Strings

Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The USC Online Application and Prescreen Recording must be received by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Applicants are welcome to indicate on the application whether they have a teacher preference for their studies at the Thornton School. Any teacher preference will be taken into account where possible given studio availability.

Note: Recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall DecisionDesk portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

To access the Fall portal to submit your recording click on the following link:

USC Thornton Fall Portal (Available Sept 1)

Please note: Current USC Thornton students applying for a graduate program are not required to submit a prescreen recording, however they must indicate on the application that they are a current Thornton student or they will not automatically be scheduled for a live audition. Current USC students are encouraged to contact Kit Bellamy in the Thornton Admission office with any questions or concerns regarding audition scheduling.

Pre-screen Requirements

All string applicants are required to submit an unedited video recording to the DecisionDesk portal for pre-screening purposes by the application deadline in order to receive an invitation to a live audition at USC. The results of the pre-screening (as determined by the appropriate faculty) will determine whether an applicant will be invited to campus to perform a live audition. If a student is not able to perform the live audition at USC, s/he may request that the pre-screen video recording also be considered in lieu of the live audition. It is extremely important to note, however, that only a VIDEO recording which includes the required live audition repertoire would be considered in lieu of a live audition.

The submitted video recording for pre-screening must contain at least 15 minutes of music and all 15 minutes of music must have been recorded within the last two calendar years. The prescreen repertoire for the Double Bass prescreen is the SAME as the live audition repertoire (please see repertoire requirements below). All other applicants can submit 15 minutes of any repertoire of their choice. Comments regarding the pre-screening material will not be released to the applicant. Video recordings submitted in lieu of live audition must contain all required repertoire in their entirety.

Video recordings must be submitted to the DescisionDesk portal by the December 1st deadline to be pre-screened by the faculty. Applicants who do not provide the required pre-screening materials by the stated deadline will not be considered for an invitation to audition in person.

Live Audition Repertoire

Piano accompaniment is strongly preferred, but not required. A suggested list of pianists available for hire (at the applicant’s own expense) is available through the Strings office at the Thornton School: (213) 740-7703. Applicants must provide a copy of piano scores to the pianist for the audition. All music should be performed from memory, except sonata/duo works or contemporary works. The live auditions will be held in 15 minute increments, though the faculty panel may decide that the students need not to perform for the full 15 minutes. Actual music performed at the audition will be determined by the faculty present at the audition from the repertoire prepared by the applicant according to the requirements as described below. Applicants with insufficient required repertoire may be disqualified at the discretion of the faculty panel.

It should be carefully noted that some members of the strings faculty request things such as private interviews and lessons in addition to the audition requirements detailed at this page in order for the applicant to be given the fullest consideration for placement in their studios. Typically, these additional meetings are scheduled around, but not during, the regular live audition dates. All specific arrangements for these meetings are initiated and finalized by the faculty members themselves.

Violin

  1. Two contrasting movements from an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita
  2. One movement (with applicable cadenza) from a major concerto work
  3. One piece of applicant’s choice (must be a commercially published work)

Viola

  1. Two contrasting movements from any Bach solo suite originally composed for cello or from a Bach sonata or partita originally composed for violin
  2. A sonata movement or other duo work for viola and piano
  3. A substantial movement from a standard concerto written for viola (with applicable cadenza)

Cello

  1. Two contrasting movements of an unaccompanied Bach suite
  2. First movement of a standard concerto (with applicable cadenza) or other major work (such as Rococo Variations [Tchaikovsky] or Schelomo [Bloch])
  3. One piece of applicant’s choice (must be a commercially published work)

Double Bass

  1. Two contrasting movements of a standard double bass concerto or comparable works from the standard double bass solo repertoire
  2. Three orchestral excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire
  3. Two movements of a solo Bach Suite in any key

Harp

  1. Two orchestra excerpts
  2. A composition of the degree of difficulty equivalent to the “Fantasie on a Theme of Haydn” by Grandjany
  3. One contrasting work

Master of Music, Graduate Certificate

If you are planning to apply to the Artist Diploma program please follow the audition requirements on the Artist Diploma page.

The USC Online Application and Prescreen Recording must be received by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Applicants are welcome to indicate on the application whether they have a teacher preference for their studies at the Thornton School. Any teacher preference will be taken into account where possible given studio availability.

Recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall DecisionDesk portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

To access the Fall portal to submit your recording click on the following link:

USC Thornton Fall Portal (Available Sept 1)

Audition requirements

All string applicants are required to submit an unedited video recording on the DecisionDesk portal for pre-screening purposes by the application deadline in order to receive an invitation to a live audition at USC. The results of the pre-screening (as determined by the appropriate faculty) will determine whether an applicant will be invited to campus to perform a live audition. If a student is not able to perform the live audition at USC, s/he may request that the pre-screen video recording also be considered in lieu of the live audition. It is extremely important to note, however, that only a video recording which includes the complete required live audition repertoire would be considered in lieu of a live audition.

The submitted video recording for pre-screening must contain at least 15 minutes of music chosen by the applicant, and all 15 minutes of music must have been recorded within the last two calendar years. Comments regarding the pre-screening material will not be released to the applicant Current and recent graduates in good standing of USC Thornton Strings Department majoring in performance in the area do not need to submit a pre-screening recording.

Video recordings must be submited to the DescisionDesk portal by the December 1st deadline to be pre-screened by the faculty. Applicants who do not provide the required pre-screening materials by the stated deadline will not be considered for an invitation to audition in person.

