Composition Audition

Prescreening Procedures

All Classical Composition applicants are required to submit scores and recordings for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The portfolio must include both a recording and a score image of each piece listed listed below. These files must be uploaded directly to your online application through Decision Desk. Scores images must be in PDF format.

Submission Requirements

Undergraduate

Applicants should submit a maximum of three scores. At least one of the scores must be represented by an acoustic instrument(s) recording. If MIDI versions are the only available recording of the remaining scores, they may be submitted as well. The three works submitted should demonstrate a variety of instrumentations, forms, and genres. All scores and accompanying recordings are uploaded to the online application through Decision Desk.

Graduate, Professional Studies and Doctoral

Applicants should submit a maximum of three scores. One of these must be an orchestral work. At least two of the scores must be represented by an acoustic instrument(s) recording. If a MIDI version is the only available recording of the remaining score, it may be submitted as well. The three works submitted should demonstrate a variety of instrumentations, forms, and genres. All scores and accompanying recordings are uploaded to the online application via Decision Desk.

NOTE: Graduate, professional studies and doctoral applications submitted without an orchestral work WILL NOT be considered.
Get more information about the required orchestral work >

Audition Procedures

Applicants who pass the prescreening must complete a two-part examination/audition taking place over a two-day period. (The procedure for doctoral applicants may take as long as four days. Please see the doctoral program for more details.) Students unable to be present for all parts of the exam/interview cannot be evaluated for admission.

  • Part I: Entrance Examination

  • Applicants are required to take an examination lasting 3 hours. The test covers dictation, sight-singing, harmony, counterpoint, set theory, orchestration, analysis of musical examples, and composition exercises in imitative counterpoint and tonal melody harmonization.
    Get specific information about the exam >
  • Part II: Audition/Interview

  • On one of the two days following the written exam, each applicant will have an individual interview with members of the composition faculty (15 minutes for Bachelor's and Master's applicants and 15-20 minutes for Doctoral applicants). Particular attention will be paid to the take-home composition assignment. While demonstration of instrumental proficiency is not required, it is encouraged. All applicants who are invited to the audition must bring paper copies of their audition materials for the faculty's use during the audition interview.