The Professional Piano Trio Training Program and the Professional String Quartet Training Program are specialized two-year residency programs intended for members of pre-formed piano trios and string quartets. Most applicants to these programs will have completed their baccalaureate studies before matriculating into the Professional Training Programs. Piano trios and string quartets that demonstrate the ability and commitment to achieve a professional career are eligible for this intensive course of study, and their constituent members are eligible for any of the existing NEC graduate degrees, including the Graduate Diploma and Master of Music, provided that they meet any qualifying degree requirements for those degree or diploma programs.

The Chamber Music (Piano) program is an intensive two-year graduate program for pianists leading to a Master of Music degree or Graduate Diploma in Chamber Music. This selective program is open to a limited number of students each year. Successful applicants must have significant experience with chamber music repertoire and performance.

Application Process

We are delighted that you are applying to NEC! If you have any questions throughout the process, please do not hesitate to contact Alex Powell.

Applicants to the Piano Chamber Music program apply individually rather than in pre-formed groups, and should therefore the regular graduate (MM & GD) application guidelines. All ensembles should follow the instructions below.

Application Materials

Online Application, which will include submission of your prescreening recording, essay, artistic resume (including a brief repertoire list), unofficial transcripts, English proficiency documentation (if applicable), contact information for your letters of recommendation, and the application fee of $40.

  • Unofficial transcripts: Electronic versions of academic transcripts must be submitted as part of the online application. Transcripts should show coursework completed, grades earned to date, and classes in which the student is currently enrolled. PDF files are preferred. Please do not mail hard copies of transcripts as part of the application process. Obtain an unofficial copy from your school and scan into a PDF file for upload to the online application. Please do not have electronic transcripts sent to NEC via a secure online system used by your school or university. Again, get an unofficial PDF copy of your transcript and upload it to the online application. Graduate applicants should upload transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate study, not just from the most recent program.
  • In addition to application information regarding individual members of the ensemble, your group must submit either the Quartet Application or the Piano Trio Application plus an ensemble biography, list of publically-performed repertoire, and relevant press materials (including reviews, photos, etc.). These supplemental materials should be uploaded along with the prescreening recording into the online application of the primary contact listed at the end of the Quartet Application or Piano Trio Application.

    Please note: The online application will ask each applicant to upload prescreening recordings; only the group's primary contact should upload the actual recordings – the others should upload a dummy audio or video file just to satisfy the system’s requirement (dummy files should be named “See [primary contact's name]'s application for recording”)
  • Recommendations: Two recommendations per ensemble member are required. Contact information for your recommenders must be provided in the online application; they will then receive an email allowing them to complete the evaluation online.
  1. Artistic recommendation from your current or most recent private studio teacher.
  2. Artistic recommendation from someone who can speak on behalf of your ensemble as a whole.

All applications, prescreening recordings, and transcripts should be submitted as part of the online application. Recommendation letters should be submitted via the online application form whenever possible. If your recommender cannot submit online, please contact your admissions counselor for further instructions.

Standardized tests: GRE scores are not required and do not factor into our admission decision.

No offer of admission will be made until all required documents are received.

All materials submitted as part of the application process become the property of NEC and will not be returned.


All online materials should be submitted by December 1 with the following exceptions:

      • Recommendation letters are due December 15.
      • Final audition video recordings for students not performing a live audition are due February 1.

Admission decisions are sent by NEC in late March. Graduate students must respond to the offer by April 15.


Following review of the prescreening recording, selected groups will be invited to present a live audition at NEC. The live audition typically consists of 25-30 minutes of playing followed by a short interview.

Please carefully review the Audition Requirements for complete information on repertoire guidelines for live auditions and prescreenings.