Admission Procedures

Instructions for Application

The Yale School of Music application for the 2020–2021 academic year is available online at https://music.yale.edu. The online application deadline is December 1, 2019.

The information that follows will assist applicants in filing the application. For an explanation of requirements and structure of various programs, please refer to the chapter Degrees in this bulletin. Please note that students may not apply to a degree program at YSM if they already have the equivalent degree or a doctorate from another institution in the same area of concentration. Students may not enroll in a degree program at Yale if they will be enrolled in another institution’s degree program simultaneously.

Application Fee

Each application submitted to the School of Music Office of Admissions must be accompanied by an application fee in the amount of $150 (U.S.). This application fee is non­refundable and will not be credited toward tuition or any other account upon admission. There are no fee waivers. There is no additional charge for audition appointments.

Master of Music (M.M.) Degree

Applicants who will have earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent prior to September 2020 may apply to the M.M. program, a two-year curriculum.

Master of Musical Arts (M.M.A.) Degree

Applicants who will have earned a Master of Music degree or its equivalent in the same field in which they are applying prior to September 2020 may apply to the M.M.A. program, a two-year curriculum. Those who have earned a D.M.A. degree are not eligible to apply.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) Degree

Applicants who will have received a Master of Music degree or its equivalent in the same field in which they are applying prior to September 2020 may apply to the D.M.A. program. Those who have already earned a D.M.A. degree are not eligible to apply.

D.M.A. applicants are required to submit a term paper or other sample of scholarly writing at the time of application. Admission to the program is through personal audition for the relevant area faculty and examinations in music history, analysis, and musicianship. Applicants will be assessed in keyboard and foreign language proficiencies. Applicants should note that the entire application process requires their presence for two to three days in New Haven.

No one may apply to the D.M.A. program more than twice. Yale first-year M.M.A. or Artist Diploma students admitted to the D.M.A. program forfeit their enrollment in their previous program.

Artist Diploma Program

Applicants who will have earned a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to September 2020 may apply to the A.D. program, a two-year curriculum. The program is open to instrumentalists and singers on the verge of a major career. Those who have already earned a D.M.A. degree are not eligible to apply.

Certificate in Performance Program

Applicants who will have earned a minimum of a high school diploma, or its equivalent, prior to September 2020 may apply to the Certificate in Performance program, a three-year curriculum. Those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to apply.

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Music (B.A./M.M.) Program

Admission to the B.A./M.M. program is through acceptance into Yale College as well as a separate, successful audition through the School of Music, either before matriculation into Yale College or during the third year of the undergraduate program. The program is open to instrumentalists majoring in both music and other subjects; current Yale College students should consult with the School of Music’s admissions director before applying.

Recording and Audition Repertoire Guidelines

Prescreening recordings are required from all applicants. We strongly prefer that all applicants submit prescreening recordings online, as part of the online application, instead of by mail. It is very important that the audio quality is as high as possible on audio and video recordings. If you are given a choice between submitting audio or video recordings, and your video does not have high audio quality, we prefer that you submit an audio recording. Copies of recordings and scores should be sent, as these materials will not be returned.

The works listed below have been designated by the faculty as appropriate repertoire for the recording and audition. Some substitution may be acceptable, but applicants should adhere to the suggested repertoire as closely as possible. Please note that the repertoire guidelines listed below are subject to change. The most up-to-date repertoire and detailed instructions may be found online at https://music.yale.edu.

Keyboard

Piano Prescreening Recording (audio or video): (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 (for the recording, provide at least two contrasting movements; for the live audition, prepare an entire work); (3) a larger Romantic nineteenth-century work; and (4) a twentieth- or twenty-first-century composition (for a multi-movement work, provide at least two contrasting movements).

Live Audition: Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to these guidelines. A concerto can be used for the recording, but not for the live audition.

Organ Prescreening Recording (audio): Representative works from the major areas of organ literature: (1) a major Bach work; (2) a Romantic work; and (3) a contemporary work.

Live Audition: Organ applicants are strongly encouraged, though not required, to perform different works from those on the prescreening recording. However, works should be chosen from the same three categories above. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate sight-reading ability and other essential musical skills.

