Suggestions for amateur competition piece?

October 3, 2022, 7:48 AM · Hi everyone. I would like to ask your help with picking out a piece for an amateur competition. I'm an adult beginner and have been taking lessons for 5 and half years. I'm currently working on Vivaldi Concerto in A minor in Suzuki book 4. My teacher thinks I might try Mozart or Haydn? Concerto as those are usually the first concerto the students learn in my country and commonly played in competition. But I wanted to try something differet, not as commonly played, something more melodic and tranquil but still in my level. It doesn't have to be concerto but needs to be 10-15 min long. Thankfully I have at least 6 month to prepare since competition isn't till next year. I know that there may not be as many options with my current level but I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you in advance.

Replies (9)

October 3, 2022, 8:09 AM · Hello there!

You're doing pretty well especially since you're an adult beginner. Usually Mozart or Haydn would be great options after you have learnt Vivaldi so I think you would probably want to learn those concertos as well. I think I understand you because usually we would prefer to play different pieces to other contestants in a competition. But here are some piece recommendations, I think it's hard to find some uncommon pieces played at your level but I think I found a few and you could try and see if you like them:

Leclair Sonata in B minor

Vivaldi Concerto in G major

Folia: Theme and selected variations from Sonata in D minor, Op. 5 No. 12 by Corelli

Tambourin by Gossec

Café classique: No. 5 from Coffee & Violin by Joachim Johow

Giga: 4th movt from Sonata in G minor, Op. 5 No. 6 by Jean Baptiste Loeillet

Allegro (spiritoso): 4th movt from Sonata No. 4 in D minor by Senaillé

Chanson triste: No. 2 from 12 morceaux, Op. 40 by Tchaikovsky

I hope these recommendations help you! Good luck with preparation for your competition as well, you can do this!

Happy practising :)

Best wishes,

October 3, 2022, 12:16 PM · If you are in Book 4 right now (i.e., at the Vivaldi Level) then pretty much any individual concerto movement at your level is too short, so that means you need the entire concerto to span 10-15 minutes.

Mozart concertos are way too big of a jump forward from Vivaldi A Minor. The Haydn G Major is *maybe* possible but there are double-stops in the Kuchler Cadenza, which is the one most students play.

How about the Schubert Sonatina Op. 137 No. 1? I don't recall that being much harder than the Vivaldi you're doing now. It's a good enough piece to have been performed by Zuckerman.

October 3, 2022, 4:49 PM · Maybe check out Mimi Zweig's list under Suzuki Book IV and V?

October 3, 2022, 5:30 PM ·

Another Schubert Sonatina. With some pretty good performers.

October 3, 2022, 9:23 PM · I would not recommend to do concertos that require a cadenza; they are almost always harder than the concerto they belong to; also for the most part they are boring.

Why not the a-minor concerto itself? It fits the bill if you play all three movements or even only the two fast ones (the adagio is the most beautiful of the three though). You could set it aside for now and take it up again about 3 months before the date and you will end up playing it better than you do now.

Another option would be a sonata by Vivaldi. Opus 2 numbers 2 and 3 are both better music than the a-minor concerto and about at the same level of difficulty.

I disagree with the other folks here about the Schubert sonatinas. Number one is the easiest of the three but it is harder than the Vivaldi. Among other things the last movement requires spiccato. It also has passages where the violin plays "second violin" (the piano plays "first" in those passages) and there are some tricky accidentals in those passages.

October 3, 2022, 11:57 PM · Haydn is a sizable jump from the Vivaldi A minor, and a Mozart concerto is an even bigger jump. If you don't want to play the Vivaldi A minor, try the Vivaldi G minor in book 5 (RV 317), which in my opinion is quite a beautiful work.

The Dvorak Sonatina is also significantly more difficult than the Vivaldi A minor.

Edited: October 4, 2022, 5:53 PM · Concertino, Grazyna Bacewicz. I looove this piece and I think it would just fit your bill: beautiful/fun, expressive, off the beaten path, 3 mvts, right around Vivaldi level.

There are also a few concerti by Seitz/Rieding around this level; some more musically rewarding than others. I love Rieding b minor (op 35?); it might be too easy for a competent
competition though. These are considered more student pieces.

Vivaldi g minor mentioned by Lydia is a great one too!

There are some nice standalone pieces in Barbara Barber's Solos for Young Violinists--probably book 2-3 for you--but I think the ones that would be long enough might be pushing your level. It might be something you'd enjoy working on though!

Edited: October 7, 2022, 1:49 AM · Thank you everyone for all your suggestions! It's been a great help. I will definitely check them all out. I found out that I won't have to play for 10-15 minute after all. I only need songs within 3 min for the one competition I am planning to enter so I guess that is a good thing? I'm even hoping to play one of the song you all have suggested me for my recital too if we ever have a student recital. One day, when I get into more of an intermediate/advanced level, I will be excited to explore variety of pieces as there are so many beautiful pieces and composers that I don't know about.
Hope everyone have a pleasant journey with your violin.
October 9, 2022, 10:21 PM · Israeli Concertino - Georg Perlman. A fun piece. 1st movement can be easily played after Vivaldi a minor. 3rd movement is a bit more difficult.

Kathyrn Woodby- I had not heard of that piece but will definitely be listening to it and looking for the sheet music.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide


Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine