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What's an orchestral audition like?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Peder Waern, Sep 7, 2012.


  1. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Couldn't really find this info....as a jazzer I'm curious what the classical audition situation is like. I understand you are usually required to play a solo as well as excerpts from symphonies etc.
    Do you play behind a screen usually? Not allowed to talk, or anything to reveal who you are?

    Please enlighten me... :)
     
  2. boethius

    boethius

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I think it depends on the audition. I have had to usually play 3 orchestral section examples, 1 whole note big deep arco tone example, 1 rhythmic arco section with potentially a few measures of pizz, and 1 more technical phrasing section. Some have asked for solos, some haven't. They usually are looking for the big Mittenwald tone (although I don't own anything close), and your ability to project as well as transition smoothly. Then again, I have only played in community orchestra and theatre settings which are smaller and not on the same level as the NY Philharmonic, etc.
    Either way, relax, have fun and enjoy playing...that usually comes through really well in your music, just like being tense, nervous and tight will as well.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    It depends on what you're auditioning for, but it could be anything from just a solo, to a solo and a few excerpts, and maybe some scales and an etude.

    Or, if you have a few college degrees under your belt, and you're aiming for a major orchestra job it could be this-

    http://www.bso.org/media/5307895/section_bass_repertoire.pdf
     
  4. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Thanks guys, not really aiming for an orchestra job, just curious! I mean could you describe the actual audition playing situation. Are you given instructions from the jury on the other side of the screen? Is it really possible to keep it "anonymous"?
     
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  6. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Washington DC
    You are asking specifically for professional orchestral auditions, yes?
     
  7. Peder Waern

    Peder Waern

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    Yeah, professional orchestra (symphony, opera etc.) :)
     
  8. mattgray

    mattgray

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    There's only one way to find out...
     
  9. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Frankfurt, Germany
    It's just like the first round of American Idol.
     
  10. ILIA

    ILIA

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
  11. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Pehaps he is lucky enough to not have American Idol or it's equivalent in his home country...:hyper:
     
  12. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Not to get off topic, but as an aside, has anyone actually ever thought that it's really a good idea (at least for bassists) to practice for 10+ hours a day?
     
  13. A Spotless Mind

    A Spotless Mind

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2009
    It'd be nice, but I don't think my body or mind could handle it.
     
  14. ThumpPlunkJunk

    ThumpPlunkJunk

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I haven't, and nobody I've talked to has ever suggested practicing that much. Not even violinists. The maximum I've found is around four to six hours--practicing for ten hours a day seems detrimental, to me.
     
  15. ILIA

    ILIA

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    I forgot about this classic:

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=445427903289


    As for practicing too much. . . . it's never too much practice as long as it's the right kind of practice. I, myself, would find it difficult to do the right kind of practice over more than 3 hours, not including breaks.
     
  16. Adam Attard

    Adam Attard

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    That's a funny one-
    "My sixteenth notes sounded like machine guns!"


    In terms of the time- I agree. Every teacher I've ever worked with has agreed on the 4 hours as being the most productive maximum amount of time to practice a day
     
  17. Blakewdm

    Blakewdm

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    During prep I do 4-5 hours, and that's about what Fora was doing, and Rex for the NY audition...but that's with a sizable list to prepare...with a smaller list, less work could be acceptable
     
  18. rogue4

    rogue4

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    If anyone practices more than 4 hours, they are probably dicking around. If you can't clean up an excerpt in 10 minutes time, not saying it needs to be perfect, but must improve, you aren't up to the level. You should probably be in top shape at least three weeks before the audition. if not, you're betting on luck and not confidence. People say luck plays the only role but that's not true. Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness.
     
  19. mattgray

    mattgray

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    huh?

    :bag:
     
  20. Andrew McGregor

    Andrew McGregor

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    He's saying, if you can't make discernible progress on something in 10 minutes, you're wasting your time.

    He's right. And given that you can't really think about more than 20-odd such passages in a day, you're running into diminishing returns at about 2 hours. You do sometimes need to play a bit longer to get the physical conditioning.
     
  21. rogue4

    rogue4

    Joined:
    May 31, 2010
    I agree with your physical conditioning comment. Running through excerpts several times can be a good thing, especially if you're playing along with a recording.
     

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