Admissions

How to Apply

General Information

Application Materials

Degree Programs

A completed online application is due by December 1 and must include the following items:

1. Online application
The application includes sections to upload all of your application materials. Anything sent by mail (any supplementary materials that cannot be uploaded) must be postmarked December 1 or earlier.

Applicants to the Yale School of Music’s choral conducting, early music voice, and organ programs must also submit an application through the Institute of Sacred Music (more information below under Program-Specific Requirements).

B.A./M.M. applicants applying as high school seniors must also submit a college application through the Yale College Office of Undergraduate Admissions. B.A./M.M. applicants applying as current Yale College students must meet specific requirements (more information below under Program-Specific Requirements).

For all other applicants, the Yale School of Music application is the only Yale University application you need to submit.

Apply now

2. $150 application fee
Applications will not be reviewed unless the application fee is paid. The fee is nonrefundable. We do not offer fee waivers except for B.A./M.M. applicants applying to Yale College simultaneously who received an application fee waiver from Yale College. The fee should be paid online by credit card. Alternatively, we accept checks or money orders (made payable to Yale University). If paying by check, please include your name and application reference number on the check. All checks must be in U.S. dollars and drawn on a U.S. bank. To pay the fee online, first submit your application, then log in and click the link on your status page to pay the fee: Submit Payment for 150.00 USD.

3. Prescreening recordings
We strongly prefer that all applicants submit prescreening recordings online, as part of the online application, instead of by mail. These files or website links should be uploaded directly to the online application. Yale does not assume responsibility for loss of recordings and scores; copies should be sent.

It is very important that the audio quality of audio and video recordings is excellent. If you are given a choice between submitting audio recordings or video recordings, and your video does not have high audio quality, we prefer that you submit an audio recording.

Please see Prescreening Resources at the bottom of the page for more information.

Live auditions will be held for applicants who pass the prescreening round. Attendance is required.

4. Résumé or CV
Your résumé or CV helps give us a full picture of your musical background and experience. It is helpful to include information such as your schools, private teachers, musical experience (solo, chamber, orchestral), music festivals attended, and teaching experience.

5. Letters of recommendation (3)
Letters should be written by teachers, mentors, or advisors with knowledge of your abilities as a musician, and submitted as part of the online application. We will also accept letters by mail (with signature across envelope seal) or by email to gradmusic.admission@yale.edu, as long as the recommender's information has been entered within the application. Letters may be submitted throughout the month of December, but we strongly prefer to receive them by the December 1 application deadline.

We encourage applicants to open the application as soon as possible and enter contact information for the three letters of recommendation. Adding the contact information triggers an electronic form which is sent to the recommender for them to submit their letter. While we will accept letters of recommendation throughout the month of December, we strongly prefer to receive all letters by the December 1 deadline. Entering the information early allows the recommenders ample time to write.

All applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation, with the exception of current Yale School of Music students who must submit one (1) letter of recommendation.

6. Academic transcripts
We require transcripts from all universities and conservatories that you have attended or are currently attending. An unofficial transcript can be uploaded to your online application, but please make sure that the transcript is legible and includes your name, the name of the institution, the degree program, and your GPA. On the “Education History” tab of the application, you will see an upload button for transcripts after clicking “Add Institution.” If you are offered a live audition, we will require official transcripts to be mailed from your schools in a sealed envelope. All transcripts must be in English. Final transcripts must be translated into English by a certified translator, if applicable.

7. TOEFL score (non-native English speakers)
The TOEFL is required for applicants whose first language is not English. Official score reports must be sent directly from ETS; note that TOEFL scores are only valid within two years of the test date. All applicants must send in a TOEFL score by December 1, regardless of whether or not the score is passing. It is possible to be offered a live audition with a score below the minimum. However, Yale School of Music will not extend an offer of admission to any student who has not met our TOEFL requirement before March 1 of that application cycle. 

Minimum Score Requirements
Artist Diploma: 80 internet, 215 computer, or 552 paper
All other degree programs: 86 internet, 227 computer, or 567 paper

*MyBest scores will not be accepted

Reporting Information
ETS Institution Code: 3992
ETS Department Code: none required

COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended testing options to include TOEFL iBT Home Edition and TOEFL ITP Plus for China. Official score reports must be sent to us directly from ETS using our institution reporting code 3992.

TOEFL Exemption
You may request a TOEFL waiver if you have studied at English-speaking institutions full-time for six years or more. This means six years prior to beginning school at Yale. Waiver requests should be made online as part of the online application and include the following:

  1. A short description of your education history (tell us when you started attending English-speaking schools and how many years you studied at each school)
  2. Copies of your university, high school, and/or middle school transcripts that show six years or more of strong grades at English-speaking schools

Please note that TOEFL waivers are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed for those who have studied at English-speaking schools for six or more years. Uploaded transcripts must show strong academic performance and significant coursework in areas other than music performance.

The Yale School of Music reserves the right to deny or rescind acceptance decisions from candidates who falsified information to obtain a favorable outcome.

8. GRE score (composition applicants only)

All applicants to the composition department must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test, with the exception of those who are required to submit a TOEFL score. Composers must submit valid scores, sent directly from ETS. The GRE should be taken by December 1 in order for the application to be considered. We do not require the GRE for any other programs. We do not require a minimum score. We do not ask for you to enter your GRE scores on the online application.

Reporting Information
Test: GRE General Test
ETS Institution Code: 3992
ETS Department Code: none required

COVID-19
Please note that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended testing options to include the GRE General Test at Home. Official score reports must be sent to us directly from ETS using our institution reporting code 3992.

Non-Native English Speakers 
The GRE exemption is only for composers who are required to submit a TOEFL score. If you were granted a TOEFL waiver, you must take the GRE.

The Yale School of Music reserves the right to deny or rescind acceptance decisions from candidates who falsified information to obtain a favorable outcome.

Program-Specific Requirements

D.M.A. Applicants

D.M.A. applicants are required to submit supplementary materials in addition to the items listed above, including a significant sample of past scholarly writing on a musical or non-musical topic (5-20 pages) and seven short answer questions, including your present career plans and reasons for pursuing admission to the D.M.A. program.

Entrance Exam

Applicants must pass the entrance exam in addition to passing the live audition to be considered for admission. The entrance exam contains four sections:

  1. Listening and score identification
  2. Music history
  3. Tonal analysis and musicianship
  4. 20th century analysis

The musicianship portion tests your aural perception of melody, harmony, rhythm, and phrase structure in music through dictation and other written exercises.

D.M.A. applicants must take the exams at the designated time on both days. Exams are not offered on any other dates and will not be rescheduled. All exams will be conducted virtually.

Interviews

Applicants may be invited to a 30-minute virtual interview with members of the D.M.A. Examination Committee.

Please see Prescreening Repertoire + Live Auditions section below for a list of important dates.

No one may apply to the D.M.A. program more than twice.

download sample dma exams

 

Applying to more than one degree program

If you are applying to the A.D. program, for example, and you would also like to be considered for another degree program (such as the M.M.A., M.M., or Certificate), you must select A.D. as your primary degree program on the online application. Then you may select a secondary degree program. D.M.A. applicants interested in being considered for the M.M.A. or A.D. program may select M.M.A. or A.D. as the secondary degree program. You may only apply to a maximum of two degree programs with each application.

 

Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) applicants

Applicants to any of the ISM programs (choral conducting, early music voice, or organ) must submit both the School of Music online application and the ISM online application.

ISM Admissions

 

B.A./M.M. applicants

Applying as a prospective Yale College student
B.A./M.M. applicants who are high school seniors must submit applications to both Yale College and Yale School of Music for the same academic year. The two applications are entirely independent of each other.

The application deadline for the next academic year is December 1 for the School of Music and January 2 for Yale College. If you qualify for a fee waiver with your Yale College application, we will also waive your School of Music application fee.

Live auditions will be held for applicants who pass the prescreening round, and attendance is required. The School of Music’s Admissions Office will notify applicants of prescreening results by the end of January and of live audition results by early April.

Yale College Admissions

 

Applying as a current Yale College student
B.A./M.M. degree program applicants should consult their major teacher at the beginning of the first term of their junior year. By the end of junior year, the applicant should have completed, at a minimum, the following courses:

  1. Music majors: four terms of performance (MUSI 360a or b, 361a or b, 460a or b, 461a or b) and MUSI 210a or b and 211a or b
  2. Majors in subjects other than music: four terms of performance (MUSI 360a or b, 361a or b, 460a or b, 461a or b) and four courses, which usually include two courses from the MUSI 301–311 series, and two of MUSI 350a, 351b, 352b, or 353a

Live auditions will be held for applicants who pass the prescreening round, and attendance is required. The School of Music’s Admissions Office will notify applicants of prescreening results by the end of January and of live audition results by mid-March.