Harpsichord Prescreening Recording (audio): (1) any contrapuntal work by J.S. Bach; (2) two or more French dances from either the seventeenth or eighteenth century; (3) candidate’s choice: in addition to the above repertoire, please choose a representative example from either the English Virginalist school, an early seventeenth-century Italian toccata, a sonata of Domenico Scarlatti, or twentieth- or twenty-first-century literature.

Live Audition: Applicants will be responsible for the abovementioned literature and any contrasting work by a different composer. Applicants will also be tested on their expertise in continuo realization.

Strings

Violin Prescreening Recording (video preferred, with high-quality audio): (1) a movement of an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita (A.D., M.M.A., and D.M.A. applicants must provide two movements); (2) a movement of a Romantic or twentieth-century concerto; (3) any Paganini caprice; (4) a short work of the applicant’s choice; and (5) a movement of a Mozart concerto.

Live Audition: Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to these guidelines. (A.D., M.M.A., and D.M.A. applicants must play Mozart at the live audition. M.M. and Certificate applicants will play Mozart only for the prescreening recording, not the live audition).

Viola Prescreening Recording (video or audio; piano accompaniment required, where applicable): Applicants must provide at least fifteen minutes of music of their choice, including three works of contrasting style. One movement of each work is acceptable, and at least one of the pieces (the concerto or the sonata) must be a Romantic work. It is not necessary to include the pieces required for the live audition.

Live Audition: All applicants must prepare: (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, etc.; (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 that will be announced to invited applicants four to six weeks before the audition; (5) A.D. applicants only must include (in addition to the pieces above) a piece of the candidate’s choice.

Cello Prescreening Recording (video required): (1) prelude and another movement from Bach Suite No. 4 or No. 6; (2) the first movement from one of the following concerti: Haydn C major, Dvořák, Schumann, Shostakovich, or Elgar; (3) applicant’s choice: a piece (solo or with piano) written after 1970.

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

Bass Prescreening Recording (video 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; and (3) two contrasting orchestral excerpts.

Live audition: Prepare the same pieces as the prescreening recording (repertoire may be substituted), plus a short contemporary work by a composer such as Carter, Kurtág, Berio, Henze, Weinberg, or Perischetti.

Guitar Prescreening Recording (audio or video) for M.M., M.M.A., and Certificate applicants: (1) a major work by Bach (prepare the larger movement—the prelude, or prelude and fugue), two Scarlatti sonatas, or three movements from a Silvius Leopold Weiss suite; (2) a major work or two shorter works by Giuliani, Sor, Coste, Mertz, Regondi, Legnani, Aguado, or others; (3) a work of the twentieth or twenty-first century, such as Villa-Lobos études (four of the twelve études) or a major work of Rodrigo, Turina, Ponce, Barrios, José, Britten, Martin, Brouwer, Assad, Walton, Ginastera, Takemitsu, Carter, or Lindberg; (4) guitar applicants who are composers are encouraged to include a work of their own, although it cannot replace requirement number (3); (5) the first movement of one of the following concerti (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’s Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra; and (6) applicants may also consider including any of the following repertoire (not required): Renaissance music of Dowland and/or Da Milano, or arrangements of works by Granados and Albéniz.

Prescreening Recording (audio or video) for A.D. and D.M.A. applicants only: Applicants must submit a live recording of one hour and fifteen minutes of music (the equivalent of a full recital program), including 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 major work from either the Classical or Romantic period, such as Giuliani’s Sonata Eroica, Grand Overture, or any of the Rosinianas; Mertz’s Elegy, Hungarian Fantasy, or the complete six Schubert’sche Lieder; Regondi’s Introduction and Caprice or Three Etudes; or Sor’s Grand Solo or Professor Verdery’s arrangement of Mozart’s Adagio, K. 540; (3) a major work of the twentieth or twenty-first century such as a sonata by Brouwer, Ginastera, José, or Turina, or one of the following: Assad’s Aquarelle, Berio’s Sequenza, Britten’s Nocturnal, Carter’s Changes, Henze’s Royal Winter Music or Drei Tentos, Linberg’s Mano a Mano, Marshall’s Soepa, Martin’s Quatre Pièces Brèves, Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, Sculthorpe’s From Kakadu, Takemitsu’s Into the Woods or All in Twilight, Villa-Lobos études (four of the twelve études), or Walton’s Bagatelles; (4) the first movement of one of the following concerti (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’s Concerto for Guitar and Small Orchestra; (5) guitar applicants who are composers are encouraged to include a work of their own, although it cannot replace requirement number (3); and (6) applicants may consider including any of the following repertoire (not required): the music of Milan, Dowland, and Da Milano, or arrangements of works by Granados and Albéniz.

