Piano Audition Repertoire

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.

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

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

  1. The first movement of a 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).

DMA applicants should follow the live audition requirements for prescreening. Artist Diploma applicants can find prescreening requirements in the Artist Diploma audition requirements page.

Live Audition Repertoire and Dates

Piano applicants are required to attend a live audition if invited 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.

Live Audition Dates 2020

Sunday, February 9, 2020
Friday, February 14, 2020
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Monday, February 17, 2020 (All DMA applicants must audition on this date)
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Sunday, February 23, 2020


  1. A piece written before 1750 (e.g., prelude and fugue, or suite or partita by J.S. Bach)

  2. A complete Classical sonata
  3. A substantial Romantic work
  4. A 20th-century or 21st-century work
  5. A fast etude

Master of Music / Graduate Diploma

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.


Doctor of Musical Arts 

Prepare a recital-length audition of stylistically diverse, musically and technically challenging works.