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Applied Piano Auditions

theorygeektheorygeek Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2009 in Music Major
For those who have auditioned for an applied piano major (composition, theory, music education), what was your repertoire like, difficulty wise? Most conservatories I've looked into give the same outline, a Baroque, Classical, and Romantic/20th century piece; however, I was curious of the difficulty of these pieces. As of now (I am a sophomore) I am preparing:

- Bach's Sinfonia in A minor
- Chopin's Nocturne in E Flat Major
- An undecided piece, likely a simple sonata by Mozart

Is this the level of difficulty conservatories are looking for? Piano is obviously not my strong point, but I would hate to be completely off in my choices for pieces. Thank you to all responses in advance!!!
Post edited by theorygeek on

Replies to: Applied Piano Auditions

  • violadadvioladad Posts: 6,641Registered User Senior Member
    I'm not well versed in the difficulty of the piano rep, but I'm a bit confused. Are you auditioning as a piano performance major, or on that instrument as a comp, theory, or music ed major?

    Most institutions offering degrees in all will judge the performance candidate to their highest standars, and will expect and accept a bit "less" from a non performance candidate's audition.

    Of course, "less" is relative here, and is contingent upon the institution, and the aggregrate talent of any specific audition pool.

    Many schools list seperate rep for disciplines other than performance, with the performance rep being more challenging or advanced.

    I realize this doesn't answer your question, but wanted to make you aware of some of the policies.
    Is this the level of difficulty conservatories are looking for? Piano is obviously not my strong point, but I would hate to be completely off in my choices for pieces.

    If you are in doubt, call the music department and ask for specific suggestions if definitive rep suggestions are not posted on the audition requirements webpages.
  • SpiritManagerSpiritManager Posts: 1,822Registered User Senior Member
    Of the schools to which my son is applying for a BM in composition which require an audition on his primary instrument - the requirements are exactly the same as for the performance majors. My assumption, however, is that he won't be judged by the same standards. On the other hand, those programs require ensemble participation so my further assumption is that they will require him to be at a certain level.
  • theorygeektheorygeek Posts: 135Registered User Junior Member
    Let me rephrase my question: if someone has applied as a composition, music education, or theory major (thus auditioning for piano; however, that not being their intended major), could you please list the songs which you played, and possibly the schools which you applied to? I'm just looking of a good place to judge my repertoire.
  • EmilyChopinEmilyChopin Posts: 48Registered User Junior Member
    Well, your repetoire sounds good. I love Chopin. I have a little statue of him that I carry around. Anyway. I haven't auditioned yet, but in February I'm going to play for UW and UPS:

    Sonata in D by Haydn
    Mazurka in C by Chopin
    Prelude and Fugue No. 7 by the torturous Bach

    Hm, you know, I don't know that the Nocturne in E flat is really hard enough. If you really want to play a Chopin, why not shoot for The Minute Waltz? Yeah, it's cliche, but I bet they'd be impressed if you DIDN'T fail Chopin and play it in under a minute. I keep trying to tell people that's not what "minute" means in that context. Or his Etude 10 Op 1...probably better to overshoot than undershoot if space is limited and you don't know your competition. : )

    Good luck!
  • iluvpianoiluvpiano Posts: 1,987Registered User Senior Member
    This is what I'm planning on preparing for my audition. What do you think?


    - J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue No. 6 in D Minor from Book 2 of the Well-Tempered Clavier
    - Beethoven: Waldstein Sonata Op.53
    - Chopin: Waltz in Eb (Grande Valse Brillante) Op.18
    - Bartok: Suite Op.14 movement 1
    - Ravel: Sonatine
    - an etude: I want to do Chopin's Revolutionary Etude Op.10 No.12 because I love it, but I already have a piece by Chopin, so I might change what etude I'm doing. Only one school I'm looking at needs the etude.
  • MusicForAWhileMusicForAWhile Posts: 38Registered User Junior Member
    As EmilyChopin pointed out, the Chopin Nocturne is definitely not hard enough.

    Conservatoires are looking for fast, zippy, romantic era music. I would suggest:

    - A Bach Prelude/Fugue from WTC Book I or II (Choose a relatively fast one)
    - A Beethoven Sonata (Usually, conservatories like to see Mvmt I, and sometimes Mvmt 3)
    - A Chopin Etude, or big romantic piece.

    iluvpiano, your rep is really great. I love how you have Bartok on your list. He is great.

    I'm actually not a concert pianist, but instead a singer. I'm a mezzo-soprano at Oberlin, but I seriously considered majoring in piano performance before in high school.
  • iluvpianoiluvpiano Posts: 1,987Registered User Senior Member
    In response to what MusicForAWhile said about "I'm a mezzo-soprano at Oberlin"- I am looking at Oberlin. I'm visiting campus next month. Can you tell me about the Oberlin Conservatory? (about how hard it is there and to get in, what you like and don't like...stuff like that). Thanks!
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