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Repertoire for Orchestra Audition?

July 31, 2022, 3:00 PM · I'm auditioning for a semi-professional orchestra (one of my first not to be a youth/college/community ensemble, woo!) and along with excerpts, they ask for a movement of a concerto or longer work totaling no more than 10 minutes. I've never had a problem finding something to play in the past, but I am currently working on the first movement of Prokofiev Concerto 2, which seems a bit weird to play without any accompaniment to me. My question is...would this be a weird to play for an audition or am I just too used to playing classical and romantic pieces? I'm not familiar with what is standard. I'd be willing to get out a more melodic (or tonal? ...conventional? not sure what the correct phrasing would be) piece that I've played in the past if that would give me a better shot at winning a position.

Replies (4)

Edited: July 31, 2022, 3:09 PM · What do you want them to hear? Your tone, your vibrato, your clean passage work, your bow control, your rhythmic precision. All those will feature much better in a piece that you can really get your arms around and play very well. What do you have in your repertoire that you can dust off? Almost certainly the people reviewing your audition will be violinists, though, and they're going to know the Prokofiev. It's not that foreign. It is kind of thorny though.

Curious to know what the excerpts are.

July 31, 2022, 3:35 PM · Some of the freelancers on the board will have more current information, but I'd guess that committees will hear a lot of Sibelius and Tchaikovsky.

I knew someone (Juilliard grad) who pretended to know Tzigane, gambling that committees will stop her at the end of the first page. She got a lot of work from that.

Still, if you're able to really nail Mozart 4 or 5, that might tell them all they really need to know about you.

July 31, 2022, 6:56 PM · Nothing wrong with playing Prokofiev 2, though most people will probably play Tchaikovsky, Brahms, or Sibelius. Good odds that they'll only hear the exposition -- five minutes max, not ten. But make sure you're prepared to have them hear the movement.
July 31, 2022, 7:01 PM · Prokofiev 2 is fine.

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