Applicants can apply with standard symphonic instruments: violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, and timpani.
Each young musician should be recommended by a “nominator” who is for example a music teacher, or the director of a local youth orchestra, school band or ensemble, and who knows the young musician well. The nominator will write a recommendation for the person he or she nominates. If you want to nominate a hidden talent, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and email address of the young musician. We will send him or her the link to Acceptd where the application can be made.
Audition Videos (see below)
Biographical Essay: In approximately 100–200 words, describe your background and musical/educational experience. Notice: This essay should be preferably written in English. If that is too difficult, please write it in your own language.
Recommendations: You will be asked to enter email addresses for two required references, including the nominator. Each reference will receive a link to an online recommendation form after you submit your completed application. Please note that this email will be sent directly from Acceptd (and not from RCO Young) Your two references submit their confidential recommendations about both your personal and musical qualities.
All applicants to RCO Young are required to record a series of videos that include the content outlined below. Each performance segment must be recorded in one take with no editing (though it is permitted to select the best out of several takes). All videos must be recorded within eight months of the application deadline. Professional equipment and/or studio space is not necessary for a successful application to RCO Young. With proper attention to a few details, the applicant’s music playing can be successfully conveyed using readily available consumer electronics, like iPhones or other smartphones. Please refer to our Video Guidelines for additional information and suggestions for effectively recording the audition.
Required Video Segments
Introduction: Before performing your solo selection, please include a spoken introduction in which you state your name, instrument, hometown, and title of the solo work you have chosen.
Solo Piece: The solo piece is preferably the exposition of a classical solo concierto, but can be any work of your choice, or a movement/section of a longer work, provided that it is approximately three minutes in duration. If the piece is longer than three minutes, you may record an excerpt or submit an unedited three-minute section from a longer recording. You may also use a recent solo recording if it meets the RCO Young audition requirements, but please record and upload the spoken introduction separately. A work with piano accompaniment (except if you are applying on percussion) is strongly preferred.
Excerpts: Each instrument has one required orchestral excerpt.
Scales: Please play one major and one minor (harmonic or melodic) scale in any key of your choice with up to four sharps/flats from memory at a comfortable tempo. Each scale should be played twice, once slurred and once separated, using an articulation or bowing of your choice. Violin, viola, and cello applicants should play two or three octaves; bass, wind, and brass applicants should play one or two octaves.
Video Essay: Please record an answer to one of the following questions.
What is your most meaningful musical experience, either as a performer or as a listener?
What is a non-musical interest or activity that you are passionate about and why?
What musician (of any genre) most inspires you and why (or how)?
Please notice: this video essay should preferably be spoken in English. If that is too difficult, please record it in your own language.
Where possible, we encourage you to keep the following in mind when making the recording.
Consider lighting, framing, and camera placement. Film in a well-lit space, and be sure that there is mostly lighting in front of you (rather than from behind). Place the camera so that you, your instrument, and your full range of motion are in the frame at all times; we should also be able to see both you and your pianist during the accompanied work, if applicable. Choose a medium distance that shows as much detail as possible, while still allowing the image to be framed as described above.
Try to place the camera on a tripod or flat surface when shooting.
Test the audio level so that there is no distortion during the loudest passages of your selections, while also making sure that the softest portions can still be heard. If possible, consider using an external microphone connected to your camera to record your playing and speaking.
Prior to recording your audition video, clean and/or adjust your instrument to be sure it is in the best possible condition. You may wish to ask your music teacher or a professional repair person to look at your instrument to assist with any necessary adjustments.
While it is not necessary to use a grand piano for the accompanied segment, please be sure the instrument is in good tune before recording.
Other than stopping and starting the camera between segments, no editing of the audio or video is permitted. Applicants whose videos show evidence of any cuts, splicing, manipulation of pitch, or other alteration within a performance segment will be subject to disqualification. Please note the selection of a complete, unedited performance segment out of multiple takes is permissible.
You will be uploading your video files using our online application service (Acceptd). The following common digital formats are accepted. File sizes up to 5 GB are accepted. We recommend using a format and resolution that is consistent with high-quality internet video.