Orchestral Performance Audition

Listed below are the audition/prescreening procedures and repertoire for applicants to the orchestral performance program, separated by instrument. The audition repertoire below meets the requirements for all master of music and professional studies programs in orchestral performance at Manhattan School of Music. All orchestral performance applicants must audition live in New York City.

Interview Component
Applicants for the Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance are required to interview, pending audition advancement, with the Assistant Dean and Manager. The applicant will be contacted to schedule the interview following the audition. In this interview, the student should discuss her/his interest in the Program as well as orchestral and leadership experiences. Presentation, communication and organizational skills are important factors which show the serious commitment to the Orchestral Performance Program.  It is encouraged for applicants to be prepared to demonstrate these qualities. The interview will be approximately 10 minutes in duration.

Applicants who wish to be considered for both the classical performance and the orchestral performance programs in Violin, Viola, Cello, Flute, and Clarinet must submit two separate applications and should expect separate prescreening/audition requirements and procedures. For all other instruments, an application submitted to the orchestral performance program will ensure automatic consideration for both the orchestral and classical programs. For more information about Manhattan School of Music's classical performance programs, please click here.

Bass 
Bassoon 
Cello 
Clarinet 
Flute 
Harp 
Horn 
Oboe 
Percussion 
Trombone 
Bass Trombone 
Trumpet 
Tuba 
Viola 
Violin 

Bass

Prescreening Procedures

All Orchestral Double Bass applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application on Decision Desk. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible.

Solo Works

  • One movement of a concerto and one Bach(movement of a suite or sonata)

EXCERPTS (Select one excerpt fromgroup A, one from group B)

Group A (choose one)

  •         MozartSymphony No. 39 and/or No. 40, 1st & 4th mvts
  •         Beethoven SymphonyNo. 3, 3rd mvt.
  •         Beethoven SymphonyNo. 5, Scherzo
  •         Beethoven SymphonyNo. 9, 4th mvt.
  •         Brahms SymphonyNo. 2, 4th mvt.
  •         Strauss DonJuan, 1st page, or Ein Heldenleben, # 9

Group B (choose one)

  •         Mahler SymphonyNo. 1, solo from 3rd mvt. or Prokofiev Lieut.  Kijé, solofrom "Romanze"
  •         Stravinsky Pulcinella,solo from "Vivo" or Britten Young Person's Guide to theOrchestra, bass variation
  •         Verdi Otello,4th act solo

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Three works from contrasting periods including a standard concerto or a complete sonata

Excerpts (Select three excerpts from group A, two from group B)

Group A (choose three)
  • Mozart Symphony No. 39 and/or No. 40, 1st & 4th mvts
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 3, 3rd mvt.
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Scherzo
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 9, 4th mvt.
  • Brahms Symphony No. 2, 4th mvt.
  • Strauss Don Juan, 1st page, or Ein Heldenleben, # 9
Group B (choose two)
  • Mahler Symphony No. 1, solo from 3rd mvt. or Prokofiev Lieut.  Kijé, solo from "Romanze"
  • Stravinsky Pulcinella, solo from "Vivo" or Britten Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, bass variation
  • Verdi Otello, 4th act solo

Bassoon

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Mozart Concerto, K. 191.
  • Twentieth-Century work of the player's choice.

Excerpts

  • Beethoven Symphony No. 4, last mvt.
  • Mozart The Marriage of Figaro, Overture
  • Stravinsky The Rite of Spring, opening solo
  • Ravel Bolero
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherezade, solo & cadenzas
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, mvts. 1,2 & 4
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, mvts. 1 & 4

Cello

Prescreening Procedures

All Orchestral Cello applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application on Decision Desk. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible.

Solo Works

  • First movement of a standard concerto with applicable cadenzas
  • Prelude and one other movement of an unaccompanied Bach suite

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • First movement of a standard concerto with applicable cadenzas
  • Prelude and one other movement of an unaccompanied Bach suite

Excerpts

  • Mozart Symphony No. 40, 1st and 4th mvts.
  • Brahms Symphony No. 2, slow mvt.
  • Debussy La Mer, top line of divisi passage
  • Strauss Don Juan, 1st page
  • Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo

Clarinet

Prescreening Procedures

All Orchestral Clarinet applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application on Decision Desk. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible.


ALL ORCHESTRAL CLARINET APPLICANTS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED ON THEIR PRESCREENING RECORDING.

