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.

Pre-screening Submission

  • One musical score that demonstrates original musical thought and the fundamentals of compositional technique
  • A self-produced recording of an original work (can be made using any combination of acoustic and virtual instruments)
  • Personal statement discussing three areas: musical training and experience, interests and career goals, and your interest and/or experience with music outside of the classical tradition
  • Essay: Choose one topic
    • Describe your thoughts on the intersection of technology and music.
    • Describe your thoughts on the role of the composer in the 21st century.
  • Additional work samples: We want to get a sense of how you think and interact with various disciplines and technologies. Please include anything that might paint a bigger picture of your creativity or interests. Multimedia art, interactive digital art, literary interests, improvisation, and computer-generated compositions are encouraged.


  • Interview with faculty from the TAC program (based on the pre-screen portfolio) exploring creativity and artistic expression
  • Performance of a selection of music on the piano that demonstrates your level of fluency with performance and musical notation. Pieces can vary in difficulty, but should give our faculty a baseline idea of your musical aptitudes and training. If you would like to prepare something more advanced, we encourage you to do so. If piano is not your primary instrument, we encourage you to contact the Office of Admission (admit@sfcm.edu) to make alternative arrangements.

Live auditions at the Conservatory are required for applicants residing in California. Regional auditions are available for applicants residing outside of California.

Audition recordings are accepted from the following applicants:

  • Undergraduate applicants residing outside of California
  • Graduate applicants residing outside the United States
  • Composition applicants and Technology and Applied Composition applicants are strongly encouraged to audition live, either in San Francisco at a regional audition site. However, if unable to make a live audition, undergraduate and international applicants may submit a final piano recording to accompany their portfolio.
  • Final recordings must be submitted online through the formal DecisionDesk Application, found here, no later than December 1.

Live audition dates at SFCM:

  • January 29, 2017
  • February 12, 2017

Regional auditions (North America):

  • Montreal: January 12, 2017 - Schulich School of Music, McGill University
  • Interlochen: January 14, 2017
  • Chicago: January 16, 2017
  • Boston: February 22, 2017 - Boston University
  • New York: February 24, 2017 - NOLA Sound Studio, Manhattan

Regional auditions (Asia):

  • Seoul: October 16, 2016 - Naeum Art Hall
  • Taipei: October 18, 2016 - The Forum Auditorium
  • Guangzhou: October 21 - 23, 2016 - Xinhai Conservatory
  • Shanghai: October 26-29, 2016 - Tongii University
  • Beijing: October 31 - November 4, 2016 - China Conservatory

Mainland China auditions are in partnership with USA Schools of Music.

TAC Facilities