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Composition Auditions

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.

Pre-screening

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.

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. It is strongly recommended that this be done at a live audition, either at the Conservatory or at one of the regional audition sites. Undergraduate applicants who live outside California may submit a final audio-visual recording electronically in their application. 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. 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.Three complete works or movements should be prepared from 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.

Audition Dates at SFCM

  • January 21, 2018
  • February 18, 2018

Regional Auditions

Domestic Regional Auditions

Interlochen January 13, 2018
Chicago January 15, 2018
New York February 22, 2018 - All, except for voice and piano
New York February 23, 2018 - Voice only
New York February 24, 2018 - Piano only
Boston

February 27, 2018

Asian Regional Auditions

Seoul October 8, 2017
Taipei October 11-12, 2017
Hong Kong October 13, 2017
Guangzhou October 16-18, 2017
Shanghai October 19-21, 2017
Beijing October 23-26, 2017

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

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