Solo Works

  • Mozart Clarinet Concerto (Exposition with Piano)
  • Tune Concert A with piano, then play the Mozart concerto exposition
  • Schubert Octet, 2nd mvt. (Adagio un poco mosso, first 12 bars only)

Excerpts

  • Kodaly Galanta Dances, mm. 31-66 (cadenza plus solo measures)
  • Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo, from beginning to letter G
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 6, 1st mvt. mm. 474-492, 2nd mvt. mm. 68-77

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Mozart Concerto
  • Debussy Premiere Rhapsodie
  • Schubert Octet, 2nd mvt. (Adagio un poco mosso, first 12 bars only)
  • Verdi Forza del Destino

Excerpts

  • Puccini Tosca Act III, solo only
  • Bartok Miraculous Mandarin, first two cadenzas
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 6, 1st, 2nd, 3rd mvts.
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 8, Trio from "Minuetto"
  • Brahms Symphony No. 3, 1st, 2nd mvts.
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Capriccio Espagnol
  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 9
  • Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo
  • Schubert Unfinished Symphony, 2nd mvt.
  • Kodaly Galanta Dances, mm. 31-66 & mm. 571-580
  • Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2, 3rd mvt., opening solo - #47

Flute

Prescreening Procedures

All Orchestral Flute applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application on Decision Desk. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible.



ALL ORCHESTRAL FLUTE APPLICANTS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED ON THEIR PRESCREENING RECORDING.

Solo Work

  • Ibert Concerto, 3rd mvt., beginning at rehearsal #51 (with piano accompaniment)
  • Gluck Minuet and Dance of the Blessed Spirits (with Da Capo repeat) 
     (with piano accompaniment)
  • Additional solo work of applicant's choice (with piano accompaniment)

Excerpts

  • Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo, begin at 2 bars before "P"
  • Rossini William Tell, Andante, bar 181 to Allegro vivace, bar 226
  • Strauss Till Eulenspiegel, rehearsal 5 to 15 and 27 to 36

Audition Procedures

Solo Work

  • Mozart Concerto in G Major or Concerto in D Major, complete, with cadenzas
  • An additional solo work of applicant's choice

Excerpts

  • Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72, complete
  • Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf, complete
  • Ravel Daphnis and Chloe, Suite No. 2, solo only
  • Strauss Salome, Dance of the Seven Veils, 2 bars before "D" through 3 bars after "H"
  • Stravinsky Firebird (1919), Variation

Technique

  • Scales
  • Inverted Arpeggios
  • Broken Arpeggios
  • Scales in Thirds

All of the above technique requirements should be prepared in all major and harmonic minor keys, over three octaves, and with various articulations.

Harp

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Work

  • First movement from a concerto of the player's choice

Excerpts

  • Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
  • Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker

Horn

 (* preferred selections)

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Mozart Concerto No. 2* or No. 3 or No. 4 *
  • Strauss Concerto No. 1 or No. 2 *
  • Hindemith Concerto or Sonata or Heiden Sonata or Bozza En Fôret or Twentieth-Century work of the player's choice

Excerpts (prepare all)

  • Beethoven Symphony No. 7, 1st mvt. (horn I)
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 9, 3rd mvt. (horn IV)
  • Brahms Symphony No. 2, 1st & 2nd movts. (horn. I)
  • Strauss Till Eulenspigel (horn I & horn III)
  • Strauss Ein Heldenleben, opening (horn I)
  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 (low tutti passage)
  • Wagner Rhine Journey, short call (horn I)
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 (horn I solo)

Oboe

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Mozart Concerto
  • Vaughan-Williams Concerto

Excerpts

  • Brahms Symphony No. 1
  • Shostakovich Symphony No. 1
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 3
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4
  • Bizet Symphony in C
  • Strauss Don Juan
  • Stravinsky Pulcinella
  • Rossini La Scala
  • Ravel Tombeau de Couperin

Percussion

Prescreening Procedures

All Orchestral Percussion applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application on Decision Desk. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible.

Snare Drum

  • Solo or etude
  • Prokofiev Lieutenant Kijé (mvt. I, reh. 1-2)
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Sheherezade (mvt IV, reh. P-R)

Marimba

  • Solo

Xylophone

  • Gershwin Porgy and Bess, Overture - opening
  • William Schuman Symphony #3, mm. 230-244

Tambourine

  • Dvorak Carnival, Overture - beginning to letter C

Timpani

  • Beethoven Symphony #9, mvt. I, mm.513 to the end
  • Strauss Burleske, beginning to mm. 20
  • Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, mvt. IV

Audition Procedures - must be live. Recorded auditions not accepted.

