Best Audition Pieces

January 1, 2019, 7:46 PM · Hi there. I have a very important orchestral audition for my youth orchestra in early June and I need to start preparing a piece. I finished Bruch mov 1 and Mozart no 4 mov 1. What do you suggest and what are some of your favorite audition pieces?

Replies (15)

January 1, 2019, 8:04 PM · Paganini caprice no. 16.
January 1, 2019, 8:08 PM · Are you sure 16 is better than 24? They're both the most difficult in the world...
January 1, 2019, 8:09 PM · Ahhh why are you asking random people on the interwebs instead of discussing this with your teacher?

Know what committees generally look for (intonation, rhythm, tone), and play something you know so well you can play it at 3am right out of bed. Good luck!

January 1, 2019, 8:10 PM · Which do you play better? You should play the piece that shows your playing off to best advantage.
January 1, 2019, 8:19 PM · Also I would like to respectfully request that when a young person asks a sincere question, people refrain from "humorous" responses that reference other, less fortunate threads. It adds nothing to the discussion.
January 1, 2019, 9:31 PM · I bet you’re a riot at parties.
January 1, 2019, 9:33 PM · Parties?
January 1, 2019, 9:38 PM · If you play both equally well, I would do the Bruch. It shows more sides of your playing.
January 1, 2019, 9:50 PM · I preferably want to start a new piece, so any suggestions? I want to present the ideas to my teacher.
Edited: January 2, 2019, 5:28 PM · Yes I noticed that some others suggested you choose either your Bruch or your Mozart. There's a lot of sense in that, because you've got those already and you can polish them very finely for your audition while you're starting another.

Very often the next concerto in the list after Bruch and Mozart (*if* those were played well) would be Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens No. 3, or Lalo. But a lot of that depends on your particular development (strengths and weaknesses), and what your teacher has in mind for your program (of paramount importance, as you surely know), and it also says something that you've only done the first movement of M4 and Bruch. Those other concertos are significantly harder (could be difficult to totally nail any of them, even only the first movement, by June), and you'd be in a stronger position if you had done the whole of Bruch.

How about something like Vieuxtemps No. 4 or Spohr No. 2? Those are solid works with some technical stuff to show off.

January 1, 2019, 10:40 PM · Ah, I missed that the OP was asking for suggestions for new pieces to study. That is really a question for his teacher, but if he were my student I would have him learn the 2nd and 3rd movements of Bruch with the thought of playing the 3rd movement for the audition. (He should also learn the Mozart 2nd and 3rd movements but they're not good audition pieces.)
January 2, 2019, 2:17 PM · The first movement of a Mozart concerto is a frequent requirement at professional orchestra auditions, so it is certainly appropriate for a youth orchestra. Next; try Lalo, movement #2.
January 2, 2019, 4:14 PM · You can get away with Mozart if it is spotlessly clean and whoever is judging the audition is a string player who knows how hard a clean Mozart is.

But Mary Ellen's suggestion of Bruch 3rd movement is much safer. It's a youth symphony audition warhorse.

January 2, 2019, 4:37 PM · Mozart and Mendelssohn are very difficult audition pieces. Nerves don't do them any favors at all. In addition to Mary Ellen's suggestion of Bruch 3rd movement, Saint-Saens could work because it starts off so assertively. Wieniawski #2 maybe?

In addition to what does your teacher think, you should also look at what other people played who got into the orchestra your going for.

January 2, 2019, 5:28 PM · My niece is working on Saint-Saens No. 3. That's a *LOT* harder than the first movement of Bruch.

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