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Composition Auditions

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You'll be great. Trust us.

We'll 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 and reading your work are the first steps toward a beautiful musical partnership. We can't wait.

Acceptance into the Composition program at SFCM requires pre-screening.

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
  • Composition applicants and Technology and Applied Composition applicants are strongly encouraged to audition at either a San Francisco audition or 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 Application, found here, no later than December 1.


Applicants must submit three or more scores in various media and a recording (audio or audio-visual) of each score in their pre-screening portfolio by December 1. Scores must show evidence of original musical thought, along with the fundamentals of compositional technique. While electronic compositions are acceptable, applicants must also demonstrate competence with traditional notation in the scores submitted. Computer-generated scores should be checked for correct transpositions, appropriate accidentals, and normal spellings. MIDI recordings are acceptable in exceptional cases, but acoustic performances are strongly recommended. Live and regional audition applicants must list the piano repertoire they anticipate performing at the audition.

Final Audition Requirements

  1. Pre-screening portfolio contents, as described in the pre-screening section above will be discussed at the live audition.
  2. Demonstrated ability at the piano- Three complete piano works or movements should be prepared from three of the following periods: baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th/21st century. When choosing the 20th/21st century category, the applicant is encouraged to perform one of his or her own compositions.
  3. Applicants may also be asked to realize figured bass at the piano, score-read a chamber work, and/or sight-read a simple piano work at the live or regional audition.
  4. Should piano not be the candidate's primary instrument, the applicant is welcome to upload an electronic recording of a performance on their primary instrument with their portfolio. Applicants must still complete the piano evaluation requirement.

Audition Dates at SFCM

  • February 10, 2019
  • February 24, 2019

2018-19 Regional Auditions

Domestic Regional Auditions

Interlochen January 12, 2019
Chicago January 14, 2019
New York March 1, 2019 (voice only)
New York March 2, 2019 (piano only)
New York March 3, 2019

March 5, 2019

Asian Regional Auditions

Seoul October 6, 2018
Taipei October 8-9, 2018
Hong Kong October 11-12, 2018
Guangzhou October 15-16, 2018
Shanghai October 18-19, 2018
Beijing October 22-25, 2018

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

Picture yourself at SFCM

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