Snare Drum

  • Two contrasting solos or etudes - one of them rudimental style
  • Prokofiev Lieutenant Kijé
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, mvt. III, D-E
  • Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade, mvt. IV, P-R
  • William Schuman Symphony #3, 2 before 145-165

Marimba

  • Solo work (3-5 minute portion)

Xylophone

  • Solo work (3-4 minute portion)
  • Gershwin Porgy and Bess, Overture
  • William Schuman Symphony #3, mm. 230-244
  • Kabalevsky Colas Breugnon, Overture
  • Messiaen Oiseaux Exotiques, #6-#7

Glockenspiel

  • Dukas Sorceror’s Apprentice

Cymbals

  • Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet
  • Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #2

Tambourine

  • Dvorak Carnival, Overture

Timpani

  • Solo work (3-4 minute portion)
  • Beethoven Symphony #1, mvt. III
  • Beethoven Symphony #9, mvt. I
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony #4, mvt. I, T-U
  • Strauss Burleske, opening
  • Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphosis, mvt. II
  • Bartók Concerto for Orchestra, mvt. IV

Trombone

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Jacob Concerto or Albrechtsberger Concerto
  • Hindemith Sonata or other complete work from the 20th Century

Excerpts

  • Wagner Die Walküre, 1st. Trombone
  • Mozart Requiem, "Tuba mirum," 2nd Trombone
  • Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphoses, 1st Trombone
  • Ravel Bolero, 1st Trombone
  • Rossini La Gazza Ladra (one Trombone version)
  • Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3, 1st Trombone

Bass Trombone

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Two solos of contrasting styles

Excerpts

  • Wagner Das Rheingold
  • Wagner The Ride of the Walküre
  • Hadyn The Creation (reh #26)
  • Berlioz Hungarian March
  • Strauss La Bourgeois Gentilhomme
  • Kodaly Hary Janos

Trumpet

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • Haydn Concerto or Hummel Concerto
  • A complete work from the 20th Century

Excerpts

  • Stravinsky Petrushka, Ballerina's Dance and Waltz
  • Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, 1st & 6th mvts., Promenade & Schmuyle
  • Respighi Pines of Rome, 2nd mvt., offstage solo
  • Mahler Symphony No. 5, 1st mvt.
  • Schumann Symphony No. 2, 1st mvt., opening chorale
  • Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra, (complete)

Tuba

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument.

Audition Procedures

Solo Work

  • Vaughan-Williams Concerto and a complete contrasting work

Excerpts

  • Berlioz Corsair Overture
  • Bruckner Symphony No. 4
  • Mahler Symphony No. 1
  • Mahler Symphony No. 6
  • Prokofiev Symphony No. 5
  • Strauss Till Eulenspiegel

Viola

Prescreening Procedures

There is no prescreening requirement for this instrument

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • First movement of a standard concerto with applicable cadenzas
  • Prelude of an unaccompanied Bach suite
  • Contrasting work from a sonata or a piece of the applicant's choice

Excerpts

  • Mozart "Haffner," 4th mvt., beginning to A; m. 134 to letter E
  • Ravel Daphnis and Chloe No. 2, 2nd page
  • Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4,1st mvt - mm. 218-269
  • Strauss Don Juan, 1st page
  • Wagner Tannhäuser, Overture - letter K to 37mm. after K
  • Brahms Variations on a Theme by Haydn, var. 5, 7, & 8

Violin

Prescreening Procedures

All Orchestral Violin applicants are required to submit a video recording for prescreening purposes in order to be considered for an invitation to a live audition in New York City. The recording must include all of the repertoire as listed below. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded directly to your application on Decision Desk. It is not required that the format be a professional or studio recording, but the sound quality must be as good as possible.


ALL ORCHESTRAL VIOLIN APPLICANTS MUST BE ACCOMPANIED ON THEIR PRESCREENING RECORDING.

Solo Works

  • First movement exposition (with cadenza) of one of the following concerti:
    Bartók No. 2, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch No. 1, Dvorák, Lalo, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev No. 2, Sibelius, Saint-Saëns No. 3, Tchaikovsky, Vieuxtemps No. 5, or Wieniawski No. 2
  • First movement exposition (with cadenza) of Mozart Concerto No. 3, 4, or 5

Excerpts

  • Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo — up to letter E
  • Mozart Symphony No. 39, fourth movt. — mm. 1 — 104
  • Strauss Don Juan, 1st page

Audition Procedures

Solo Works

  • One movement of an unaccompanied Bach partita or sonata
  • First movement (with cadenza) of one of the following concerti:
    Bartók No. 2, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch No. 1, Dvorák, Lalo, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev No. 2, Sibelius, Saint-Saëns No. 3, Tchaikovsky, Vieuxtemps No. 5, or Wieniawski No. 2
  • First movement (with cadenza) of Mozart Concerto No. 3, 4, or 5
Excerpts
  • Mendelssohn Midsummer Night's Dream, Scherzo
  • Mozart Symphony No. 39, slow mvt. & finale
  • Brahms Symphony No. 3, 1st mvt.
  • Prokofiev Classical Symphony, 1st mvt.
  • Schumann Symphony No. 2, Scherzo
  • Strauss Don Juan, 1st page