TOEFL Requirement for Non-Native English Speakers

TOEFL Score

The TOEFL is required for applicants whose first language is not English. Official score reports must be sent directly from ETS; note that TOEFL scores are only valid within two years of the test date. All applicants must send in a TOEFL score by December 1, regardless of whether or not the score is passing. It is possible to be offered a live audition with a score below the minimum. However, Yale School of Music will not extend an offer of admission to any student who has not met our TOEFL requirement before March 1 of that application cycle. 

Minimum Score Requirements
Artist Diploma: 80 internet, 215 computer, or 552 paper
All other degree programs: 86 internet, 227 computer, or 567 paper

*MyBest scores will not be accepted

Reporting Information
ETS Institution Code: 3992
ETS Department Code: none required

COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended testing options to include TOEFL iBT Home Edition and TOEFL ITP Plus for China. Official score reports must be sent to us directly from ETS using our institution reporting code 3992.

Students whose first language is English are automatically exempt from this requirement. Students whose first language is not English wishing to be considered for an exemption must follow the exemption instructions below.

 

TOEFL Exemption

You may request a TOEFL waiver if you have studied at English-speaking institutions full-time for six years or more prior to beginning school at Yale. Waiver requests should be made online as part of the online application and include the following:

  1. A short description of your education history (tell us when you started attending English-speaking schools and how many years you studied at each school)
  2. Copies of your university, high school, and/or middle school transcripts that show six years or more of strong grades at English-speaking schools

Please note that TOEFL waivers are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed for those who have studied at English-speaking schools for six or more years. Uploaded transcripts must show strong academic performance and significant coursework in areas other than music performance.

String Quartet Fellowship

We are accepting String Quartet Fellowship applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

A completed application is due by December 1. Only one member of an ensemble should fill out the application. This person will be considered the “primary contact” for the group.

The primary contact must be prepared to include the following information about each quartet member:

  1. Date of birth
  2. Email address
  3. Individual bio

Application materials
 As part of the application, the primary contact for the group must include:

  1. An individual bio for each quartet member
  2. A group bio
  3. A repertoire list
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Prescreening recordings

String Quartet Fellowship applicants do not need to submit TOEFL scores or academic transcripts.

Only one application fee ($150) is required for each ensemble.

Apply now

Collaborative Piano Fellowship

Please note there is no Collaborative Piano Fellowship vacancy for the 2021-2022 academic year.

A completed application for the Collaborative Piano Fellowship is due by December 1. 

As part of the application, each applicant must include the following:

  1. Curriculum vitae*
  2. Two letters of recommendation
  3. Pre-screening recordings
  4. Application fee: $80

Collaborative piano fellowship applicants do not need to submit TOEFL scores or academic transcripts.

*An applicant’s curriculum vitae should address the applicant’s musical background and any employment or administrative experience.

Yale University’s Equal Opportunity Statement

The University is committed to basing judgments concerning the admission, education, and employment of individuals upon their qualifications and abilities and affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body qualified persons of diverse backgrounds. In accordance with this policy and as delineated by federal and Connecticut law, Yale does not discriminate in admissions, educational programs, or employment against any individual on account of that individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

University policy is committed to affirmative action under law in employment of women, minority group members, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans.

Inquiries concerning these policies may be referred to Valarie Stanley, Senior Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Access, 221 Whitney Avenue; 4th Floor, 203-432-0849. For additional information, see oiea.yale.edu.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Spangler, at 203.432.4446 or at titleix@yale.edu, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921; tel. 617.289.0111, fax 617.289.0150, TDD 800.877.8339, or ocr.boston@ed.gov.

Personal Data

Personal data collected by Yale University throughout the admissions process is collected for the primary purposes of considering your candidacy for admission and evaluating your eligibility for financial aid, if applicable. If you are admitted and enroll, your personal data will be used as necessary for registration and to facilitate your education.

Frequently Asked Questions

Prescreening Repertoire + Live Auditions

The admissions committee has selected the following works as appropriate and acceptable for prescreening and live auditions. Students should adhere to the repertoire as much as possible. Still, we recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, repertoire substitutions may be appropriate and acceptable. Please send questions to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Prescreening Resources

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for recommendations we hope will be useful as you prepare to record an audition video.


D.M.A. Exams and Interviews

Applicants to the D.M.A. degree program must audition, interview, and take pertinent exams.

Exams
Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 20–21, 2021

Applicants must take the exams at the designated time on both exam days. These exams are not offered on any other date or time and will not be rescheduled. All exams will be conducted virtually.

Interviews
Sunday–Tuesday, Feb. 28–Mar. 2, 2021

Applicants may be invited to a 30-minute virtual interview with members of the D.M.A. Examination Committee. Applicants who are invited to interview will receive details from the Admissions Office on Saturday, February 27, 2021.


Artist Diploma

Final Round Auditions
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021

 

Brass

Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba

Prescreening recording (audio or video; piano not required)
Applicants should prepare repertoire that will show their playing to the best advantage with the most variety possible both instrumentally and musically. Repertoire should display a broad range of styles, genres, and technical abilities, with examples covering the full range of the instrument, and should include the following:

  1. Four or more varied standard orchestral excerpts
  2. Three or more varied selections from the solo repertoire. A “selection” is defined as a solo piece, étude, or individual movement of a sonata or concerto

Live audition (piano not required)
Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to above-mentioned guidelines.

Auditions will be held virtually, Monday–Wednesday, February 22–24, 2021

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Composition

Prescreening recording
Applicants should submit scores and recordings of two to three recent works (no more than three will be considered), preferably written for different genres or instrumentations and/or electronic media. Composers should upload PDFs of scores, as well as recordings, videos, or external links to the online application.

Interview
Applicants who advance beyond the prescreening round will be invited to a 30-minute interview with the composition faculty.

Interviews will be held virtually on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please send any questions you might have to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Conducting

Orchestral Conducting

Prescreening recording (video required)
Applicants should submit video excerpts that best showcase their orchestral-conducting skills. While no specific repertoire is required, it should include at least two contrasting musical styles of standard orchestral repertoire. Submitted videos must have been filmed within the previous 12 months.

A minimum of three excerpts should be uploaded and contain the following:

  1. Footage of the applicant conducting an ensemble/orchestra in concert
  2. Footage of the applicant working with an ensemble/orchestra in rehearsal

Note: Each piece of footage must include the title of the piece, the date, and the name of the ensemble. In addition, for rehearsal footage, it would be helpful for the conductor to wear a lavalier microphone, to avoid poor audio quality.

The video camera should be positioned behind the orchestra and pointed at the conductor. We are most interested in rehearsal footage, although some concert footage should also be included.

Each video clip and any additional samples should be uploaded as separate video files and should total no more than 20 minutes in length. Videos featuring full orchestra are preferred, but clips of an applicant leading an ensemble of about 15 musicians is acceptable.

Live audition
Select applicants may be invited to New Haven for a series of interviews and for a live audition, depending on COVID-19-related factors. Invited applicants will be asked to conduct several selections from the standard orchestral repertoire with the Yale Philharmonia. Repertoire and the audition date will be included in the invitation letter. If necessary, details about a virtual audition will be included in the invitation, as well.

Auditions will be held February, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Choral Conducting

Prescreening recording (video required)
Applicants should submit a video of at least 15 minutes that shows them conducting a large ensemble in rehearsal and in performance. Applicants who are unable to provide recent footage due to pandemic-related limitations may submit footage recorded within the past two years or new footage that shows the applicant conducting and rehearsing a small ensemble (such as a socially distanced string quartet or vocal quartet) or if no other option is available, a pianist.

Live audition
Applicants who are invited to audition will be expected to demonstrate a highly developed level of comprehensive musicianship that includes an understanding of theory, aural skills, keyboard skills, harmonic dictation, and score reading. Details about the live audition will be noted in the invitation. Auditions may take place virtually, depending on the COVID-19-related factors.

