SFCM Students playing Historical Instruments
  1. Areas of Study
  2. Historical Performance

Historical Performance Auditions


There is no prescreening requirement for Professional Studies Certificate in Historical Performance applicants.

Audition requirements are flexible. The repertoire as specified in the catalogue should serve as a guide. While some potential students may have extensive experience with period instruments, others may be newer to the field having primarily studied modern instruments. Being new to the instrument should not discourage potential students from applying. What is most important is a passion for the music and a desire to study it on historically appropriate instruments.

Historical Keyboards

  • One 17th-century Italian toccata or French unmeasured prelude
  • One major work of Bach
  • One 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

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

Voice - Historical Performance

  • One solo song of Caccini, Peri, Monteverdi, Strozzi, or other early 17th C. Italian composers
  • One Purcell song or work of a 17th/early 18th C. French composer
  • One secular or sacred secco recitative by J.S. Bach or Handel
  • One secular or sacred aria by J.S. Bach or Handel

Baroque Cello

  • One 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:

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


Historical Performance opportunities in performance and academic courses are open to all SFCM students. Our acclaimed period instrument Baroque Ensemble performs regularly throughout the year. Our remarkable period instrument collection includes instruments from the seventeenth century to the present. A full complement of baroque violins, violas, celli, double basses, viols, historical plucked strings, historical keyboards, transverse flutes, baroque oboes and bassoons are available to all SFCM students.


For audition dates, please visit Auditions.

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