Please find the audition requirements for your instrument area below.
Pre-screen and Recorded Auditions
All pre-screen and recorded auditions are submitted online. Instructions on how to submit pre-screen and recorded auditions will be sent to you after your application is submitted.
trumpet, French horn, trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba
For transfer students, please prepare the graduate requirements for your audition. For incoming freshmen, audition materials should include:
- An etude
- Two movements of contrasting nature and tempi from a sonata or concerto
- All major scales and arpeggios
- Possible sight reading
Please note: Instrumental auditions must be performed without accompaniment. If you are submitting a recorded audition, please make sure that there is no accompaniment and that the recording has not been edited and does not contain reverb. Each work or movement may be uploaded as a separate video file, clearly named in English or the original language.
- Applicants to the B.M. in composition should submit a portfolio consisting of two to four recent works (no more) which were written in the last two years, at least one of which must be for two or more instruments.
- Scores should be legibly notated (by hand or by computer).
- Recordings of your works, if available, are encouraged.
- Include an accompanying score for each submitted recording.
- Write a short essay describing your musical influences and areas of interest and what you hope to achieve as a composer.
- Note: This is separate from the writing sample about your interest in Boston Conservatory on the online application.
Applicants may be asked to interview, in which case an in-person interview is preferred.
All of the above pre-screen materials must be submitted online. Pre-screen materials sent by mail will not be accepted, and you will be asked to submit online.
Instrumental auditions must be performed without accompaniment. Candidates auditioning in Boston may use Boston Conservatory harps to practice and audition during the audition weekend only. Applicants may also choose to bring their own harp, although candidates who are auditioning in regional locations will be required to bring their own harp. To arrange this, please contact harp faculty member and coordinator Ina Zdorovetchi.
- Lyon-Healy (style 100): new
- Salvi (Daphne)
- Camac (Atlantide Prestige)
Applicants should prepare the following repertoire for a live or recorded audition:
Choose one etude.
- Bochsa: Fifty Studies, Op. 34, Book II (Hasselmans edition), No. 39 (E-flat Major)
- Pozzoli: Studies of Moderate Difficulty, No. 5
- Two solo pieces
Choose two of the following pieces, or play two compositions of similar or higher degree of difficulty:
Please contact department coordinator for repertoire approval.
- Grandjany: Fantasie on a Theme by Haydn
- Salzedo: Whirlwind
- Dussek: Sonata in C minor (any edition)
- Pescetti: Sonata in C minor (any edition)
- Tournier: Féerie
- Tournier: Vers la source dans le bois
- Handel: Passacaglia from Suite No. 7 (any edition)
Choose two of the following orchestra excerpts:
- Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker, "Waltz of the Flowers" Cadenza
- Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Cadenza
- Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Español
- Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra Cadenza and/or Fugue
Auditions must be performed without accompaniment.
Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in the three areas described below. You are encouraged to program creatively so as to represent your skills well and also demonstrate something unique about yourself as a musician.
Perform both of the following, totaling about four minutes:
- Concert etude. Suggested composers: Delécluse, Cirone, Aleo.
- Rudimental solo. Suggested composers: Pratt, Tompkins, Wilcoxon.
Mallets (xylophone, marimba, vibraphone: your choice)
Perform both of the following, totaling at least four minutes:
- Two-mallet solo. Suggested composers: Bach (preferably from Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin OR Suites for Unaccompanied Cello), Kreisler, Green, or selections from the MassChap 2010 Xylophone Collection.
- Four-mallet solo. For suggestions, see Recommended Solos.
Note: For two-mallet and/or four-mallet solo, creative adaptations of any other composers' works are most welcome. In general, pieces with tempo fluctuations and a variety of rhythms and characters are preferred over perpetual motion pieces.
Perform the following, totaling about three minutes:
Solo piece, about three minutes in duration. Suggested composers: Woud, Hochrainer, Firth, Delécluse, Macarez.
Note: Etudes that demonstrate standard orchestral timpani musicianship are preferred (e.g., Woud or Hochrainer etudes are preferred over Carter solos).
Pre-screen recording requirements:
- Applicants should video-record and upload a program of at least 20 minutes, including two or more contrasting works.
- Each work or movement should be uploaded as a separate video file with titles in English or the original language.
- Single movements of multi-movement works are acceptable for the pre-screen recording only.
- Complete works are to be prepared for the live audition, if invited.
Live audition requirements:
If invited for a live audition, applicants should prepare all of the following. Multi-movement works must be prepared in their entirety. All works are to be performed from memory.
- A prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier or another work by Bach that includes a fugue
- A complete sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
- A major work for solo piano from the Romantic Era (including Rachmaninoff)
- A solo piano piece from the 20th or 21st century
- One virtuosic etude, such as those by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, or Ligeti
violin, viola, cello, double bass
It is not required that you perform your audition with piano accompaniment, and the Conservatory cannot provide an accompanist for you. But for those who would like to work with a pianist, String Department faculty member Rhonda Rider can provide a list of local collaborative pianists for hire. A grand piano will be available in the audition room.
Audition materials should include:
- An etude or short technical work that best demonstrates your ability to shift freely around the instrument with good control of bowing articulation
- Two movements of unaccompanied Bach (bass players may substitute with another work of their choice)
- A complete first or last movement from the standard concerto repertoire
- Prepare a scale of your choice (major or minor) in three to four octaves, performed with a minimum of four notes slurred per bow, plus the corresponding arpeggios. The arpeggio cycle of Flesch or Galamian is preferred and should be performed three notes slurred to a bow.
There will be brief sight reading at the live audition.
All voice applicants require the submission of a pre-screen recording (video required) by the deadline. Read the required method for submitting your recording. You will need to register and submit your pre-screen by the deadline. CDs or DVDs are not permitted.
This pre-screen recording must be accompanied and should include representative pieces that fulfill the audition requirements (below). They do not have to be the repertoire you plan to sing for your audition. All works are to be performed from memory. If you are invited for a live audition, a staff accompanist will be provided at the Boston audition location.
- An Italian art song
- An art song in German or French
- An art song in English (not in translation)
- No operatic arias, please
Note: Bachelor of Music applicants cannot audition for the opera emphasis option until their sophomore year at Boston Conservatory.
bassoon, clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone
Instrumental auditions must be performed without accompaniment.
Audition materials should include:
- Two contrasting etudes
- Two contrasting movements from the standard solo repertoire
- Major scales
Note: If you are submitting a recorded audition, please make sure that there is no accompaniment and that the recording has not been edited and does not contain reverb.