The Curtis guitar department integrates new students into the full musical life of the school from the moment they arrive.

Working with distinguished artist-faculty members David Starobin and Jason Vieaux, guitarists study solo repertoire and concertos, as well as chamber music, with a particular emphasis on contemporary works. All guitarists work with both faculty members.

Curtis aims to educate and train musicians for 21st-century careers as performers on the highest professional level, through a unique “learn by doing” approach. Students can expect to perform often on the Student Recital Series and in other school-sponsored recitals from the beginning of their Curtis careers.

Applicants who are admitted enter either the Bachelor of Music or Master of Music programs, or the diploma programs. Those who already hold bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or other certificates or diplomas are welcome to apply. Admitted students will be at a level of musical and technical proficiency commensurate with other instrumental departments at Curtis.

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Audition Requirements

Updated 9/27/21

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 2022 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 2022 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)
  • Kolb, Umbrian Colors (for violin and guitar), movement 1
  • Lerdahl, Three Bagatelles (for violin and guitar), movement 2
  • Takemitsu, Toward the Sea (for alto flute and guitar), movement 3

Student Performances