Auditions will be held Tuesday, February 23, 2021 and Friday February 26, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Guitar

For M.M., M.M.A., and Certificate applicants

Prescreening recording (audio or video):

  1. A work by J.S. Bach (prepare the larger movement – the Prelude or Prelude and Fugue), arrangements of music by Scarlatti, Francesca Caccini, Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre, three movements from a Silvius Leopold Weiss suite, or others
  2. A work or two shorter works by Emilia Giuliani-Guglielmi, Mauro Giuliani, Sor, Mertz, or others
  3. A work of the 20th or 21st century, such as Villa-Lobos etudes (four of the 12 etudes) or a work by Ponce, Kay, Jose, Britten, Martin, Brouwer, S. Assad, C. Assad, Tower, Leon, Flippin, Lash, Ginastera, Takemitsu, or others
  4. Applicants who are also composers are encouraged to include a work of their own, although it cannot replace requirement number 3
  5. Applicants may also consider including any of the following repertoire (not required): Renaissance music by Dowland and/or Da Milano, or arrangements of music by Granados and Albeniz

Live audition
In addition to the prescreening repertoire, applicants who are invited to a live audition must prepare a short piece that will be announced and e-mailed to applicants four to six weeks before the audition.

Note: The guitar repertoire is vast. If a piece an applicant for any program wants to include is not on the above list, the applicant is encouraged to ask if the substitute repertoire is acceptable.

Auditions will be held virtually on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please send any questions you might have to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

For A.D. and D.M.A. applicants

Prescreening recording (audio or video):
Applicants must submit a live recording of 75 minutes of music (the equivalent of a full recital program) plus a movement of a concerto. The recital program must include the following:

  1. A full Bach suite or partita, or the Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro; or the Chaconne from the D-minor Partita
  2. A work from either the Classical or Romantic period, such as Emilia Giuliani-Guglielmi, Mauro Giuliani, Sor, Mertz, or others
  3. A work of the 20th or 21st century, such as Villa-Lobos études (four of the 12 études) or a work by Ponce, Kay, Jose, Britten, Martin, Brouwer, S. Assad, C. Assad, Tower, Leon, Flippin, Lash, Ginastera, Takemitsu, or others
  4. The first movement of one of the following concertos (with piano or orchestra): Arnold’s Guitar Concerto, Brouwer’s Concerto de Toronto, Corigliano’s Troubadours (Variations for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra), Giuliani’s Concerto No. 1 in A major, Goss’s Guitar Concerto, Ponce’s Concierto Del Sur, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, Sculthorpe’s Nourlangie, Takemitsu’s To the Edge of Dream, Tedesco’s Guitar Concerto No. 1 in D major, or Villa-Lobos’ Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra
  5. Applicants who are also composers are encouraged to include a work of their own, although it cannot replace requirement number 3
  6. Applicants may include, though it’s not required, music by Milan, Dowland, and Da Milano, or arrangements of works by Granados and Albéniz

Live audition
In addition to the prescreening repertoire, applicants who are invited to audition must prepare a short piece that will be announced and emailed to applicants four to six weeks before the audition.

Note: The guitar repertoire is vast. If a piece an applicant for any program wants to include is not on the above list, the applicant is encouraged to ask if the substitute repertoire is acceptable.

Auditions will be held virtually on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please send any questions you might have to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Harp

Prescreening recording (audio or video):

  1. A work by Bach or another Baroque composer including but not limited to Scarlatti (two sonatas of contrasting style) or Handel
  2. A solo work from the standard repertoire, including but not limited to Impromptu by Fauré, Suite by Britten, Légende by Renié, works by Parish Alvars, or Rhapsodie by Grandjany
  3. A sonata from the 20th century repertoire including but not limited to works by Casella, Tournier, Tailleferre, Hindemith, or Houdy

Live audition
Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to
above-mentioned guidelines.

Auditions will be held virtually on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Harpsichord

Prescreening recording (audio):

  1. Any contrapuntal work by J.S. Bach
  2. Two or more French dances from either the 17th or 18th century
  3. Applicant’s choice: In addition to the above-mentioned repertoire, please choose a representative example from either the English Virginalist school, an early 17th century Italian toccata, a sonata by Domenico Scarlatti, or a piece of 20th or 21st century composition

Live audition
Applicants will be responsible for the above-mentioned literature and, additionally, any contrasting work by a different composer. Applicants will also be assessed on their level of competence as continuo players.

