Which pieces should I play after RCM level 9?

Edited: August 30, 2018, 6:43 AM · Hi everyone. I’m a high school student starting tenth grade this September and I have just completed my level 9 RCM violin exam this summer. I am wondering which pieces I should start next. I would love to play the Bruch concerto. Any suggestions are welcome. For reference I have played the following pieces in the past two years.

Haydn No. 1 in C Major
Vivaldi Spring
Accolay in A Minor
Bach in A Minor
Haydn in G Major

Beethoven Spring
Dvorak in G Major
Handel No. 1 & 5 in A Major

Concert Repertoire:
Hubay Hejre Kati
Massenet Méditation
Schubert Die Biene
Monti Czardas

Unaccompanied Bach:
Presto Sonata No. 1 in G Minor
Gavotte en rondeau & Gigue Partita No. 3 in E Major

Thank you all for your time.

Replies (15)

August 27, 2018, 2:18 PM · Ask your teacher.

Do the rest of Vivaldi's Four Seasons - you'll like it !!

August 27, 2018, 3:07 PM · More intermediate-level concertos, potentially -- Kabalevsky, DeBeriot, Viotti, etc. And Kreisler works, some of the easier Sarasate, and the like.
August 27, 2018, 4:25 PM · I agree with Lydia. I'd probably give you DeBeriot #9 next; Kabalevsky is another good choice. You could probably play Romanza Andaluza (Sarasate), and it's a lot of fun.
August 27, 2018, 4:35 PM · As far as I know, DeBeriot No. 9 is RCM level 9. I'm familiar with the RCM system, by the way. I suggest taking a look at anything listed for level 10 and ask your teacher if there is anything worth looking into that is not in the syllabus. Keep in mind that you do not have to follow the standard concerto sequence (I didn't, and many others didn't either). Bruch is listed as level 10, so it shouldn't be too far out of reach for you.
August 27, 2018, 6:54 PM · Read as much music as you can.

As you progress, settle on the pieces that give you great pleasure, that challenge you and that engage, entertain and inform the audiences you play for.

Certainly, seek advice and recommendations, but also start to shape your own way to improve and enjoy your playing.

August 27, 2018, 7:32 PM · I’m glad to hear that the Bruch concerto is a realistic option. I have actually been working on the first two pages of the first movement but I’m not sure if I’m playing it correctly. I would get my teacher’s opinion but I’m afraid he’ll say I’m not quite ready yet. Do you think it would be possible for me to have it ready to perform for April 2019?
August 27, 2018, 7:35 PM · How about some Mozart? Maybe Mozart Concerto No.3 or Concerto No.4. Also, you can consider Dvorak's 4 Romantic Pieces.
Edited: August 29, 2018, 1:21 AM · I agree: Mozart is a gap in your repertoire that you might close now. In addition to the two concertos there are also violin sonatas for example the one in A-Major (don't know the K. number but it is one of his last sonatas). Especially if you have a pianist you can partner with.

On the other hand: If you love the Bruch, go for it. The first two movements are within reach I think, the third is probably a stretch but it is not as good as the first two anyway.

August 28, 2018, 12:35 AM · Joyce, I strongly suggest that you come clean to your teacher about working on the Bruch and give serious consideration to his response. If he says you're not ready, then perhaps you aren't. Conversely if he says you are ready, wouldn't it be better to study it with your teacher than risk learning it with avoidable errors?
August 28, 2018, 10:52 PM · "Which pieces should I play after RCM level 9?"

Obviously, RCM level 8 pieces, or 7, or 6. How much better can you play them now that you're at a higher level?

August 29, 2018, 1:25 AM · I didn't see any indication that Joyce intends to study something behind her teacher's back...
August 29, 2018, 6:19 AM · “Joyce Yin
August 27, 2018, 7:32 PM · I’m glad to hear that the Bruch concerto is a realistic option. I have actually been working on the first two pages of the first movement but I’m not sure if I’m playing it correctly. I would get my teacher’s opinion but I’m afraid he’ll say I’m not quite ready yet.”
August 29, 2018, 8:00 AM · I will tell my teacher when he asks which pieces I have chosen. He’s away for a few weeks and I might be switching teachers so I just need to practice something fun and useful for competitions and exams.
August 29, 2018, 10:05 AM · Not really a valid opinion but my paths to completing 9 was sort of unorthodox, since I'm a returning player.

That being said, I completed Grade 9 playing Bruch, which is a grade 10 piece. So you can look into that.

You can also start on some Bach - I recommend Allegro -> Adagio/Grave -> Siciliana/Andante/Presto -> a minor fugue -> g minor fugue. But don't start the fugues before Bruch because you'll need to learn how to play chords.

I also noticed that you don't have Mozart in your rep, you should REALLY REALLY get onto that. It will help you tremendously.

You can also look into some sonatas, I believe Beethoven Op. 24 is already a a grade 9 piece. So beyond that, you can explore some more Beethoven or Mozart. I'm afraid to suggest Brahms/Schumann because they are really mature pieces that I myself did not understand after a very long time.

August 29, 2018, 12:33 PM · I think that students differ in their repertoire readiness depending on the teacher's philosophy of teaching repertoire and specifically the pacing of repertoire versus technical skill.

For instance, my childhood teacher really seemed like he did not want to teach technique through repertoire. He generally preferred that repertoire be something that was comfortably within a student's technical grasp and that could be polished to competition-winning standard. He assigned relatively little repertoire, but a ton of etudes. So I think I *could* have played a concerto like Bruch long before we actually started learning Romantic concertos, but he didn't want me to touch the advanced repertoire until he was sure that it could be learned in a way that wouldn't interfere with a "professional" performance of it later.

In other words, what another teacher would be comfortable with you learning is not necessarily what your current teacher would be comfortable with you learning.

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