Purple, or a caprice by Atar Arad. The piece does not have to be chosen from this list, but should be at a similar level of scope and difficulty.


 

Cello (updated 9/16/21)

Prescreening

Applicants should submit a video (recently recorded) of the following. Movements may be individual recordings, but each movement should be one uninterrupted recording.

  1. A prelude plus another complete movement with repeats of a J.S. Bach suite
  2. First movement with cadenza of one of the following concertos:
    • Barber
    • Dvorak
    • Elgar
    • Haydn in C or D
    • Lalo
    • Prokofiev, Sinfonia Concertante
    • Saint-Saëns No. 1
    • Schumann
    • Shostakovich No. 1
    • Tchaikovsky, Rococo Variations
    • Walton
  3. A complete étude from Popper, Op. 73, or an étude by Piatti
  4. First movement with accompaniment of one of the sonatas by Beethoven or Brahms

 

Live Audition (if advanced)

All string applicants must be prepared to play all major and minor scales and arpeggios in fluent tempo.

Applicants will play:

  1. a complete J. S. Bach suite
  2. one of the following concertos, complete:
    • Barber
    • Dvorak
    • Elgar
    • Haydn in C or D
    • Lalo
    • Prokofiev, Sinfonia Concertante
    • Saint-Saëns No. 1
    • Schumann
    • Shostakovich No. 1
    • Tchaikovsky, Rococo Variations
    • Walton
  3. an étude from Popper, Op. 73, or an étude by Piatti
  4. one of the sonatas by Beethoven or Brahms, complete.

Everything except the Beethoven or Brahms is to be played from memory.

 

 

 

Double Bass (current for 2022 auditions)

Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.

Prescreening

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 Double Bass live audition repertoire.

Live Audition (if advanced)

Applicants will play from memory:

  1. A movement written before 1830, preferably from a solo work by Bach.
  2. A movement written after 1830.
  3. One other work from any period, which could be another movement from the required works above.The pieces may be originally written for Double bass or transcribed from another instrument. The three choices should show the strengths of the applicant as completely as possible.
  4. In addition, two prepared excerpts from the standard orchestral literature will be required (music may be used for this portion only).

 

Harp

Live Audition (if advanced)

Before applying, all applicants should submit their proposed audition repertoire to the admissions office (admissions@curtis.edu) for faculty approval.

Applicants will play from memory:

  • One solo work from the Baroque OR Classical period.
  • One solo work from the 20th century.
  • One free-choice solo work of any period.
  • Two prepared excerpts from the standard orchestral literature (music may be used for this portion).

All works should be performed from memory with the exception of the orchestra excerpts or special approval. All works should be prepared in their entirety; no single movements. Applicants will be accepted for audition depending on the level of their audition program.

All auditioning harpists may use Curtis harps to practice (48 hours prior to the audition only) and audition. Available harps:

  • Lyon & Healy 2 Style 30’s
  • Lyon & Healy Salzedo (audition harp only)

Applicants will demonstrate familiarity with all major and minor scales and arpeggios, and will be expected to demonstrate sight-reading ability with material chosen by the instructor.

 

Flute (updated 8/26/21)

Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status. 
*Curtis no longer accepts flute applicants for the Post Baccalaureate program. 

Prescreening

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.

Live Audition (if advanced)

All applicants should possess a good ear and a sense of rhythm and tone. They will demonstrate familiarity with all major and minor scales and arpeggios. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate sight-reading ability with material chosen by the instructor. Applicants will play:

  • Three complete prepared pieces (all movements) in contrasting tempo and style
  • Three orchestral excerpts
  • Applicants should perform from memory if possible

Oboe

Live Audition (if advanced)

All applicants should possess a good ear and a sense of rhythm and tone. They will demonstrate familiarity with all major and minor scales and arpeggios. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate sight-reading ability with material chosen by the instructor. Applicants will play:

  • One movement of a concerto or sonata
  • A fast étude by Ferling
  • The third movement of the Mozart oboe quartet
  • A slow aria of J. S. Bach

Applicants must also be able to read an orchestral excerpt, and they may be given a written examination concerning their general knowledge of music. In honor of the seventh director of the Curtis Institute of Music, each year one new or current oboe student will be named the John de Lancie Scholar.

 

Clarinet

Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.   

All applicants should possess a good ear and a sense of rhythm and tone. They will demonstrate familiarity with all major and minor scales and arpeggios. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate sight-reading ability with material chosen by the instructor.

Prescreening

  • 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 No. 3, movement 1 (bars 26-46), movement 2 (beginning for 22 bars)

Live Audition (if advanced)

Applicants will play:

  • The Mozart clarinet concerto
  • Two contrasting pieces from the Rose Thirty-two Études
  • A prepared piece of the applicant’s choice
  • A 20th-century piece of the applicant's choice

Bassoon

Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.

All applicants should possess a good ear and a sense of rhythm and tone. They will demonstrate familiarity with all major and minor scales and arpeggios. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate sight-reading ability with material chosen by the instructor.

Prescreening

  1. the first movement of one of the following concertos: Mozart, Weber or Hummel.
  2. one etude of the applicant's choice.
  3. one orchestral excerpt of the applicant's choice.