Live Audition: In addition to the prescreening pieces, invited applicants must prepare a short, required 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 desires to play is not on the above list, the applicant is encouraged to inquire if it is acceptable for the prescreening recording and/or audition.

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, Rhapsodie by Grandjany; and (3) a sonata from the twentieth-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 these guidelines.

Woodwinds

Flute Prescreening Recording (video required): (1) Sonatine of Dutilleux (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); and (4) a work of the applicant’s choice (complete work preferred).

Live Audition (pianist required): (1) Jolivet’s Chant de Linos; (2) from memory: the second movement of Mozart’s Concerto in D Major; and (3) the first movement of any Vivaldi C Major piccolo concerto.

Oboe Prescreening Recording (audio or video; piano required, where applicable): Applicants provide fifteen to twenty 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; and (4) four varied orchestral excerpts.

Live Audition (pianist required): (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); and (4) six varied orchestral excerpts.

Clarinet Prescreening Recording (audio or video): (1) exposition of the Mozart Concerto with accompaniment, orchestral or piano; (2) Stravinsky: second of the Three Pieces for solo clarinet; (3) Weber: first movement exposition from Concerto No. 1 or 2; (4) exposition of a Brahms clarinet sonata of the applicant’s choice with piano; and (5) a five-minute selection of the applicant’s choice that shows the applicant’s best qualities, preferably a contemporary work.

Live Audition (pianist required): selections from the above may be requested, in addition to possible sight-reading.

Bassoon Prescreening Recording (video preferred; piano accompaniment required, where applicable): Applicants provide no more than fifteen minutes of their playing, excerpted from the following: (1) a sonata or other non-concerto work for bassoon and piano; (2) a concerto; and (3) two to four varied orchestral excerpts.

Live Audition (pianist required): (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); and (3) six varied orchestral excerpts.

Brass

Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba Prescreening Recording (audio or video): 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 demand, with examples covering the full range of the instrument, and should include the following: (1) four or more varied standard orchestral excerpts; and (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: Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to these guidelines.

Percussion

Prescreening Recording (video required; unedited): (1) a major work for either marimba or vibraphone; (2) one piece from Elliott Carter’s Eight Pieces for Four Timpani; (3) a solo piece for multiple percussion; and (4) an étude for snare drum.

Live Audition: (1) a major work 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: (a) timpani: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9; (b) timpani: Richard Strauss, Burleske; (c) timpani: Mozart, Symphony No. 39; (d) snare drum: Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade; (e) xylophone: Messiaen, Exotic Birds; (f) glockenspiel: Debussy, La Mer.

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 style and language. Four of these selections should be operatic arias.

Live Audition: Audition and prescreening repertoire may be the same or different, as long as both programs adhere to these guidelines.

Early Music, Oratorio, and Chamber Ensemble Prescreening Recording (audio or video; video required for at least one selection): Include seven selections of contrasting style and language 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 highlight their versatility as a performer.

Live Audition: Prepare five pieces of contrasting style, language, and period. 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.

Composition

Prescreening Recording: Applicants should submit scores and recordings of two to three recent works (no more than three will be considered), each written, preferably, for a different genre or group of instruments, voice, and/or electronic media. Composers should upload PDFs of scores, as well as recordings, videos, or external links, to the online application. In the case of particularly large (oversize) scores that would be difficult to review on a computer screen, materials may be sent by mail, but applicants should submit all scores/recordings by the same method (either online or by mail), not a combination of both methods.

Interview: Those applicants who advance beyond the prescreening round will be invited to New Haven for a thirty-minute interview with the composition faculty.

