Flashy audition piece ideas

July 1, 2021, 3:33 PM · I'm a college student auditioning for a non-classical string group (they play pop music and such) and need some ideas for a flashy, entertaining but not too hard piece that I can learn in the next two months (fyi- I don't have a teacher at the moment).

For reference, I've played Mozart 3, Bruch, and Saint Saens B Minor so far. I was thinking Kreisler Prelude and Allegro but any other suggestions are much appreciated. I was thinking about playing a pop song but I'm not sure that would show off my skill, also the audition excerpt is a pop song.

Replies (13)

Edited: July 1, 2021, 5:38 PM · How about a tango or a Sarasate (Playera)? Also, most people are familiar with Monti's Czardas - its very flashy but not very difficult.
Edited: July 1, 2021, 3:46 PM · How about Czardas by Monti? You can play it schmaltzy, improvise a bit, and still be tasteful, it has some fast passages, some false harmonics, some double stops. It will be easier to learn than P&A and sounds flashier. An added bonus is that the audition committee will recognize the tune.

I don't see any advantage to playing P&A over a passage from the Saint-Saens or the Bruch.

July 1, 2021, 4:49 PM · You could play Adam DeGraff's arrangement of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' for solo violin. I had 2 months to learn it for a contest in 2012, so I don't see why you couldn't learn it in the same timeframe. Here is a link to the sheet music: https://adamviolin.com/sheet-music--3 (it's the last one).
Edited: July 1, 2021, 6:35 PM · There are some Piazzolla etudes that may be listed under flute, but are often played on the violin. Very tango-ish.

Apparently, some conservatories ban them from auditions because they are much easier than they sound.
One big advantage-- no piano part.
July 1, 2021, 6:47 PM · No way! I am going to play the 6th etude for a competition, nobody told me anything! I'm Argentinian, though. Maybe we look him up more.
July 1, 2021, 8:32 PM · https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ba9SA8MsI
July 1, 2021, 10:07 PM · Another vote for Czardas. People who know very little about classical violin-playing think it's a virtuoso piece.
July 3, 2021, 11:30 AM · I disagree with everyone else. If auditioning for a nonclassical group, it would be strongly preferable to play something nonclassical, or as close as you can get.

You might try playing a pop cover or a Lindsey Stirling piece. Her Phantom of the Opera (heard in Umbrella Academy) is flashy and not especially difficult -- nothing she plays is.

July 3, 2021, 5:48 PM · -- Or a transcription of recorded solos from Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti,
or Stephanie Grappelli.
July 4, 2021, 9:44 PM · Lydia has a good point. And if you can get yourself made up to look like an anime character and twirl around as you are playing, so much the better.
July 4, 2021, 9:47 PM · That was behind my thought for the Piazzolla, which sort of goes both ways.
July 4, 2021, 10:00 PM · Another vote for Czardas. Not that difficult but sounds difficult, shows off tone, speed, schmaltz / rubato, impro. And it's gypsy, basically, rather than 'Classical'.

If you know any bluegrass / Klezmer / Irish or other style, that could work too. The books by Edward Huys-Jones (the Fiddler series) are great to build improvisations off, and are excellent introductions to different genres. I recommend especially the Klezmer, Celtic and Jazz ones.

July 5, 2021, 3:38 AM · You may also try Vivaldi's summer... even though it's been heavily roasted by many peer violinists out there lol

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