2019-20 • 77th Season

Major Artist Auditions, August 17th

Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions:


Since in-person auditions are not possible in the foreseeable future, rather than cancelling these auditions outright, we have decided, after much thought, to go ahead with auditions—not in-person, but by video submission.

Since not all those who had submitted applications for in-person auditions choose to participate in the video auditions, we will have some openings for additional applications. If you wish to apply, you may do so on the Major application page of the PCS web site. Once we receive your application, we will offer you whatever help you need to produce your video.
The deadline for submitting a video recording for this round of auditions has been extended to August 17, 2020.


A concert date will be scheduled at a later, safer time, with enough lead time for the candidates to clear the date and prepare the concert.

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 2020 Major auditions is :

Adjudicator, Thomas Novak, Vice President and Provost, New England Conservatory.

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.
  • A candidate may not submit more than two applications in one given season, one as a soloist and one as a member of an ensemble.
  • Up to 40 qualified applicants 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 submit and perform a program of approximately 30 minutes.
  • Applicants are encouraged to submit programs that include works from at least two periods, and of varied and contrasting repertoire.
  • The program for all applicants must include a work by an American (USA) composer.
  • Singers must include selections in English and at least two other languages.
  • The program for any application by an ensemble must consist entirely of works written for the full ensemble. Such program may not include any works written for fewer performers than the full ensemble.
  • For an instrumentalist or singer with pianist to qualify as a duo, piano parts may not be orchestral reductions, piano arrangements or adaptations.
  • Solo applicants with collaborative pianists (accompanists) may include works with arranged piano parts or orchestral reductions (opera arias, movements from instrumental concertos, etc.) Applicants in this category may also program solo, unaccompanied works.
  • The PCS reserves the right to reject an application for inadequate program quality, for 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.
  • 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.
  • If selected, winners must perform the exact same program that was submitted for their audition.
  • Applicants must provide their own pianist and page turner if needed. If a candidate is in need of a pianist, PCS may suggest, but not recommend, a list of pianists.
  • Audition instructions and cards will be e-mailed to all candidates approximately two weeks prior to audition date. They will be emailed to the address given on the application form.


  • Winners receive a concert 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 Artists Recitals scheduled for the following autumn.
  • Major Artist Audition winners receive an honorarium after 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: February 1 through March 30, 2020.
  • Applications should be submitted online.

Audition Dates

  • Friday, April 17, 2020 and Saturday, April 18, 2020

Major Artist Recital Dates (current season)

  • September 22, 2019
  • October 20, 2019
  • November 17, 2019

Questions or requests for additional information may be submitted by email to info@pittsburghconcertsociety.org.

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.

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