Preliminary Round: Live preliminary auditions will be held on the following days in New York City.
Voice: September 9 & 10
Piano: September 14 & 15
Woodwinds and Brass: September 17
Strings: September 21 & 22
Preliminary Round in Los Angeles: Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12 at The Colburn School (all instruments)
Alternatively, you may submit recordings for your preliminary round audition.
Semi-Final & Final Auditions will take place on October 25-28, 2021, and the final auditions will take place on Sunday, October 31 – both at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center in New York City.
Winners Concert: Monday, November 1 – location to be announced.
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 28 or less, as of October 31, 2021.
- 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 2020, you do not need to submit letters of recommendation.
- The 2021 Auditions are closed to the following instruments: accordion, saxophone, 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.
Complete and submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Application form – download here!
- Biography or résumé
- Two letters of recommendation from professional musicians specifically describing your potential for a concert career. (Recommenders must send their letters directly to email@example.com.)
- Application fee, payable here, or by including your credit card details on the application form. Once your application has been accepted, this fee is non-refundable.
Early deadline: Tuesday, June 1 ($55 fee)
Final deadline: Monday, August 2 ($85 fee)
Live Audition Applicants: once your application has been approved, your participation in the 2021 auditions is confirmed. We will be in touch with you to schedule the exact date and time of your audition.
Recorded Audition Applicants: after your application has been approved, you must submit your preliminary round recordings to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, August 2.
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.
All Applicants: you will be notified if you have advanced to the semi-final round during the first week of October.
Accompanists: you are responsible for providing your own pianist (and page turner) if needed. If you need help finding a pianist, please contact email@example.com.
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.
During the live preliminary round and semi-final round, the jury will request to hear sections of the repertoire you have submitted. These rounds last 15 – 20 minutes. For the final round, you will choose a 25-minute recital program, to be played without interruption. The repertoire for the final round may consist of repertoire from the previous rounds or not.
If you have a compelling reason for proposing a program that does not follow these guidelines, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
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.
Prepare a program of 45 minutes or more that includes at least 3 languages. One of the languages must be English (all works in English must be originally written in English), one selection must be written after 1960, and at least one selection must be an operatic aria. Your program should be stylistically varied, and may include selections from the art song tradition, opera, cabaret, or contemporary repertoire. Please organize the order of your selections as you would for a recital program. If you have a compelling reason to propose a program that does not follow these guidelines, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECORDED AUDITION REPERTOIRE
Instrumentalists and Ensembles: three complete works in contrasting styles
Voice: five works representing at least two different languages. One work must be an operatic aria.
Accepted media: Online video links (YouTube, DropBox, etc.) emailed to email@example.com.
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.
When sending recordings, please include a list of the repertoire submitted in the body of your email, and make sure that all links or file names are clearly labeled with your name and the title of the work.
**Note: on your application form, you must complete the “Live Audition Repertoire” section by indicating the pieces you will perform for your live audition if you are advanced to the semi-final round. Please refer to the “Live Audition Repertoire” section above for repertoire requirements.
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.