Auditions will be held virtually on Monday, February 22, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Organ

Prescreening recording (audio):
Representative works from the major areas of organ literature:

  1. A major work by Bach
  2. A Romantic work
  3. A contemporary work

Live audition
Applicants are strongly encouraged, though not required, to perform different repertoire than they performed in the prescreening round. However, works should be selected from the same three categories (see above). In addition to performing prepared works, applicants will be asked to demonstrate sight-reading ability and other essential musical skills. Time will be allotted for conversation with faculty.

Auditions will be held virtually, FridaySunday, February 26–28, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please send any questions you might have to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Percussion

Prescreening recording (video required; unedited):

  1. A major work composed for either marimba or vibraphone
  2. One piece from Elliott Carter’s Eight Pieces for Four Timpani
  3. A solo piece for multiple percussion
  4. An étude for snare drum

If there’s anything in the above-mentioned list that an applicant cannot access, the applicant should contact gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu for guidance about appropriate substitutions.

Live audition:

  1. A major work composed for either marimba or vibraphone (examples of acceptable works include, but are not limited to, Minoru Miki’s Time for Marimba; Gordon Stout’s Two Mexican Dances; Steven Mackey’s See Ya Thursday; Philippe Manoury’s Le Livre des Claviers; or Franco Donatoni’s Omar)
  2. A solo piece for multiple percussion (examples of acceptable works include, but are not limited to, Iannis Xenakis’s Rebonds or Psappha; David Lang’s Anvil Chorus; or James Wood’s Rogosanti)
  3. Jacques Delecluse’s Étude No. 1
  4. Anthony Cirone’s Étude No. 32
  5. Two pieces from Elliott Carter’s Eight Pieces for Four Timpani
  6. Two- and four-mallet marimba sight-reading will be required
  7. The following orchestral excerpts: 
    1. Timpani: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
    2. Timpani: Richard Strauss’ Burleske
    3. Timpani: Mozart’s Symphony No. 39
    4. Snare drum: Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade
    5. Xylophone: Messiaen’s Exotic Birds
    6. Glockenspiel: Debussy’s La Mer

Auditions will be held virtually, Monday-Tuesday, February 22-23, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Piano

Auditions will be held in three rounds this year: prescreening round, second round, and live, final-round auditions

Prescreening recording (audio or video; no concertos) – Due December 1:

  1. A Bach prelude and fugue or another original work by Bach (not a transcription)
  2. A sonata or variations by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
  3. A larger 19th century Romantic work
  4. A 20th- or 21st century composition (for a multi-movement work, provide at least two contrasting movements)

Second round – Results announced Jan. 15; update portfolio by Feb. 1

Eighty or fewer applicants will be selected by Jan. 15, 2021, to advance to the second round.

Applicants who advance to the second round will be given an opportunity to update their repertoire portfolio by Feb. 1, 2021. Updated repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to above-mentioned guidelines.

Current YSM students must submit an application by Dec. 1, 2020 and upload their recordings by Feb. 1, 2021.

Live, final-round audition

Sixty or fewer applicants will be selected by Feb. 15, 2021, to advance to the final round.

Final round requirements (15 min. per applicant):

1. A performance of a piece from the applicant’s newly updated (Feb. 1) repertoire portfolio, selected by the committee, 2. An additional work, which will be sent to the applicant 24 hours prior to the applicant’s audition, and 3. a brief interview. 

Auditions will be held virtually, Monday–Thursday, Feb. 22–25, 2021, and Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 for applicants to the A.D. and D.M.A. programs.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about repertoire substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Strings

Violin

Prescreening recording (video preferred, with high-quality audio, piano not required):

  1. One movement of an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita (A.D., M.M.A., and D.M.A. applicants must provide two movements)
  2. One movement of a Romantic or 20th-century concerto
  3. Any Paganini caprice
  4. A short standalone piece of the applicant’s choice that is not a movement from a sonata or concerto
  5. One movement of a Mozart concerto 

Live audition (piano not required)
Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to
above-mentioned guidelines. (A.D., M.M.A. and D.M.A. applicants must play Mozart at the live audition. M.M. and Certificate applicants will not be asked to play Mozart at the live audition.)

Virtual auditions, which will include a brief interview, will be held Monday–Friday, February 22-26, 2021. All D.M.A., M.M.A., and A.D. auditions will be held on Friday, February 26, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Viola

Prescreening recording (video or audio; piano not required):
Applicants must provide at least 15 minutes of music of their choice, including three works of contrasting styles. One movement of each work is acceptable, and applicants should be sure that at least one of the pieces (the concerto or the sonata) is a Romantic work. It is not necessary to include the pieces required for the live audition.

