Strings Audition
  1. Areas of Study
  2. Strings

String Auditions

Requirements

Review the requirements for your area of study below.

Note that for violin, viola, and cello applicants:

  • There is a prescreening requirement.
  • Works with piano are not required to be performed with a pianist or piano recording.

Note that for double bass and harp applicants:

  • There is no prescreening requirement.
  • Works with piano are not required to be performed with a pianist or piano recording.
VIOLIN

There are two audition format options. Applicants may select to audition live at SFCM (COVID-19 vaccination required) or submit a final audition self-recording in an audiovisual format and attend a virtual interview with members of the faculty. There will be no performance in the virtual interview.

 

Repertoire must be performed from memory.

 

Prescreening - All Programs

  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • Two movements of a Bach partita or sonata, one slow movement and one fast

 

Final Audition - Undergraduate

  • Two movements of a Bach solo violin partita or sonata (one slow movement and one fast)
  • Two études, one must be a Paganini Caprice or similar work
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One composition of the applicant’s choice (Mozart preferred if the standard concerto previously listed is not a Mozart concerto)

 

Final Audition - Graduate and Postgraduate

  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach solo sonata or partita
  • One Paganini Caprice
  • One complete Romantic or contemporary concerto
  • One movement of a Mozart concerto

 

Final Audition - PSC Concertmaster Track Only

  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach solo sonata or partita
  • One Paganini Caprice
  • One complete Romantic or contemporary concerto
  • One movement of a Mozart concerto
  • Orchestral Excerpts: R. Strauss, Don Juan (1st page) and Mozart Symphony No. 39, Finale (4th mvt) through bar #78
VIOLA

There are two audition format options. Applicants may select to audition live at SFCM (COVID-19 vaccination required) or submit a final audition self-recording in an audiovisual format and attend a virtual audition to perform a few selections from the final audition repertoire.

 

Repertoire does not need to be memorized.

 

Prescreening - All Programs

  • One movement of a standard viola concerto
  • Two movements of either a Bach suite for solo cello or a Bach sonata or partita for solo violin, one slow movement and one fast

 

Final Audition - Undergraduate

  • Two movements of either a Bach suite for solo cello or a Bach sonata or partita for solo violin, one slow movement and one fast
  • One movement of a standard concerto (with cadenza)
  • One movement of a sonata for viola and piano

 

Final Audition - Graduate and Postgraduate

  • Two movements of either a Bach suite for solo cello or a Bach sonata or partita for solo violin, one slow movement and one fast
  • Two movements of a standard concerto (with cadenza)
  • Two contrasting movements from a sonata for viola and piano
  • One work composed by a woman and/or person from a historically underrepresented racial/ethnic group
CELLO

There are two audition format options. Applicants may select to audition live at SFCM (COVID-19 vaccination required) or submit a final audition self-recording in an audiovisual format and attend a virtual audition to perform a few selections from the final audition repertoire.

 

Repertoire does not need to be memorized.

 

Prescreening - All Programs

  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite

 

Final Audition - Undergraduate

  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite
  • One etude

 

Final Audition - Graduate and Postgraduate

Either the concerto or the sonata should be from the 20th or 21st century.

  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite
  • One movement of a sonata OR a solo contemporary piece written after 1950.
DOUBLE BASS

There are two audition format options. Applicants may select to audition live at SFCM (COVID-19 vaccination required) or submit a final audition self-recording in an audiovisual format and attend a virtual interview with members of the admission committee. There will be no performance in the virtual interview.

 

Repertoire does not need to be memorized.

 

Undergraduate

We encourage applicants to select at least one work by a woman and/or person from a historically underrepresented racial/ethnic group.

  • Major and minor scales in two octaves or an étude of your choice
  • One movement of a baroque or classical sonata, concerto, or one-movement piece
  • One movement or a one-movement piece from the romantic or contemporary repertoire.

 

Graduate and Postgraduate

We encourage applicants to select at least one work by a woman and/or person from a historically underrepresented racial/ethnic group.

  • One concerto or virtuoso piece
  • Two contrasting movements from either a sonata or multi-movement work from the romantic or contemporary repertoire, or two contrasting movements of a Bach cello suite.
HARP

There are two audition format options. Applicants may select to audition live at SFCM (COVID-19 vaccination required) or submit a final audition self-recording in an audiovisual format and attend a virtual audition to perform a few selections from the repertoire.

 

Repertoire does not need to be memorized.

 

Undergraduate

  • ​One étude for harp of intermediate difficulty (Bach/Grandjany, Godefroid, Posse, Schmidt, Salzedo, Dizzi)
  • ​Two compositions of intermediate difficulty from different periods, including one work composed by a woman and/or person from a historically underrepresented racial/ethnic group.

 

Graduate and Postgraduate

  • Ravel's Introduction et Allegro, Handel's Concerto in B-flat (entire work), ​or one fast movement of a major harp concerto
  • ​Two compositions of advanced difficulty from different periods, including one work composed after 1950, and one work by a woman and/or person from a historically underrepresented racial/ethnic group.
  • Two contrasting orchestral excerpts 

For audition dates, please visit Auditions.

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