THE YOUNG CONCERT ARTISTS
The Young Concert Artists International Auditions are held annually to discover and launch the careers of extraordinary musicians from all over the world. Winners are selected by a jury of distinguished musicians. The criteria are exceptional musicianship, virtuosity, individuality, projection as a performer, and promise. Musicians compete against a standard of excellence – not each other, and there can be any number of winners each year.
– The New York Times
Winners of the 2018 Auditions:
Randall Goosby, violin
Risa Hokamura, violin
Maxim Lando, piano
Aristo Sham, piano
Jonathan Swensen, cello
Winners of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions join the YCA roster with a three-year comprehensive management contract, are presented in debut recitals in New York City and in Washington, DC at The Kennedy Center, and are booked in concert engagements around the North America and abroad.
Additional prizes may include: performance prizes with concert series and orchestras nationwide, recording contracts, showcase performances at international performing arts conferences, a debut concerto performance at Alice Tully Hall.
The 2019 Auditions:
Preliminary Round: Live auditions will be held on selected dates in September 2019 at the DiMenna Center for Classical
Music in NYC. You may also submit recordings for your preliminary round audition.
Semi-final Round: November 12, 13 & 14, 2019 at Merkin Concert Hall, NYC
Final Round: Sunday, November 17, 2019 at Merkin Concert Hall, NYC
Winners Concert: Monday, November 18, 2019
Deadlines and Application Fees:
The deadline for the 2019 auditions has passed. Details for the 2020 auditions will be posted here in January.
Applicants will prepare at least 60 minutes of music consisting of complete works in the categories below.
During the live preliminary round and semi-final round, the jury will request to hear sections of the repertoire you have submitted. These rounds last 15 – 20 minutes. For the final round, you will choose a 20-minute recital program, to be played without interruption.
All repertoire must be approved by Young Concert Artists.
1. A suite, partita, or other large-scale work of J.S. Bach
2. A Classical sonata or recital work
3. A Romantic sonata or recital work
4. A 20th-century or Contemporary work
5. a) Piano/Guitar: an additional recital work of your choice
b) Strings/Winds/Brass: a major concerto
1. Three groups of 4 songs, with each group in a different language – a total of 12 songs (for example, 4 songs
in English, 4 songs in German, and 4 songs in French). The songs within each group do not necessarily have to be
by the same composer or related in any way other than language.
2. An operatic aria
3. If one of the song groups or the aria is not in English, please add one work in English. All songs in English
must be originally written in English.
1. A Classical work
2. A Romantic work
3. A 20th-century or Contemporary work
4. Two additional works of your choice (wind/brass ensembles: include one Baroque work)
Instrumentalists and Ensembles: three complete works in contrasting styles
Voice: two songs in each of two different languages, plus one aria
Accepted media: Audio or Video
CD or DVD mailed to the YCA office
Online links (YouTube, DropBox, etc.) emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Recordings may be submitted instead of giving a live preliminary audition. Recordings from live performances or commercial recordings are acceptable. The repertoire for your recorded audition can be different from what you plan to perform live in the semi-final and final round. There is no duration requirement for the recorded audition.
If you are submitting recordings by email, please include a list of the repertoire submitted in the body of the email, and make sure that all links or file names are clearly labeled with your name and the title of the work.
If you are submitting a CD/DVD by mail, please include a page that lists the repertoire on each track. Make sure to write your name and instrument on the CD itself.
Applicants from the recorded preliminary round who advance to the semi-final round must come to New York City for the live semi-final auditions.
Rules and Procedures:
Complete and submit the application form, two letters of recommendation, a bio, and the application fee to email@example.com, or by regular mail to
Young Concert Artists, Inc.
1776 Broadway, Suite 1500
New York, NY 10019
ATTN: Auditions Coordinator
Two Letters of Recommendation from professional musicians specifically describing your potential for a concert career. Recommenders can send their letters directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application Fee: pay the application fee above, or include your credit card information on the application form. Once your application has been accepted, this fee is non-refundable.
Live Audition Applicants: once your application has been approved, your participation in the 2019 auditions is confirmed. To schedule the date and time of your audition, you must call 212-307-6656 beginning on Monday, August 12, during office hours (10-6pm, Monday – Friday).
Recorded Audition Applicants: after your application has been approved, you must submit your preliminary round recordings by Friday, August 2 (postmark date).
All Applicants: you will be notified if you have advanced to the semi-final round during the first week of October.
Accompanists: you are responsible for providing your own pianist (and page-turner) if needed. For a list of recommended pianists, please contact email@example.com.
Please note: you are responsible for travel, housing and other expenses related to the New York Auditions.
Applicants at the beginning of a solo career who offer repertoire within the categories listed, submit an application, and are not under North American management (except singers, see below) are eligible. Winners must be available to perform concert engagements in North America for a minimum of six weeks (two three-week periods) between September and May of each concert season. Using these criteria, Young Concert Artists reserves the right to accept or reject applications.
The 2019 Auditions are closed to the following instruments: flute, double bass, accordion, cello, percussion, marimba, harp, and piano duo (two pianos).
If you strongly wish to enter the auditions and do not fit within the described criteria, please send a letter and recordings (see instructions for Recorded Auditions above) to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your case for YCA’s consideration.
Age limits: At the time of applying, instrumentalists must be 16 to 26 years old, singers must be 20 to 28 years old, and the average age of ensembles must be 26 or less.
Musicians who have applied in previous years may re-apply at the discretion of Young Concert Artists by offering new repertoire. If you have applied since 2013, you do not need to submit letters of recommendation, as recent applications are kept on file.
Artists already under management outside of North America: along with your application, please submit a letter from your management to Young Concert Artists with the following statement:
“In the interest of developing a career in North America for [artist’s name], I hereby give permission and approval for [artist’s name] to enter the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and agree, without reservation, that should [artist’s name] be selected as a winner of the Auditions, he/she may be represented by Young Concert Artists on an exclusive basis for all engagements in North America for a period of three years; that I will make available to Young Concert Artists a minimum of two three-week periods between September and May of each season in his/her schedule for North American engagements; and that I will take no commission on engagements booked by Young Concert Artists.”
Singers already under management who wish to perform recitals through Young Concert Artists: along with your application, submit a letter from your management to Young Concert Artists with the following statement:
“In the interests of developing a new public for song recitals and in creating new opportunities for young singers to perform concert repertoire, I hereby give permission and approval for [singer’s name] to enter the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and agree, without reservation, that should [singer’s name] be selected as a winner of the Auditions, he/she may be represented by Young Concert Artists on an exclusive basis for recital engagements for a period of three years.”
Erol Gurol, Auditions Coordinator
212-307-6656 or email@example.com
Young Concert Artists, Inc.
1776 Broadway, Suite 1500
New York, NY 10019