Major Artist Auditions

The Pittsburgh Concert Society (PCS) holds auditions in the Major Artist category to provide recital performance opportunities and financial support to highly-qualified classical musicians who live in the Pittsburgh area. These auditions are arranged by the Pittsburgh Concert Society, are held in Pittsburgh, and are judged by an independent adjudicator from outside the area. The adjudicator for the 2017 Major auditions is :

James Gandre, president Manhattan School of Music

Audition Requirements

  • Musicians must be at least 18 years old to apply.
  • All applicants must live within a 75 mile radius of Pittsburgh. This requirement extends to every member of an ensemble that wishes to apply. Previous Major Artist winners are ineligible to audition again in the same solo instrument or ensemble category.
  • Up to 40 qualified applications will be accepted in the order they are received. Additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list.
  • A non-refundable application fee of $50 must be included with the application.
  • Applicants must perform a program of approximately 30 minutes. 
  • The program must include a work by an American (USA) composer and, since two winners share a recital and perform their respective programs in two parts, one before and one after intermission, it is expected that the submitted program could easily be divided into two balanced segments.
  • The submitted program must be properly formatted according the the PCS Style Sheet and Concert and Recital Assistance Manager (CRAM) Guide.
  • Singers must include selections in English and at least two other languages.
  • Memorization is not required.
  • Repertoire must be varied, not overly esoteric, and must represent varied styles and periods.
  • Applicants must audition with the same program they will perform if selected.
  • Applicants must provide their own accompanist and page turner if needed. If a candidate is in need of an accompanist, PCS could suggest, but not recommend, a list of pianists.
  • Applicants will be notified of any issues that may cause a submitted program to be rejected, and, time allowing, will be given the opportunity to submit a revised program.
  • Proper audition attire is recommended.
  • The PCS reserves the right to reject an application for inadequate program quality, failure to meet the program requirements, or for any reason it determines that an applicant has not met the standards of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Artist Auditions.


  • Winners receive a recital performance opportunity and an honorarium as outlined below.
  • Winning soloists and ensembles will perform their programs—two winners per recital—on one of three Major Artist Recitals scheduled for the following autumn.
  • Major Artist Audition winners receive an honorarium at their recital: $1,000 for a solo performer, $750 each for duo performers, $750 each for a trio, $750 each for a quartet, and a maximum of $3,000 for an entire group or ensemble larger than a quartet.
  • The judge’s decision will be announced on the evening of the final day of auditions, and each winner will be contacted directly. The judge’s decision is final. Additionally, the results will be posted on the News page of the Pittsburgh Concert Society website at approximately 10:00 PM on the evening of the last day of auditions.


The auditions and Major Artist Recitals take place at Kresge Recital Hall in the College of Fine Arts Building, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Application Deadline

  • Application period: September 1 through March 31
  • Applications may be submitted online or by US mail.

Audition Dates

  • Friday, April 21, 2017 and Saturday, April 22, 2017

Major Artist Recital Dates (current season)

  • September 25, 2016
  • October 23, 2016
  • November 6, 2016

Questions or requests for additional information may be submitted by email to

Accompanist (if applicable)
Attach typed program (without applicant’s name). Each selection on the program is to be listed with full program details including title, key, opus number, movement(s), full name and dates of composer, and duration. PDF, DOC, DOCX or RTF file extensions are accepted. 4MB file size limit.

This application must be completed and submitted on or before the application deadline, along with a properly formatted program and a non-refundable fee* of $50.00 payable by credit card on this website. Applications will not be accepted until payment has been received.

* If you are wait-listed and do not get to audition, your fee will be refunded.