1 minute orchestra audition

August 10, 2019, 11:23 PM · Hi all,
I'm currently a music student and requested to join a local semi-professional orchestra (they've played stuff like whole Mahler symphonies before so they're pretty good)
They asked me to send them a 1-2 minute video reel (I'm assuming to test the waters of my ability)

What is a good excerpt/piece that can show my ability within the short period of time? I could really grind out Don Juan within a week as its around that duration but is it worth the effort? Thanks.

Replies (11)

August 11, 2019, 7:39 AM · They're probably looking to see how comfortable you are in higher positions. Something like the Thais Meditation would show that. Also that you can make a nice sound.
Add in something more virtuoso if you want. From your current repertoire, not excerpts.
As they only want a couple of minutes, you don't have to play complete pieces.
Please let us know what you select, and how you get on.
August 11, 2019, 7:55 AM · open strings with a metronome would be a n appropriate and creative response to such a ridiculous request. Do not forget to smile!
August 11, 2019, 2:33 PM · I'd play one minute of the last concerto that you learned to a performance standard, starting from the beginning of the first-movement exposition.

If you have never played Don Juan for an audition before, it's a worthwhile exercise to polish it to that level. It's not a great choice unless they specifically normally audition on excerpts, though. this video a preliminary screen to an in-person audition to which there are set excerpts?

August 11, 2019, 3:03 PM · I'd do the last 2 minutes of the Schindlers List theme :)
August 11, 2019, 4:26 PM · I agree with Lydia's advice.

Don't play Thais. If this orchestra is performing Mahler, you need to show more difficult technique.

August 12, 2019, 3:53 AM · Thanks for the advice guys.
I have thought about playing the exposition to a concerto, I'm currently learning the Elgar VC (1st mvt). Should I go with that? While it is a really difficult and long piece, the exposition doesn't neccesarily show the most technique. And its also not very well known in the standard rep (to my knowledge?) outside of the violin circle.
August 12, 2019, 9:22 AM · If it is a request just for you, why not ask them to specify what they would like to see in the video? I played in a community orchestra that play a lot of Mahler Symphonies and they have a policy with a trial period, and a formal audition after the trial period. But before you can join them for a trial period, they want to have a bit of a clue what is your level. Most of the time when you see and hear people play for 2 minutes, you have such a clue. It saves a lot of time for both parties to ask for a video.
In the case of the community orchestra that I joined it would be not so formal that I couldn't ask for a bit more specifications.
But I don't know your situation of course, if it is a possibility just to ask them.
August 12, 2019, 10:23 AM · If you're learning the Elgar, I assume you have much of the standard concerto repertoire under your belt already. Exposition beginning of Tchaikovsky, Brahms or Sibelius would be ideal.

August 12, 2019, 10:49 AM · Play one of the orchestral excerpts that are asked in auditions.
August 12, 2019, 10:28 PM · The first page of Viotti No. 22 will be fine. Some lyrical stuff, some faster stuff, some trills, and higher passages. I think you could play it in two minutes. Likewise the first page of Mozart 5 would be fine (the Allegro aperto, skip the Adagio).
August 16, 2019, 10:54 AM · Echo what Lydia has said. Elgar is one of more obscure concertos (i.e. audition committee might not know it) but since you are at the level, play the opening of one of the Romantic Boys. Which one of Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, and Brahms do you like the best?

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