Live Audition (if advanced)

Applicants will play from memory:

  1. the first two movements of any one of the following concertos:
    • Mozart, Concerto in B-flat major, K. 191
    • Weber, Concerto in F major, Op. 75
    • Hummel, Concerto in F major
  2. all major and minor scales and arpeggios, three octaves where possible
  3. an étude of the applicant’s choice (music may be used for this portion)
  4. at least two orchestral excerpts of contrasting style (music may be used for this portion)

In addition to fulfilling the specific requirements below, applicants should possess physical aptitude for the chosen instrument, a good ear, a sense of rhythm, and the ability to read at sight.

 

Trumpet (updated 9/13/21)

Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.

Prescreening

Applicants should prepare a video recording between 10–15 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.

Live Audition (if advanced)

Undergraduate applicants are expected to prepare:

  • two contrasting études from Bousquet, Brandt, Charlier, or equivalent
  • Adolphus Hailstork Variations for Trumpet (measure 75 to the end)
  • one movement of a sonata (Hindemith, Kennan, or equivalent) or a complete single movement work from the standard repertoire (Enescu, Bozza, or equivalent)
  • one complete concerto: Haydn, Hummel, Arutunian, or equivalent
  • 3–5 contrasting standard orchestral excerpts

Applicants must display at least rudimentary knowledge of transposition. Sight reading may be asked.

Artist Diploma applicants are expected to prepare:

  • two contrasting études from Charlier, Bitsch, or equivalent
  • Adolphus Hailstork Variations for Trumpet (complete)
  • Arthur Honegger Intrada
  • one complete concerto: Haydn, Hummel, Tomasi, Jolivet, or equivalent
  • 5 contrasting standard orchestral excerpts, including one for piccolo trumpet

Sight reading may be asked.

 

Horn (updated 9/22/21)


Prescreening
 

Applicants must submit a prescreening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status. Please record the following repertoire in one continuous take, no editing.

  • First movement, Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1
  • Fourth horn solo from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
  • Short call from Wagner’s Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt

Live Audition (if advanced)

Applicants will demonstrate familiarity with all major and minor scales and arpeggios. In addition, applicants will play:

  • One movement of a concerto or sonata
  • One étude by Kopprasch and one by Gallay
  • The following orchestral excerpts:
    • The last movement of Brahms’s Symphony No. 1
    • The second horn part from the trio of the third movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3
    • The second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5
    • R. Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel
    • Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante defunte
    • The short call from Wagner’s Siegfrieds Rheinfahrt
    • The first movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7
    • The third movement of Brahms’s Symphony No. 3

 

Trombone

Auditions will be held for tenor trombone and/or bass trombone, depending on the opening. Applicants must submit a screening video with the application to be considered for the live auditions. Applicants will be notified in January of their live audition status.

Tenor Trombone Prescreening

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.
  • At least three orchestral excerpts of contrasting style.

Live Audition (if advanced Bass and Tenor Trombone)

Applicants will play:

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

Applicants may be asked to play all major and minor scales and to read at sight in alto, tenor, and bass clefs.

 

Tuba (updated 9/14/21)

Prescreening

Applicants should prepare video recordings (unaccompanied) of the following. 

Each selection may be recorded separately. Adjustments to EQ and reverb are allowed, but there may not be any additional editing or splicing within each selection. Audio may be recorded separately, and synced with video.

Create a separate file for each selection, and label each clearly with the last name of the applicant and the name of the selection.

Applicants are encouraged to use the best recording equipment available to them, and to carefully select the best microphone placement and recording level to reduce distortion. Devices such as a Zoom Handy Recorder will yield good results, and if using a phone, laptop, or tablet, an external USB microphone or microphone attachment can greatly improve the audio. If you do not own or have access to a quality recording device, consider checking with a local or school library, band director, or teacher about borrowing one. Experiment with the recording process in advance, so that your recordings represent you as well as possible.

  • Snedecor, Low Etudes for Tuba, #4
  • Vaughan Williams, Tuba Concerto, first movement including cadenza, without accompaniment
  • Wagner, Die Meistersinger Overture, measures 1–8; rehearsal J to rehearsal L
  • Wagner, Ride of the Walküre, standard B-major excerpt
  • Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5, first movement, rehearsal 3 to rehearsal 6

Live Audition (if advanced)

  • Snedecor, Low Etudes for Tuba, #4
  • J.S. Bach, Bouree 1 and 2 from Cello Suite #3, played 8ba (one octave lower than written), without repeats or da Capo
  • Vaughan Williams, Tuba Concerto, first and second movements, without accompaniment
  • Wagner, Die Meistersinger Overture, measures 1–8; rehearsal J to rehearsal L
  • Wagner, Ride of the Walküre, standard B-major excerpt
  • Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5, first movement, rehearsal 3 to rehearsal 6
  • Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, Tuba 1, complete
  • Mahler, Symphony No. 1, third movement solo (until rehearsal 4)

Sight reading may be required. It is highly recommended, but not required, that the applicant be proficient on both bass and contrabass tubas.