Live audition repertoire

Piano accompaniment is strongly preferred, but not required. A suggested list of pianists available for hire (at the applicant’s own expense) is available through the Strings office at the Thornton School: (213) 740-7703. Applicants must provide a copy of piano scores to the pianist for the audition. All music should be performed from memory, except sonata/duo works or contemporary works. The live auditions will be held in 20 minute increments, though students may not need to perform for the full 20 minutes. Actual music performed at the audition will be determined by the faculty present at the audition from the repertoire prepared by the applicant from the requirements as described below. Applicants with insufficient repertoire may be disqualified at the discretion of the faculty panel.

It should be carefully noted that some members of the strings faculty request things such as private interviews and lessons in addition to the audition requirements detailed at this page in order for the applicant to be given the fullest consideration for placement in their studios. Typically, these additional meetings are scheduled around, but not during, the regular live audition dates. All specific arrangements for these meetings are initiated and finalized by the faculty members themselves.

Violin

  1. From J.S. Bach-Unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas:
    • Two major movements and applicable doubles from the b minor Partita OR
    • The CHACONNE from the d minor Partita OR
    • Three consecutive movements from the E major Partita OR
    • Any fuga and other movement from any of the three sonatas OR
    • Three consecutive movements from the d minor Partita
  2. Two major contrasting movements from the sonata or duo repertoire with piano
  3. One complete major concerto work (with applicable cadenzas)
  4. One brilliant concert piece demonstrating virtuosity. A Paganini Caprice, or one unaccompanied Ysaye Solo Sonata, or one work by Ernst, can be substituted – must be a commercially published work (a movement from a multi-movement work does not count as a work)
  5. One commercially published work written after 1980 (a movement from a multi-movement work does not count as a work)

Viola

  1. Two contrasting movements from any Bach solo suite originally composed for cello or from a Bach sonata or partita originally composed for violin
  2. A complete sonata or other duo work for viola and piano
  3. A complete 20th century concerto (with applicable cadenzas) from the standard repertoire

Cello

  1. One piece of applicant’s choice (must be a commercially published work)
  2. Two contrasting movements of an unaccompanied Bach suite
  3. One complete concerto or major work from the standard cello repertoire
  4. A complete sonata or other duo work for cello and piano
  5. A commercially published work written in the 20th or 21st century

Double Bass

  1. Two contrasting movements of a standard double bass concerto or comparable works from the standard double bass repertoire
  2. Three orchestral excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire
  3. Two movements of a solo Bach Suite in any key

Harp

  1. Two complete works comparable to the difficulty and scope of the Sonata of Hindemith or the Impromptu of Faure
  2. Three standard orchestral excerpts

Doctor of Musical Arts

If you are planning to apply to the Artist Diploma program please follow the audition requirements on the Artist Diploma page.

The USC Online Application and Prescreen Recording must be received by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Applicants are welcome to indicate on the application whether they have a teacher preference for their studies at the Thornton School. Any teacher preference will be taken into account where possible given studio availability.

Recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall DecisionDesk portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

To access the Fall portal to submit your recording click on the following link:

USC Thornton Fall Portal (Available Sept 1)

Audition Requirements

All string applicants are required to submit an unedited video recording for pre-screening purposes by the application deadline in order to receive an invitation to a live audition at USC. The results of the pre-screening (as determined by the appropriate faculty) will determine whether an applicant will be invited to campus to perform a live audition.

The submitted video recording must contain at least 15 minutes of music chosen by the applicant, and all 15 minutes of music must have been recorded within the last two calendar years. Comments regarding the pre-screening material will not be released to the applicant. All pre-screening materials become the property of The Thornton School of Music and will not be returned to the applicant.

Video recordings must be submited to the DecisionDesk portal by the December 1st deadline to be pre-screened by the faculty. Applicants who do not provide the required pre-screening materials by the stated deadline will not be considered for an invitation to audition in person.

Live Audition Repertoire

All applicants to a DMA program in strings MUST perform a live audition with an accompanist for the faculty in Los Angeles. If a student is not able to perform the live audition at USC, the applicant cannot be considered for admission to the program.

For DMA applicants piano accompaniment is REQUIRED (at the applicant’s own expense). A suggested list of pianists is available through the Strings office at the Thornton School: (213) 740-7704. All music should be performed from memory, except sonata/duo works and contemporary works. The live auditions will be held in 30 minute increments, though students may not need to perform for the full 30 minutes. Actual music performed at the audition will be determined by the faculty present at the audition from the repertoire prepared by the applicant from the requirements as described below. Applicants with insufficient required repertoire may be disqualified at the discretion of the faculty panel.

It should be carefully noted that some members of the strings faculty request things such as private interviews and lessons in addition to the audition requirements detailed at this page in order for the applicant to be given the fullest consideration for placement in their studios. Typically, these additional meetings are scheduled around, but not during, the regular live audition dates. All specific arrangements for these meetings are initiated and finalized by the faculty members themselves.

Violin

  1. A complete unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita
  2. One complete work from the sonata or duo repertoire
  3. One complete major concerto work (with applicable cadenzas)
  4. One Paganini Caprice, or one unaccompanied Ysaye Solo Sonata, or one work by Ernest, or one brilliant concert piece demonstrating virtuosity.
  5. One commercially published work written after 1980

Viola

  1. One complete solo Bach suite, sonata, or partita
  2. One complete concerto (with applicable cadenzas) from the standard repertoire
  3. One complete sonata or other duo work for viola and piano from Brahms, Schubert or Vieuxtemps
  4. One commercially published work written in the 20th or 21st century
  5. One virtuoso work

Cello

Four complete, contrasting recital works including one from the 20th or 21st century(commercially published work) in addition to one complete concerto with applicable cadenzas and a complete solo Bach suite

Double Bass

Four complete, contrasting recital works including one from the 20th or 21st century (commercially published work) in addition to one complete concerto with applicable cadenzas

Harp

A full length recital with complete, contrasting works including one from the 20th or 21st century (commercially published work), and a standard concerto with applicable cadenzas