Piano Audition Repertoire

To be considered for an audition, all applicants must submit an application with prescreening recordings by December 1. After review, qualified applicants will be invited to audition. Applicants who are not selected for an audition will be notified that they have not been accepted for study at NEC.

  • NEC will return to a live audition format for Fall 2023 admission.

  • Applicants to the Bachelor of Music, Tufts/NEC Five-Year Dual-Degree, Master of Music, Graduate Diploma, and Graduate Certificate who are unable to travel to Boston will be offered alternative options for recorded auditions upon passing the prescreening round. Truncated repertoire requirements will be posted to the Audition Information page in December.

  • Due to the selective nature of our Doctor of Musical Arts, Harvard/NEC Five-Year Dual-Degree, and Artist Diploma programs, applicants to those programs must present a live audition on campus.

  • Please read the recording guidelines for prescreening, as well as final recorded auditions, carefully.

NEC's new dual degree program for pianists is now welcoming undergraduate applicants. This unique and individualized 5-year curriculum will culminate in a Bachelor of Music in Piano and a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano. In order to be eligible to audition for this program, applicants must first be admitted to the BM in Piano. Please see the prescreening guidelines below for additional requirements.

There are separate requirements for graduate-level Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music for Piano applicants.

Audition Repertoire Guidelines

Prescreening Recording

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 application.

All undergraduates and graduate MM & GD applicants must submit the following prescreening repertoire:

  1. A complete Classical sonata (e.g., music by Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, or others)
  2. A substantial Romantic work (e.g., music by Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, or others)

If you are an undergraduate applicant interested in the possibility of being considered for the dual degree program in Piano and Collaborative Piano, please indicate this in the application and include a brief video with your prescreening materials that states why this program interests you.

DMA applicants should follow the audition requirements for prescreening.

Artist Diploma applicants can find prescreening requirements in the Artist Diploma audition requirements page.

 

Final Audition 

Although pianists are not accepted or rejected on the basis of the chosen pieces, the audition repertoire is seen as a statement of artistic identity. All works must be performed by memory with the possible exception of challenging contemporary music.

 

Live Audition Dates:

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Monday, February 20, 2023  *DMA applicants must audition on this date

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

 

Undergraduate

Please consider the following to be guidelines rather than strict requirements; some flexibility in choice of repertoire is permitted. 

  1. A complete Classical sonata (all movements)

  2. A substantial Romantic work

  3. A fast etude

  4. A piece chosen by the applicant that contrasts in style to the other audition pieces.

NEC encourages applicants to submit diverse repertoire, including works composed by women, people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and/or musicians from one's own cultural background.

 

Master of Music / Graduate Diploma

  1. A complete Classical sonata (all movements)

  2. A substantial Romantic work

  3. A fast etude

  4. A piece chosen by the applicant that contrasts in style to the other audition pieces.

NEC encourages applicants to submit diverse repertoire, including works composed by women, people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and/or musicians from one's own cultural background.

 

Doctor of Musical Arts 

A recital-length program of stylistically diverse works that are musically and technically challenging.

NEC encourages applicants to submit diverse repertoire, including works composed by women, people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and/or musicians from one's own cultural background.