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A question for those who have spots with professional orchestras

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by pedro, Oct 1, 2003.


  1. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Some more questions about SO auditions. For starters:

    1. Do you normally get to select your own piece or are you required to play a pre-selected excerpt?
    2. What piece did you play?
    3. How did you feel you had done after the audition but before you were selected?
    4. Are there some ‘must know’ pieces?
    What was the single best piece of advise you received concerning auditioning for a SO.
     
  2. 1. There is always a " solo" category - many times that category says "piece of your choice", other times it specifies either a single solo that you must play, or a chocie of two or three solos to choose from. Usually Koussevitzky, Vanhall, Dittersdorf or Bottesini #2

    There is then a list of Required Orchestral Excerpts that you must play from. Some orchestras give you the exact measure numbers they expect, while other Orchestras just list each work and expect you to know the complete part.

    There is also sometimes a chamber-music or sight-reading part to the audition that only the finalists will participate in.

    2. When given the chance I often choose a movement from a Bach cello suite. When you *can* choose, you chould choose something that you can use to be convincing both technically *and* musically.

    3. While playing the audition, different people react quite differently. Some people broadcast bravado but most winners remain quiet and "in the zone".
    The only way to know how You react is to give yourself a lot of mock auditions to figure it out; get used to performing with critical listeners and take every real audition you can get yourself to!

    You should also take every opportunity to play in any orchestra you can to get a feel for what it's like to play the pieces you need to know....

    4. The MUST-KNOW pieces are:
    Bach: Orchestral Suite #2 in B Minor
    Beethoven Sym#3
    Beethoven Sym#5
    Beethoven Sym#7
    Beethoven Sym#9
    Berlioz Symphonie Fatastique
    Brahms Sym#1
    Brahms Sym#2
    Haydn Sym#88
    Mahler Sym#2
    Mendelssohn Sym#4
    Mozart Sym#35
    Mozart Sym#39
    Mozart Sym#40
    Shostakovich Sym#5
    Schubert Sym#10 "The Great" C major
    Smetana Overture to "The Bartered Bride"
    Strauss Don Juan
    Strauss Ein Heldenleben
    Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra
    Tchaikowsky Sym#4
    ORCHESTRAL SOLOS:
    Bach Vln Cto in E Major
    Britten young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    Ginastera Variationes Concertante
    Haydn Syms # 6, 7, 8, 31
    Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition
    Prokofiev Lieutenant Kije Suite "Romance"
    Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
    Verdi Rigoleto
    Verdi Othello

    5. Best advice? Decide to be a great bass player, then follow through.

    Do everything and go anywhere to get a broad *and* deep experience in orchestral playing. But the main thing is that *you* actually decide to be a great bass player.
     
  3. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [Usually Koussevitzky, Vanhall, Dittersdorf or Bottesini #2

    Are these concertos or sonatas? I’ve overheard my son and teacher discussing the Dittersdorf and the Bottesini but not the others.

    [There is then a list of Required Orchestral Excerpts that you must play from.

    How many are usually required and how much time does one usually have to prepare? Must the pieces be memorized?

    [2. When given the chance I often choose a movement from a Bach cello suite. When you *can* choose, you chould choose something that you can use to be convincing both technically *and* musically.

    Which of the Bach cello suite and from what edition do you normally choose?

    [The only way to know how You react is to give yourself a lot of mock auditions to figure it out; get used to performing with critical listeners and take every real audition you can get yourself to!

    Amen brother. I’ve been trying to sell this at home for a while and I think it’s starting to sink in. I do recall my own audition for music school was quite nerve racking. Not nearly the same thing to play in front of mom and dad or a couple of pals as it is in front of a panel comprised of Julliard, Eastman and Curtis alumni. That’s why this year he’s doing the state solo and ensemble festival, junior auditions and perhaps a couple of other goodies. He’s a junior this year so he has one more year of seasoning before music school. There may even be an audition for the local symphony if they have one. None of this is about how he does in these particular auditions. I mean it would be great if he did well but the big picture is how he does next year when applying for music school.

    [You should also take every opportunity to play in any orchestra you can to get a feel for what it's like to play the pieces you need to know....

    Well he’s been doing school orchestra for years but it isn’t much. The local youth symphony has been begging for bass player and I’m quite sure he could easily make it but it conflicts with hockey season and he hasn’t been willing to give it up.

    [5. Best advice? Decide to be a great bass player, then follow through.
    Do everything and go anywhere to get a broad *and* deep experience in orchestral playing. But the main thing is that *you* actually decide to be a great bass player.

    Thanks a ton. I owe ya one.
     
  4. Concertos. Concertos are the ultimate solo; the name "concerto" essentially means it's the Soloist Versus the Whole Group, whearas in sonatas there are only a few musicians (usually just two to four) all playing very interconnected parts - more like the "chamber music" requirement of an audition - very different than a concerto.

    That is completely up to the orchestra audition committee - differs widely from group to group. Once you apply they'll send you the specific audition list and dates and times. The best way to prepare, without yet having the specific list, is just to Know the "Must Know" pieces.



    Get the cello edition, #805, published by International Music Company, with the editor Edmund Kurtz.

    The Kurtz edition shows a manuscript version to work from, as well as a modern printing. Any other edition doesn't show the original, and won't tell you when editors make changes. The Kurtz edition is a great way to see The Real Thing.
    There are many editions out there made for Bass - they are silly. They chop out so many chords and alter so many things that it's like buying a McDonalds hamburger - sugar sweetened goo that's not really what it claims to be. Don't bother with any "bass editions".
     
  5. pedro

    pedro

    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [Get the cello edition, #805, published by International Music Company, with the editor Edmund Kurtz.

    I believe he's been working from the cello edition but I don't think it's the one you mentioned.