1. Areas of Study
  2. Historical Performance

Historical Performance Auditions


After submitting the application, applicants for the Historical Performance program will be required to select a virtual performance interview time and submit unedited audiovisual recordings fulfilling the repertoire listed below. Recordings will be due three weeks before the selected virtual performance interview time. There is no prescreening requirement for Historical Performance applicants.

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


Virtual Performance Interview Formats

All Historical Performance applicants are required to attend a Virtual Performance Interview following the submission of their Final Audition Recording. The Final Audition Recording will serve as the primary audition, with the Virtual Performance Interview supplementing it for the admission committee. 

Applicants will be interviewed by the faculty panel for the Virtual Performance Interview. There will be no live performance.


Virtual Performance Interview Dates

February, By Appointment

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