1. Areas of Study
  2. Strings

String 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: Strings

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, no later than December 1.

Violin

All violin applicants intending to audition live in San Francisco or at a USA regional location must submit a pre-screening recording in the application with the repertoire listed below. Applicants auditioning by Final Audition Recording, including all USA Schools of Music applicants, do not need to submit the pre-screening repertoire, and should submit only the Final Audition repertoire requirements. We strongly recommend that the recording be audiovisual, but we will accept audio-only recordings.

Pre-screening

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

Undergraduate - Final Audition (audition repertoire should be memorized)

  • 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)

If the audition requirements are not fulfilled, the applicant may be disqualified from further consideration.

Graduate and Postgraduate - Final Audition (audition repertoire should be memorized)

  • 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

If the audition requirements are not fulfilled, the applicant may be disqualified from further consideration.

Concertmaster Track - Final Audition (Professional Studies Diploma only; audition repertoire should be memorized)

  • 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

All viola applicants intending to audition live in San Francisco or regionally must submit a pre-screening recording in the application with the repertoire listed below. Applicants auditioning by Final Audition Recording, including all USA Schools of Music applicants, do not need to submit the pre-screening repertoire, and should submit only the Final Audition repertoire requirements. We strongly recommend that the recording be audiovisual, but we will accept audio-only recordings.

Pre-screening

  • 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

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

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)
  • Once complete sonata for viola and piano
  • One work written after 1980. The complete sonata or two concerto movements may satisfy this requirement if written after 1980.

Cello

All cello applicants intending to audition live in San Francisco or regionally must submit a pre-screening recording in the application with the repertoire listed below. Applicants auditioning by Final Audition Recording, including all USA Schools of Music applicants, do not need to submit the pre-screening repertoire, and should submit only the Final Audition repertoire requirements. The recording must be audiovisual. If unable to submit an audiovisual recording, please reach out to the Office of Admission.

Pre-screening

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

Undergraduate

  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite or sonata
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One short work from the 20th Century repertoire

Graduate and Postgraduate

  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One movement of a sonata (Either the concerto or the sonata should be from the 20th or 21st century)

Double Bass

Undergraduate

  • 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

  • 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

Undergraduate

  • One étude for harp
  • Two compositions of intermediate difficulty from different periods

Graduate and Postgraduate

  • Ravel's Introduction et Allegro, Handel's Concerto in B-flat (entire work), or comparable works
  • Two contrasting orchestral excerpts

Harp auditions are set up by appointment. You will be contacted by the Conservatory to schedule an audition.

Audition Dates at SFCM

Violin (Concertmaster Track)

February 10
February 17

Violin 

January 27
February 10
February 17

Viola

January 26
February 3
February 10

Cello

January 27
February 3

Double Bass

February 3
February 15

Harp

By appointment

2019-20 Regional Auditions

Domestic Regional Auditions - In Spring 2020

 

Location Date Master Class Instrument
Interlochen January 18
Chicago January 20 Cathy Payne* Piccolo
New York February 28 Sharon Mann Piano
New York (piano only) February 29
New York March 2

*Cathy Payne's Master Class will be on January 19

 

 

Asian Regional Auditions - in Fall 2019

 

*Seoul October 27
*Taipei October 29-30
Shenzhen October 31
*Hong Kong November 1
Singapore November 3
*Guangzhou November 4-5
*Shanghai November 7-9
*Beijing November 11-14

*These auditions are in partnership with USA Schools of Music.

Picture yourself at SFCM

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  • 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

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  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music