Conducting

Orchestral Conducting Prescreening Recording (video required): Applicants must submit video excerpts highlighting their best orchestral conducting. No specific repertoire is required. However, the samples must include at least two contrasting musical styles of standard orchestral repertoire and must have been filmed within the past twelve months. A minimum of three excerpts may be uploaded to a video hosting website (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). The videos should contain the following: (1) footage of the applicant conducting an ensemble/orchestra in concert; and (2) footage of the applicant working with an ensemble/orchestra in rehearsal. All footage should contain the title of the piece, the date, and the name of the ensemble (mandatory). 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 toward the conductor. We are most interested in rehearsal footage, although some concert footage should also be included. Each video sample and any additional samples should be uploaded as a separate video file and should total no more than twenty minutes in length. It is preferred that videos be made with a full orchestra, but a mixed ensemble of about fifteen musicians is acceptable. The video footage should focus on the conductor, not the ensemble.

Live Audition: Select applicants will be invited to New Haven in February for a series of interviews and for a live audition. Invited applicants will be asked to conduct several selections from the standard orchestral repertoire with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale. Repertoire will be included in the invitation letter.

Choral Conducting Prescreening Recording (video required): Applicants must submit a video of up to fifteen minutes in length showing the conducting of both rehearsal and performance.

Live Audition: Those applicants invited to New Haven for a live audition will be expected to demonstrate a highly developed level of comprehensive musicianship, including theory, aural skills, keyboard skills, harmonic dictation, and score reading. Individual conducting assignments for the live audition will be made in the letter of invitation to audition.

Recommendations

Each application must include three reference letters to support the applicant’s candidacy for graduate study. Current Yale School of Music students must submit one letter of recommendation.

Transcripts

Applicants must submit official transcripts (academic records) from all colleges or universities attended. Applicants who have not received a bachelor’s degree must submit official transcripts from all high schools attended. Faxes and photocopies are not acceptable.

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE)

All applicants to the composition department must take the GRE General Test, with the exception of those who are required to submit a TOEFL score. Those who already hold a degree from, or are currently enrolled in, the Yale School of Music are not required to submit a new score. Our institution code for the GRE is 3992.

Further information about the GRE can be found at www.ets.org/gre.

Note: Applicants who have not submitted the required test scores will not be considered for admission.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Students for whom English is not a native language must demonstrate a level of language proficiency appropriate for graduate study. For applicants to the M.M., M.M.A., and D.M.A. degree programs, as well as the Certificate in Performance program, the School of Music requires a minimum TOEFL score of 86 on the Internet-based test (equivalent to 227 on the computer-based test and 567 on the paper-based test). The minimum score for Artist Diploma applicants is 80 on the Internet-based test (equivalent to 213 on the computer-based test and 500 on the paper-based test). TOEFL applications may be obtained online at www.ets.org/toefl. The institution code for TOEFL reports is 3992. Students are advised to make testing arrangements at least six months before the application deadline. More information can be found at www.ets.org/toefl.

Note: Applicants who have not submitted the required test scores by March 1 will not be considered for admission.

Auditions/Interviews

Applicants are invited for a personal audition (interview for composers) in New Haven on the basis of the prescreening recording and other credentials. Applicants will be notified in January or February and must be prepared to perform all material specified in the repertoire guidelines. Applicants may be asked to demonstrate sight-reading ability and other essential musical skills during the audition. Auditions are held in New Haven. Attendance is mandatory, and those who do not attend will not be considered for admission.

Audition/Interview Schedule, 2020

Auditions and interviews for all applicants will take place during audition week: Monday, February 24, through Sunday, March 1, 2020. Audition dates for specific instruments are posted online at https://music.yale.edu/admissions.

The first round of A.D. auditions will be heard by Yale School of Music faculty as part of the regular auditions for each area. After the first round, select candidates will be advanced to a final round of auditions, which will take place on Saturday, February 29, 2020. The final round will be adjudicated by an external committee.

The D.M.A. musicianship exam, proficiency tests, and entrance examination, required of all D.M.A. candidates, will be given on Friday and Saturday, February 28–29, 2020. Applicants are required to be present both days. The exams are not offered on any other dates and will not be rescheduled.