Live audition

  1. The prelude from any Bach cello suite or the first movement of any Bach sonata or partita for solo violin, or the Chaconne
  2. Either the first movement of a Romantic viola sonata by a composer such as Brahms, Glinka, Franck, Schubert, or Vieuxtemps, or a transcription of a piece such as Brahms Op. 38 or Op. 78, the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata, the Grieg Cello Sonata
  3. The first movement of a viola concerto by a composer such as Mozart (Clarinet Concerto, arr. for viola), Bartók, Hindemith, Walton, Martinů, Bowen, Penderecki, Schnittke (first and second movements), or Elgar (Cello Concerto, arr. L. Tertis)
  4. A short required piece—such as Fauré, Après un rêve; Glazunov, Elegy; Tchaikovsky, Valse Sentimentale—that will be announced to invited applicants four to six weeks before the audition
  5. A.D. and D.M.A. applicants must also include (in addition to the pieces above) a piece of the candidate’s choice

Applicants must be sure that at least one of the pieces (the concerto or the sonata) is a Romantic work.

Virtual auditions, which will include a brief interview, will be held Wednesday–Friday, February 24–26, 2021.

 We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Cello

Prescreening recording (video required; piano not required):

  1. Prelude and another movement from Bach Suite No. 4 or No. 6
  2. The first movement from one of the following concerti: Barber, Dvořák, Haydn D major, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, or Walton
  3. Applicant’s choice: a piece (solo or with piano) written after 1970

Live audition (piano not required)
Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to above-mentioned guidelines.

Virtual auditions, which will include a brief interview, will be held Wednesday–Friday, February 24–26, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Double Bass

Prescreening recording (video required; piano not required):

  1. A movement of a Bach cello suite (with repeats if not a prelude)
  2. Two contrasting movements from concertos, sonatas, or virtuoso pieces
  3. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts

Live audition (piano not required)
Prepare the same or different pieces as the prescreening recording (both programs should adhere to the above-mentioned guidelines), plus a short work by a contemporary composer such as Carter, Kurtág, Berio, Henze, Weinberg, or Persichetti.

Virtual auditions, which include a brief interview, will be held Wednesday–Friday, February 24–26, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Voice

Opera

Prescreening recording (video strongly preferred; video required for at least five selections)
Provide seven selections from the operatic, oratorio, and/or art-song repertoire of contrasting styles and languages. Four of these selections should be operatic arias.

Live audition (pianist not required):
Each applicant will meet with the admissions committee via Zoom for consultation lessons and interviews. Pianists will not be required for these sessions. Details about the live audition will be noted in the audition invitation letter

Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to above-mentioned guidelines.

Virtual auditions will be held the week of February 22.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Early Music, Oratorio + Chamber Ensemble

Prescreening recording (audio or video; video required for at least one selection)
Include seven selections of contrasting styles and languages from the sacred music (oratorio, mass, cantata, sacred song, etc.), opera, and art-song repertoire. Selections can be chosen from any period, including contemporary compositions. However, at least three selections should be from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. At least one aria by J.S. Bach is required.
Applicants should choose selections that demonstrate their versatility as a performer.

Video files should be named to include the piece title and date it was recorded.

Live audition (pianist not required)
Each applicant will meet with the admissions committee via Zoom for consultation lessons and interviews. Pianists will not be required for these sessions. Details about the live audition will be noted in the audition invitation letter.

Live audition material should include five pieces of contrasting styles, languages, and periods. These selections may be the same or different works from the prescreening recording. Of the five selections, prepare at least two Baroque selections (including one aria by J.S. Bach) and a third selection written prior to 1700. All works should be chosen from the same reportorial categories as above and performed from memory. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate sight-reading ability and other essential musical skills.

