Live auditions at NEC are required for all piano applicants regardless of country of residence or degree/diploma of interest.
To be considered for a live audition, applicants must submit an online application and prescreening recording by December 1. After review, qualified applicants will be asked to present a live audition at NEC. Applicants who are not selected for a live audition will be notified that they have not been accepted for study at NEC.
For Collaborative Piano audition requirements, click here.
For the Chamber Music for Pianists program, click here.
Piano prescreening recordings must consist of audio-only sound files. Do not submit video files. Please refer to the recording guidelines section of our general Audition Requirements page for information about uploading your prescreening recording files as part of your online NEC application for admission at DecisionDesk.
All undergraduate (BM, DP) and graduate (MM, GD) applicants must submit the following prescreening repertoire:
- first movement of a Classical Sonata (e.g., music by Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, or others)
- substantial Romantic work (e.g., music by Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, or others).
For DMA applicants, prescreening repertoire requirements are the same as the live audition requirements listed below.
Artist Diploma applicants can find prescreening requirements in the Artist Diploma audition requirements page.
Live Audition Repertoire
Piano applicants are required to attend a live audition if invited to do so after review of the prescreening recording. Applicants selected for a live audition should prepare the following repertoire according to their desired degree program. The specific repertory chosen is a significant representation of the applicant. Although pianists are not accepted or rejected on the basis of the pieces they choose to play, the music a pianist chooses to perform is a statement of artistic identity.
All works must be performed by memory with the possible exception of challenging contemporary music.
- piece written before 1750 (e.g., prelude and fugue, or suite or partita by J.S. Bach)
- complete Classical sonata
- substantial Romantic work
- 20th-century or 21st-century work
- fast etude
MM/GD: Prepare the equivalent of a recital program of major works representing the four style periods. You must also perform a fast etude. Multi-movement works must be prepared in their entirety.
DMA: Prepare a recital-length audition of stylistically diverse, musically and pianistically challenging works.