1. Areas of Study
  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:

  • Applicants residing in California

Regional and Final Recording auditions are available for the following applicants:

  • Applicants residing outside of California

Final recordings must be submitted online through the formal Application, found here, no later than December 1. Repertoire requirements for the Professional Studies Diploma are detailed below.

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

Audition Dates at SFCM

All Historical Performance auditions are held by individual 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