Contemporary Performance

Prescreening & Audition Procedures

Created with Sketch.

Information for prospective contemporary performance students applying to Manhattan School of Music.

In response to the global events of 2020, and our subsequent inability to hold live in-person auditions, Manhattan School of Music will only hold recorded and virtual auditions in 2021.

Prescreening requirements have not been affected by this change. Applicants to all areas with a prescreening requirement will be asked to include prescreening materials in their application, which is due December 1, 2020. Prescreening decisions will be released on December 18, 2020.

Contemporary Performance Prescreening Requirements

There are no prescreening requirements for Contemporary Performance.

Contemporary Performance Audition Requirements

Applicants will submit the required repertoire listed below as separate video recordings by February 1, 2021. Each selection or movement may be uploaded as a separate video. Professional or studio recordings are not required, but the sound quality should be as good as possible. Applicants will also be asked to complete a “quick study” assignment that will be a short work or excerpt to be learned and recorded over a ten-day period. The assignment will be sent to all applicants on January 22, 2021 and the video recording will be due on February 1, 2021.

View the requirements for your major below or download a pdf here.

Graduate (MM)

  • A short video introduction of yourself.
  • One work written before 1900 that demonstrates the student’s technical and musical proficiency.
  • One 20th-century work from the standard repertoire, such as Ligeti Etudes or Berio Sequenzas, or one by a composer such as Schoenberg, Varèse, Carter, Boulez, or Stravinsky.
  • One work written since 2000. This work may be written by the performer, by a student colleague, or by an established composer. This work may include electronics and may incorporate improvisation.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit diverse repertoire including but not limited to works by people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, genders, and/or cultures. Choosing works that represent the applicant’s own cultural background is also welcomed.