Virtual auditions will be held the week of February 22.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Woodwinds

Flute

Prescreening recording (video required; pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):

  1. Dutilleux’s Sonatine for Flute and Piano (with piano)
  2. The second movement of Mozart’s Concerto in D major (with piano)
  3. On piccolo: Rossini’s Semiramide Overture (select one of the standard excerpts)
  4. A work of the applicant’s choice (complete work preferred)

Live audition (pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):

  1. Jolivet’s Chant de Linos
  2. From memory: the second movement of Mozart’s Concerto in D major
  3. The first movement of any Vivaldi C-major piccolo concerto

Virtual auditions will be held the week of February 22, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Oboe

Prescreening recording (audio or video; pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):
Applicants should provide 15 to 20 minutes of music of their choice, sampled from each of the following:

  1. A major sonata
  2. A solo piece or étude
  3. A major concerto
  4. Four varied orchestral excerpts

Live audition (pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):

  1. Two movements of a major sonata
  2. Two movements of a Baroque concerto, sonata, or solo piece
  3. Two movements of a major concerto (with cadenzas where applicable)
  4. Six varied orchestral excerpts

Virtual auditions will be held the week of February 22, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Clarinet

Prescreening recording (audio or video; pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):

  1. Mozart: Clarinet Concerto exposition with piano or orchestra accompaniment if possible
  2. Stravinsky: the second of the Three Pieces for solo clarinet
  3. Weber: the exposition of the first movement of Concerto No. 1 or No. 2
  4. Brahms: the exposition of a clarinet sonata of the applicant’s choice, with piano if possible
  5. A five-minute selection of the applicant’s choice – preferable a contemporary work – that demonstrates the applicant’s abilities

Live audition (pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort)
Applicants may be asked to perform selections from the above-mentioned repertoire list and to demonstrate their sight-reading ability.

Virtual auditions will be held the week of February 22, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

 

Bassoon

Prescreening recording (video preferred; pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):
Applicants should provide no more than 15 minutes of their playing, excerpted from the following:

  1. A sonata or other non-concerto work for bassoon and piano
  2. A concerto
  3. Two-to-four varied orchestral excerpts

Live audition (pianist preferred, but not required; please prioritize your health, safety, and comfort):

  1. At least two movements of a major sonata or other non-concerto work for bassoon and piano
  2. At least two movements of a major concerto (with cadenzas where applicable)
  3. Six varied orchestral excerpts

Live auditions will be held virtually on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions about substitution should be directed to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

String Quartet Fellowship

We are accepting String Quartet Fellowship applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Prescreening recording (video required)
Three contrasting movements by three composers from different periods. One movement must be from a work by Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven.

Live audition

1. A complete string quartet by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven

2. Two contrasting movements from a quartet by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schumann, Dvořák, Debussy or Ravel

3. Two contrasting movements from a quartet by Bartók, Shostakovich, Schoenberg, Berg, or Britten; or a complete work by WebernOp. 5, Op. 9, or Op. 29

4. An additional contrasting work (or a significant portion of a larger work) of the group's choice

If a group wants to include a work that is not on the above-mentioned list, the primary contact should email gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu to ask if the substitute repertoire is acceptable for requirements 2 and/or 3.

Virtual auditions will be held the week of February 22, 2021.

We recognize the challenges and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please send any questions you might have to gradmusic.admissions@yale.edu.

Collaborative Piano Fellowship

Please note there is no Collaborative Piano Fellowship vacancy for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Prescreening recordings (video strongly preferred):

  1. with an instrumentalist, two contrasting movements of different styles from different periods
  2. one piece for solo piano

Audition repertoire
Applicants should be available for a live audition in New Haven. Specific repertoire, likely adhering to the following guidelines, will be provided with the audition invitation:

  1. one piece with a string player
  2. one piece with a wind player
  3. one piece for solo piano

Prescreening Resources

As we adjust to life online, here are some recommendations we hope will be useful as you prepare to record an audition video.

How to make a Prescreening Video

Equipment Guide for Prescreening Videos

Optimizing Your Internet Speed

Frequently Asked Questions

Chamber music students rehearsing
More Opportunities

Fellowship Programs

The String Quartet Fellowship and Collaborative Piano Fellowship offer opportunities to young professionals who have launched a career in their field.
Yale Schola Cantorum rehearsing
Affiliate Schools

The Institute of Sacred Music

In partnership with the School of Music and Divinity School, the ISM prepares its students for careers in sacred music performance and scholarship.
Students on the grounds of Norfolk
summer festival

Study at Norfolk

Continue your studies during the summer at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music in Norfolk, Connecticut.