Strings Auditions

Notes for Strings Applicants:

  • Applicants must submit a screening audition for review via the Audition and Screening Dropbox on your Applicant Portal.
  • Screening recordings and recorded auditions must be audio/video recordings. Audio only recordings will not be accepted.
  • The repertoire on the screening need not be identical to the final audition recordings, but must meet the requirements detailed below.
  • Screening deadline: December 4.
  • Final audition recordings deadline: February 1.
  • When choosing repertoire to satisfy requirements of your choice, we encourage exploring the works of Black and other underrepresented composers, or other works that you find personally meaningful or diverse. Choosing repertoire is an opportunity to showcase works that best reflect your culture, gender or other forms of self-identity. Check the Oberlin Conservatory Library webpage Diversify your Repertoire for ideas to get started.

2021 - 2022 On-Campus Violin Audition Dates

Thursday, January 27, 2022
Friday, January 28, 2022
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Saturday, February 19, 2022 (international students only)

Screening Requirements: 

  • One movement from a Bach solo sonata or partita
  • The first or last movement of a major concerto
  • One étude or caprice by Paganini, Ernst, Wieniawski, Dont, or Rode; or a short virtuosic work or movement for solo violin

Final Audition Requirements:

  • One movement from a Bach solo sonata or partita
  • The first or last movement of a major concerto
  • One étude or caprice by Paganini, Ernst, Wieniawski, Dont, or Rode; or a short virtuosic work or movement for solo violin
  • One work or movement of the applicant's choice 

We are committed to a diversity of voices in the literature. Works by composers from groups underrepresented in the classical canon are especially welcome in all choice categories. The required work by Bach; movement of a concerto; and étude, caprice, or short virtuosic work should be performed by memory for both screening and final audition performances. 

2021 - 2022 On-Campus Viola Audition Dates

Thursday, January 27, 2022
Friday, January 28, 2022
Saturday, January 29, 2022

Screening Requirements:

  • One movement of a significant concerto or sonata
  • One movement of a Bach solo piece

Final Audition Requirements:

  • One movement of a significant concerto or sonata
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach solo piece
  • One piece of the applicant's choice

Compositions chosen should demonstrate the applicant's ability in phrasing, sustained playing, and technical facility, including legato and staccato at varied tempi.

2021 - 2022 On-Campus Cello Audition Dates

Thursday, January 27, 2022
Friday, January 28, 2022
Saturday, January 29, 2022

Screening Requirements:

  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • Two movements of a Bach suite

Final Audition Requirements:

  • One movement of a standard concerto - if you plan to play the first movement of either the Elgar: Concerto in E minor or Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1, please also prepare the second movement
  • One complete étude by a composer such as Duport, Popper, etc.
  • Two movements of a Bach suite
  • One piece of the applicant's choice

The faculty encourages the applicant to choose a work conveying their interest in underrepresented voices (Black, Indigenous, or women composers), their interest in a musical style or period not otherwise represented in the audition program (pre-baroque, avant-garde, etc.) or a work of their own composition. Compositions chosen should demonstrate the applicant's ability in phrasing, sustained playing, and technical facility, including legato and staccato at varied tempi. Piano accompaniment for the concerto is preferred but not required.

2021 - 2022 On-Campus Double Bass Audition Dates

Friday, January 28, 2022
Friday, February 18, 2022
Saturday, February 19, 2022

Due to the Cleveland Orchestra Tour, Derek Zadinsky will not be present at the audition on the Friday, January 28 date. Tracy Rowell will be conducting the audition, which will be recorded.

Screening Requirements:

  • Two or more selections from final audition requirements listed below, totaling approximately ten minutes of playing

Final Audition Requirements:

Choose three of the following bulleted requirements:

  • Two contrasting movements (or pieces) from the concerto, sonata, or similar repertoire
  • One or two movements from any of the Bach Cello Suites or any comparable piece or movement composed before 1750
  • Three contrasting excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire
  • One piece composed after 1950, may be by a living composer

Oberlin encourages the exploration of Black and other underrepresented composers’ works when choosing repertoire. The following are recommended as a starting point to satisfying some of the requirements above: works by Xavier FoleyAndres Martin, or Lawrence Brown's Spirituals: Five Negro Songs, arranged for bass. You can also find other music on the Sphinx Organization's webpage here.

2021 - 2022 On-Campus Harp Audition Date

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Screening Requirements:

  • One solo piece of the applicant's choice
  • One excerpt of the applicant's choice

Final Audition Requirements:

  • Two contrasting solos of the applicant's choice 
  • Level III/Advanced-Professional Warm-Up from On Playing the Harp by Yolanda Kondonassis, published by Carl Fischer
  • One orchestral excerpt of applicant's choice

For more information, read more on the new harp curriculum, download the Harp FAQ/Applicant Information Sheet, or visit www.yolandaharp.com/teaching.

2021 - 2022 On-Campus Classical Guitar Audition Date

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Screening Requirements:

  • Two contrasting pieces of the applicant's choice 
  • One major scale (any), two or three octaves

Final Audition Requirements:

  • Three contrasting pieces of the applicant's choice, at least one should be written before 1900
  • One major scale (any), two or three octaves

Compositions chosen should demonstrate the applicant's ability in phrasing, sustained playing, and technical facility, including legato and staccato at varied tempi.