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Historical Performance Auditions


Spring 2024

Auditions for Spring semester entry are arranged individually the week of November 13 following the application deadline. 

Fall 2024

In-person auditions for entry into the Fall semester will be held on the January 29, 2024, and is subject to change. Students are reminded not to book travel until scheduling an audition slot through the application status portal, which will be available after the release of audition slots in December.



There is no prescreening requirement for Historical Performance applicants.

Audition requirements are flexible. The repertoire as specified in the catalogue should serve as a guide. While some potential students may have extensive experience with period instruments, others may be newer to the field having primarily studied modern instruments. Being new to the instrument should not discourage potential students from applying. What is most important is a passion for the music and a desire to study it on historically appropriate instruments.


  • One J.S. Bach French suite or other dance suite of Bach or two preludes and fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier
  • One movement of a composer of the English Virginalist school or a work by a French baroque composer
  • One Scarlatti sonata
  • One work of the English Virginalist school or a toccata of Frescobaldi or Froberger
  • One major work of J.S. Bach (e.g. an English Suite or Partita, Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Italian Concerto, Overture in B Minor, or another large work)
  • One suite by one of the following composers: L. Couperin, D'Anglebert, Froberger, F. Couperin, or Rameau

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

  • One early Italian violin sonata (before 1650)
  • One slow movement from one of the three solo Bach sonatas 
  • One fast movement from one of the La Stravaganza (opus 4) Vivaldi concerti
  • One slow and one more lively movement from Couperin Concerts Royaux
  • 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

Baroque Viola

  • First or last movement of Brandenburg 6, first viola part
  • One Sarabande from one of Bach’s cello suites
  • First and second movements of Telemann’s viola concerto
  • One first movement from one of Robert Flackton’s three viola sonatas.  They are sonatas 4-6 at this link (sonatas 1-3 are for cello)

Baroque Cello

  • One Gabrielli Ricercar
  • Two contrasting movements of solo Bach
  • Two contrasting movements of an 18th-century concerto or sonata

Viola da Gamba

  • Two contrasting  movements of a Bach sonata 
  • Two contrasting movements of Marais 
  • A division by Simpson or Ortiz

Baroque Voice


  • 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

Historical Performance opportunities in performance and academic courses are open to all SFCM students. Our acclaimed period instrument Baroque Ensemble performs regularly throughout the year. Our remarkable period instrument collection includes instruments from the seventeenth century to the present. A full complement of baroque violins, violas, celli, double basses, viols, historical plucked strings, historical keyboards, transverse flutes, baroque oboes and bassoons are available to all SFCM students.

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