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  2. Historical Performance

Historical Performance Auditions

You’ll be great. Trust us.

We’re all ears. Before we became players, singers, conductors, and composers, listening was our first love. And it’s still the skill that underlies everything we do at SFCM. Hearing who you are and how far you’ve come is the first step toward a beautiful musical partnership. We can’t wait to hear you.

Audition Requirements: Historical Performance

Live auditions at the Conservatory are required of the following applicants:

  • Anyone residing in California

Regional auditions are available for the following applicants:

  • Applicants residing outside of California

Final Audition Recordings are accepted from the following applicants:

  • Undergraduate applicants residing outside of California
  • Graduate applicants residing outside the United States
  • Final recordings must be submitted online through the formal DecisionDesk Application, found here, no later than December 1st.

Historical Keyboards

  • A 17th-century Italian toccata or French unmeasured prelude
  • A major work of Bach
  • A third work of your choice of either 2 Scarlatti sonatas or a work of F. Couperin or Rameau
  • Optional: a Classical-era sonata or excerpts performed on a fortepiano or modern piano.

Baroque Violin and Viola

  • An early Italian sonata (before 1650) of your choice
  • Bach - one slow and fast movement from the solo sonatas (no partitas)
  • Vivaldi - any Allegro from a solo concerto

 Baroque Cello

  • A Gabrielli Ricercar
  • Two contrasting movements of solo Bach
  • Two contrasting movements of an 18th-century concerto or sonata

Historical Plucked Strings

Please prepare 10-15 minutes of music total from three of the following four categories:

  • A 16th/17th-century fantasia or dance selection
  • A 17th-century toccata, unmeasured prelude, or suite excerpt
  • A 18th-century dance movements by Bach, Weiss, or a contemporary
  • An early 19th-century sonata movement or variation piece

Picture yourself at SFCM

  • Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall

  • Library

  • Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall

  • Milton Salkind Terrace

  • Osher Salon

  • Phyllis Wattis Atrium

  • Osher Salon

  • The Panoramic

  • Sol Joseph Recital Hall

  • The Panoramic

  • Sol Joseph Recital Hall

  • The Panoramic

  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music