Collaborative Piano Audition Repertoire

Audition recordings are required for all applicants to NEC. After reviewing the recording guidelines, please upload your recording files as part of your online application.

There are separate requirements for Solo Piano and Chamber Music for Piano applicants.

Audition Repertoire Guidelines

Master of Music and Graduate Diploma

We recognize that obtaining collaborative partners during the global pandemic may be challenging. We therefore are allowing for more flexible audition repertoire this year. Please submit a video of at least 30 minutes of duo-repertoire, including a variety of musical styles. Both piano-instrumental and piano-vocal works are required.

  1. 20 minutes (minimum) of the recording should consist of piano-instrumental repertoire. At least one piece or movement should be from the Classical period.
  2. 10 minutes (minimum) of the recording should consist of piano-vocal repertoire (art songs), showing a variety of styles.

After review, some candidates may be asked to prepare a short additional video in February. For this step, we would email you a score of a short piano piece and a list of a few interview questions. You will then be asked to quickly prepare the piece and your answers to the interview questions. You will have one day to record and submit the video, as we will use this in place of our normal sight-reading requirement.

In choosing audition repertoire, applicants may find it helpful to see what the jury has required in recent years. These pieces are not required this year, but please feel free to use this as a guide:

  1. Vocal repertoire (all high keys):
    Schubert "Frühlingstraum" (from Winterreise)
    Brahms "Botschaft"
    Debussy "Il pleure dans mon coeur"
    Barber "St. Ita's Vision"
     
  2. Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor (op. 30, no. 2)
    OR
    Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major (op. 69)
     
  3. Brahms Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major (op. 100), first movement only
 

Graduate Diploma with Vocal Specialization (Opera Emphasis)

We recognize that obtaining collaborative partners during the global pandemic may be challenging. We therefore are allowing for more flexible audition repertoire this year.
 
Opera Excerpts:
  1. “Via resti servita” (#5) from Le nozze di Figaro, playing while singing the Marcellina line, as though you were making a recording for a soprano studying the role of Susanna.
  2. “Quel guardo il cavaliere” from Don Pasquale with full introduction, supplying orchestral material that may not be accounted for in the piano/vocal score.
  3. La Bohème, Act I, opening until rehearsal 6 (Colline’s entrance), singing vocal lines only when orchestra is tacet.
Songs:
  1. Debussy’s "Green" from Ariettes oubliées with soprano (or tenor)
  2. Strauss’s "Morgen!" Op. 27, No. 4 with soprano (or tenor)

If you are unable to find a singer for these two songs, please submit two different songs (similarly contrasting) with a singer. To be clear: for this portion of the recording, we want to hear your work with a singer, not accompanying your own singing. 

After review, some candidates may be asked to prepare a short additional video in February. For this step, we would email you a score of a short piano piece and a list of a few interview questions. You will then be asked to quickly prepare the piece and your answers to the interview questions. You will have one day to record and submit the video, as we will use this in place of our normal sight-reading requirement.
 
 

Doctor of Musical Arts

We recognize that obtaining collaborative partners during the global pandemic may be challenging. We therefore are allowing for more flexible audition repertoire this year.

Please submit a video at least 60 minutes of duo-repertoire, including a variety of musical styles. Applicants may submit a program of all piano-instrumental repertoire, all piano-vocal repertoire, or a combination of both, depending on their area(s) of interest or specialization. A reduction of an orchestral work may be included, but the majority (80%) of the recorded material should be music written originally for the piano (i.e., sonatas and songs, not concerti and arias).

The jury asks that the recorded selections include one work from the Classical period, one work from the Romantic period, and one piece written after 1900. Applicants may choose to include complete sonatas and song cycles or individual movements and songs. 

After review, some candidates may be asked to prepare a short additional video in February. For this step, we would email you a score of a short piano piece. You will have one day to record and submit the video, as we will use this in place of our normal sight-reading requirement. We may also ask you to connect for a short video interview in February

In choosing audition repertoire, applicants may find it helpful to see what the jury has required in recent years. These pieces are not required this year, but please feel free to use this as a guide:

Choose one selection from each of the following groups:

  1. Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 7 in C minor (op. 30, no. 2) or Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major (op. 69)
    OR
    Schubert songs (high keys; prepare complete list):
    "Auf dem Wasser zu singen"
    "Der Musensohn"
    "Im Frühling"
    "Suleika 1"
     
  2. Brahms Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major (op. 100) or Brahms Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor (op. 108)
    OR
    Brahms songs (high keys; prepare complete list):
    "Die Mainacht" (op. 43)
    "Botschaft" (op. 47)
    "Wie Melodien zieht es mir" (op. 105)
    "Ständchen" (op. 106)
     
  3. Franck Violin Sonata
    OR
    Debussy Ariettes oubliées (high keys; complete cycle)
     
  4. Hindemith Sonata for Viola and Piano, op. 11, no 4.
    OR
    Barber Hermit Songs (high keys; complete cycle)