(updated 9/22/21)

Live Audition

Applicants should demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamental techniques of percussion and timpani. They will be examined on timpani pitch recognition and technical skills such as rolls (final round only). They should be prepared to perform:

  • One study on timpani
  • One two-mallet work on marimba or xylophone
  • One four-mallet work on marimba or xylophone
  • Two studies on snare drum—one classical and one rudimental

For applicants who are presently 18 years old or younger and completing high school, one orchestral excerpt on snare drum, xylophone, and timpani is optional.

Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate their ability to sight read. Applicants must possess a good ear and be able to sing and recognize all intervals (final round only).

In addition to the above repertoire, any student applying in the following categories of post-secondary study must add orchestral excerpts as noted here: 

  • If you are transferring from a present level of undergraduate study, prepare 2 excerpts on snare drum, 2 excerpts on mallets, 2 excerpts on timpani
  • If you have already completed a bachelor’s degree, prepare 3 excerpts on snare drum, 3 excerpts on xylophone, 1 excerpt on glockenspiel, 3 excerpts on timpani
  • If you have already completed a master’s degree, prepare 4 excerpts on snare drum, 4 excerpts on xylophone, 2 excerpts on glockenspiel, 4 excerpts on timpani

Voice (Bachelor of Music and Diploma Programs)

All applicants in voice are required to submit a screening recording  with application materials and a high school diploma or equivalent of the year of acceptance .

The following format types are accepted:

  • Video (.asf, .avi, .flv, .mov, .m4v, .mp4, .mpg, .mvb, .swf, .wmv)
  • Images (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff)
  • Documents (.doc, .pdf, .xls)

Total portfolio size needs to be under 900MB, with a maximum file size of 500 MB. Please upload each piece as its own file. 

Screening Repertoire:

Three repertoire selections - one selection in English, one aria, and one selection from German Lieder, Italian, or French art songs from any period. Video recordings should include accompaniment and should show contrast in musical styles and tempos. Please make the best quality recording with the equipment available to you. Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable. Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding live auditions in February. 

Live Audition Repertoire:
Vocalists who audition live will be asked to perform up to four selections from memory, showing the character and quality of voice and musicianship:

  1. one selection in English (not a translation)
  2. three selections from the standard oratorio repertoire, German lieder, classic Italian songs, or French and English songs of any period
  3. an aria from an opera or oratorio

About accompaniment for 2021 virtual live audition: "Auditioning with a prerecorded track is acceptable, but singers won’t be able to audition a cappella"

Graduate - Master in Opera and Professional Studies Certificate: Opera

All applicants in voice are required to submit screening video recordings with application materials. Please see the Curtis website for all relevant deadlines. 

The following format types are accepted:

  • Video (.asf, .avi, .flv, .mov, .m4v, .mp4, .mpg, .mvb, .swf, .wmv)
  • Images (.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tiff)
  • Documents (.doc, .pdf, .xls) 

Total portfolio size needs to be under 900MB, with a maximum file size of 500 MB. Please upload each piece as its own file.

Screening repertoire:

Three contrasting opera arias. Videos should include accompaniment and should show contrast in musical styles and tempos. Please make the best quality recording with the equipment available to you. Pre-recorded accompaniment is acceptable.

Applicants will be notified of decisions regarding live auditions in February.

Live Audition 

Vocalists who audition live will be asked to perform from memory:

  1. up to five contrasting arias from the standard operatic repertoire

For 2021 virtual live auditions, a prerecorded accompaniment track is acceptable, but singers may not audition a cappella.

 

Substitutions or exceptions to the audition repertoire are not permitted. While the choice of composition is important, audition performance carries the greater weight. Audition candidates may be asked to demonstrate their sight-reading ability. A knowledge of piano and music theory is desirable. Please reach out to a member of the admissions team at admissions@curtis.edu with any questions about specific repertoire and audition requirements. 

Procedures

Pre-recorded or live auditions will take place in a virtual environment during February and March 2021. Candidates who advance to the live audition rounds will receive a confirmation and more details at least one month before their audition date. Please refer to the repertoire section for live audition accompaniment guidelines for each department.

 

Audition FAQ

Live auditions are usually held on campus at 1726 Locust Street or at Lenfest Hall at 1616 Locust Street. This year, live auditions will be held in a virtual environment. Curtis does not hold regional auditions at this time.

Auditions are organized in groups. You will be given a time to meet along with other applicants and will draw a number to make the audition order as fair as possible. Once the order is determined, you will be told a time when you should be back to wait for your warm-up room. You will have around 30 minutes of warm-up time in a designated room. Curtis student proctors will be running most of the logistics, under the supervision of the admissions team. Students are happy to answer any questions you may have about Curtis while you wait. 

It depends on the department for which you’re auditioning. On the Curtis website, the Repertoire section of theAudition page outline requirements for repertoire and memorization 

Audition repertoire varies by major department. The best way to determine the repertoire requirements is to visit the Auditionpage. 

Each applicant may warm-up for 30 minutes in an assigned practice room before the audition. The audition proctors will take you to your practice room at your designated time. Please plan to arrive at least 10 minutes before your slotted audition time.