The Department of Music holds a biennial Concerto Competition, open to all registered students at the University and to all members of the performance ensembles.
Contestants in the UChicago Concerto Competition should audition on the piece that they would like to perform in concert, and the repertoire must be suitable for performance with the University Symphony Orchestra, University Chamber Orchestra, or University Wind Ensemble, both in terms of difficulty and in terms of instrumentation. The full orchestral score and parts must also be available from some library, publisher, or other lending source, and all repertoire selections are subject to the approval of the USO, UCO, and UWE directors before an audition will be scheduled. Either complete concertos or single movements are eligible for consideration; those who wish to perform an entire concerto must audition with excerpts from at least two movements of that concerto. In general, concerto performances are limited to 25–30 minutes in length, with 15–20 minutes as both an average and an appropriate length.
Depending on the auditions during any given year, the committee of judges may select one winner or multiple winners, and performances may be scheduled for a springtime Concerto Showcase Concert or another concert during the subsequent academic year. Recent Concerto Competition winners have performed such major repertoire as the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Khachaturian, and Beethoven; piano concertos by Brahms, Liszt, Schumann, Beethoven, and Mozart; and instrumental concertos by Ibert and Gershwin, as well as vocal arias by Donizetti and Strauss.
The 2024 Concerto Competition will be held on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Additional information, including guidelines and registration details, will be available soon.