Preliminary Round: Live auditions will be held on the following dates in New York City:
Piano: September 13 & 14
Winds & Brass: September 19
Strings: September 20 & 21
We will also hold preliminary round live auditions at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, on Sunday, October 1.
Instead of a live audition, you may submit recordings for your preliminary round audition.
Semi-Final Round: November 7, 8, 9 – Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, NYC
Final Round: Saturday, November 11 – Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, NYC
Winners Concert: Sunday, November 12 – The Morgan Library & Museum, NYC
Artists who meet the criteria below may apply:
- Musicians at the beginning of a solo career who are not under North American management (see exceptions below)
- Instrumentalists must be 16 to 28 years old, singers must be 20 to 30 years old, and the average age of ensembles must be 30 or less, as of as of November 11, 2023.
- Ensembles must be based in North America.
- Winners must be available to perform concert engagements in North America for a minimum of six weeks (two three-week periods) between September and May of each concert season.
- Musicians who have applied in previous years may re-apply at the discretion of Young Concert Artists by offering new repertoire. If you auditioned in 2022, you do not need to submit letters of recommendation.
- Young Concert Artists welcomes applications from chamber ensembles, percussionists and unusual instruments. The 2023 auditions are closed to the following: voice, accordion, piano duo (two pianos).
Eligibility exceptions for artists with management:
- Artists already under management outside of North America: along with your application, please submit a letter from your management to Young Concert Artists with the following statement:
“In the interest of developing a career in North America for [artist’s name], I hereby give permission and approval for [artist’s name] to enter the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and agree, without reservation, that should [artist’s name] be selected as a winner of the Auditions, he/she may be represented by Young Concert Artists on an exclusive basis for all engagements in North America for a period of three years; that I will make available to Young Concert Artists a minimum of two three-week periods between September and May of each season in his/her schedule for North American engagements; and that I will take no commission on engagements booked by Young Concert Artists.”
- Singers already under management who wish to perform non-opera engagements through Young Concert Artists: along with your application, submit a letter from your management to Young Concert Artists with the following statement:
“In the interest of developing a new public for a wide variety of vocal repertoire, and in creating new performance opportunities for young singers, I hereby give permission and approval for [singer’s name] to enter the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and agree, without reservation, that should [singer’s name] be selected as a winner of the Auditions, he/she may be represented by Young Concert Artists on an exclusive basis for non-opera engagements in North America for a period of three years.”
Using these criteria, Young Concert Artists reserves the right to accept or reject applications.
The application portal is now open! In your application you will be asked to submit the following:
- Biography or résumé
- Two letters of recommendation from professional musicians specifically describing your potential for a concert career. (Recommenders must submit their letters directly to the application portal.)
- Application fee. Once your application has been accepted, this fee is non-refundable. YCA offers application fee waivers on the basis of financial need. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Early deadline: Thursday, June 1 ($65 fee)
Final deadline: Tuesday, August 1 ($95 fee)
After submitting your application, we will notify you once it has been approved. At that point, your participation in the 2023 auditions will be confirmed. We will be in touch to schedule the exact date and time of your live audition.
Format of the auditions: During your live preliminary round and semi-final round auditions, you will perform selections from the works you have submitted in your application. For these rounds, which last 15-20 minutes, you will choose the first work. If that work is longer than 5-6 minutes, the jury may interrupt you so that there is time to hear other works. For the remainder of the audition, the jury will select the works they would like to hear next. You will not know in advance which works they will ask you to perform.
For the final round, you will create a 25-minute recital program, to be played without interruption before the final jury and live audience. You have the option to choose repertoire not included in your application if you wish.
Results: If you are selected to advance to the semi-final round, you will be notified in the first week of October.
Selection Process: Winners are selected by a jury of distinguished musicians. The criteria are exceptional musicianship, virtuosity, individuality, projection as a performer, and promise. Musicians compete against a standard of excellence, not each other, and there can be any number of winners each year.
Accompanists: you are responsible for providing your own pianist (and page turner) if needed. If you need help finding a pianist, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: you are responsible for travel, housing and other expenses related to your participation in the auditions.
LIVE AUDITION REPERTOIRE
Applicants will prepare approximately 60 minutes or more of music consisting of complete works in the categories below.
If you have a compelling reason for proposing a program that does not follow these guidelines, please contact email@example.com. All repertoire must be approved by Young Concert Artists.
We encourage you to memorize the music on your program (except for chamber music). If you have questions about about using a score during your audition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Piano, strings, guitar, flute
1. A suite, partita, or other large-scale work of J.S. Bach
2. A sonata or major work from the Classical or Romantic era
3. A work written after 1960
4. Two additional works of your choice (strings and flute: one of these must be a concerto)
Other woodwinds, brass, harp, and other instruments
1. A sonata or major work from the Classical or Romantic era
2. A work written after 1960
3. A concerto
4. Two additional works of your choice
Quartets and Trios
1. A work by Haydn or Mozart
2. A work written after 1960
3. Two additional works of your choice
Other Ensembles: present a varied program consisting of four works totaling 60 minutes or more of music. Your program may follow the guidelines above, though you are free to offer alternatives as appropriate for your ensemble. Please include a written statement describing your reason for choosing this program.
RECORDED AUDITION REPERTOIRE
Instrumentalists and Ensembles: three complete works in contrasting styles
Accepted media (files must be uploaded to application portal):
MPEG, MPG, MP4, OGG, MOV, AVI, WMV, M4V, VOB, FLV, up to 4.8GB
Audio: MP3, OGG, M4A, WMA, WAV, AA, FLAC, up to 750MB
Please note: video recordings are preferred to audio recordings. At least one of your submissions must be a video.
Recordings may be submitted instead of giving a live preliminary audition. Recordings from live performances or commercial recordings are acceptable. The repertoire for your recorded audition can be different from what you will perform in the live semi-final and final rounds. There is no duration requirement for the recorded audition.
Applicants from the recorded preliminary round who advance to the semi-final round must travel to New York City for the live semi-final auditions.