Strings Audition Repertoire

Audition recordings are required for all applicants to NEC. Piano accompaniment is preferred for most of the repertoire, although we recognize the possible challenges in rehearsing and recording with a pianist due to the global pandemic; please use your best judgement and contact us with any concerns. After reviewing the recording guidelines, please upload your recording files as part of your online application.

Artist Diploma requirements are found on the Artist Diploma audition requirements page.

Audition Repertoire Guidelines

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

Violin

 

Undergraduate Live Auditions:

  1. First movement of a major concerto for violin and orchestra written between 1800 and 1945. Stravinsky Concerto and Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 are also acceptable. If you select the Shostakovich No. 1, you must perform the fourth movement and cadenza instead of the first movement. (memorized)
  2. Two movements from an unaccompanied sonata or partita by J.S. Bach (memorized)
  3. One Paganini Caprice (memorized)
  4. First movement of a sonata for violin and piano, of contrasting style from the selected concerto

Graduate Live Auditions:

  1. Complete major concerto for violin and orchestra written between 1800 and 1945. Stravinsky Concerto and Shostakovich Concerto No. 1 are also acceptable. (memorized)
  2. Complete unaccompanied work for violin by J.S. Bach (memorized)
  3. Two Paganini Caprices (memorized)
  4. Complete sonata for violin and piano, of contrasting style from the selected concerto
 

Viola

 

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

  1. The Prelude and any dance movement from a Bach Cello Suite, or two contrasting movements from a Bach solo violin sonata or partita
  2. One movement from a major concerto
  3. One movement from a sonata

One or more of the chosen selections should be performed from memory.

Master of Music and Graduate Diploma Live Auditions:
Please consider the following to be guidelines rather than strict requirements; some flexibility in choice of repertoire is permitted.

  1. A complete Bach cello suite, violin partita, or sonata (memorized)
  2. A complete concerto (memorized)
  3. A complete sonata
  4. A piece of the applicant's choosing

One of the above should have been composed in the last 25 years (Ligeti sonata is allowed, but no other exceptions).

Doctor of Musical Arts Auditions:

Four complete works of contrasting styles, one of which has been composed in the last 25 years. The concerto and unaccompanied work should be performed from memory.

 

Cello

 

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

  1. A major movement of a concerto (memorized). For the Tchaikovsky Rococo, the full piece must be presented. For the Bloch Schelomo, rehearsal #20 through #30 must be included.
  2. The Prelude and any dance movement from a Bach Cello Suite (memorized)
  3. One of the following:
    • A showpiece such as Tchaikovsky Pezzo Capriccioso, Popper Elfentanz, or Davidoff At the Fountain
    • An Italian sonata by Boccherini, Valentini or Locatelli. One slow and one fast movement should be presented. No duo sonatas (Beethoven, Brahms, etc.) may be substituted in this category.
    • A Popper Etude or Piatti Caprice

Master of Music and Graduate Diploma Live Auditions:
Please consider the following to be guidelines rather than strict requirements; some flexibility in choice of repertoire is permitted.

  1. A complete concerto from the standard repertoire (memorized)
  2. A complete Bach Suite (memorized)
  3. A complete work written after 1940
  4. One of the following: (memorized):
    • A showpiece such as Tchaikovsky Pezzo Capriccioso, Popper Elfentanz, or Davidoff At the Fountain
    • An Italian sonata by Boccherini, Valentini or Locatelli
    • A Popper Etude or Piatti Caprice

Optional: One movement of a standard sonata (e.g. Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff). If played, the sonata must be rehearsed and performed with a piano. A list of pianists is available from the Admissions Office.

Doctor of Musical Arts Auditions:

  1. A complete concerto from the standard repertoire (memorized)
  2. A complete Bach Suite (memorized)
  3. One movement of a standard sonata (e.g. Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff). The sonata must be rehearsed and performed with piano. A list of pianists is available from the Admissions Office.
  4. A 20th or 21st century work of major difficulty (e.g. Carter Sonata, Britten Solo Suite or Sonata, Poulenc Sonate, Hindemith or Kodaly solo sonatas).
  5. One of the following: (memorized)
    • A showpiece such as Tchaikovsky Pezzo Capriccioso, Popper Elfentanz, or Davidoff At the Fountain
    • An Italian sonata by Boccherini, Valentini or Locatelli
    • A Popper Etude or Piatti Caprice
 

Double Bass

Undergraduate:

  1. Two contrasting movements from the solo literature
  2. An etude OR a movement from a Bach suite
  3. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts

One or more of these chosen selections should be performed from memory.

Master of Music and Graduate Diploma:

  1. Two contrasting movements of a major concerto (memorized)
  2. One movement from a Bach Cello Suite (memorized)
  3. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts
  4. A short contemporary work

Doctor of Musical Arts:

  1. A complete concerto or sonata with piano accompaniment (memorized)
  2. Two contrasting movements from a Bach Cello Suite (memorized)
  3. A contemporary solo piece
  4. Standard orchestral excerpts of contrasting tempi and styles
 

Guitar

 

Undergraduate & Graduate:
The NEC guitar department encourages candidates to play what they love and show some variety of style. All works should be performed from memory. Possible repertoire may include, but is not limited to the following:

  1. One or more movements from a major work by J.S. Bach (e.g. lute suites, violin sonatas and partitas, cello suites, etc.)
  2. First movement from an important 20th-century sonata in sonata form (e.g. Ponce, Turina, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Berkeley, Henze, Tippett, Brouwer)
  3. One or more Etudes written for the guitar (e.g. Villa-Lobos, Sor, Barrios, Tarrega, Brouwer, Regondi); or a tremolo piece

If you have questions about audition repertoire, you may contact Eliot Fisk or Jerome Mouffe via the NEC website.

 

Harp

 

Undergraduate Live Auditions:

  1. One etude
  2. Two pieces from the standard concert repertoire
  3. Orchestral excerpt: Verdi La Forza del Destino

Graduate Live Auditions:

  1. One etude
  2. Two pieces from the standard concert repertoire
  3. Orchestral excerpt: Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique