2020-2021 • 78th Season

Major Artist Auditions, August 17th

Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions:


Because 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 application form below. 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 adjudicator will be Thomas Novak, Vice President and Provost, New England Conservatoty.

Instructions for uploading a video audition for the Pittsburgh Concert Society 2020 Major Auditions:

  •    If you had applied to the in-person auditions, paid the application fee and uploaded your program, you will be assigned an audition number that will be emailed to you and will be your identifier 
  •  if you are submitting a new application, please fill out the application form below, pay the application fee and upload your program. Once your application is accepted, you will be assigned an audition number that will be emailed to you and will be your identifier.
  • Create your video, and name it with your Audition Number—not your name
  • Only your audition number should appear on the list of pieces you are submitting

Your name should not appear anywhere in the video nor in the PDF, nor in the Filename.

Your video can contain all of your audition submissions in one file, or you can submit up to three separate videos if you want to split your Audition into separate files.

If you have your own Box Account, Google Drive, or similar cloud-based service

  •  upload your video to your personal storage site (Box Account, Google Drive, icloud etc).
  • change the permissions to allow anyone with the link to access the file or files
  •  send the link or links to info@pittsburghconcertsociety.org

If you do NOT have access to a Box Account,Google Drive, icloud etc.

  • send email to riccardo@cmu.edu to arrange a specific time to transfer your files directly (instructions will be provided)

If you have additional questions, please contact the PCS by email: info@pittsburghconcertsociety.org



The Pittsburgh Concert Society (PCS) holds auditions in the Major Artist category to provide a concertl 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 and are judged by an independent adjudicator from outside the area. The adjudicator for the 2020 Major auditions is :

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 their applications 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  Major Artist concerts take place at Kresge Recital Hall in the College of Fine Arts Building, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Application Deadline

  • Video applications accepted through August 17, 2020

Audition Dates

  • Video auditions. Applications accepted through August 17, 2020.

Major Artist Recital Dates 


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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