Chautauqua welcomes applications from all eligible musicians with no preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, or age. Admission is by audition only (either live or recorded). Chautauqua is a TUITION FREE program, with 100% of our students receiving tuition scholarships. Many of our larger scholarships also cover room and board.

Download the Instrumental Program poster

Be sure to indicate your preference as to audition site. Admission decisions and scholarship awards are made by March 15 for the Instrumental Program. Admission results will be emailed to the address on the student's application. No decision will be released until the applicant’s file is complete and the non-refundable application fee of $60 is paid.

Audition Instructions

Decide whether you will be auditioning live or with a recorded audition. We admit students equally from both, but if you do live near one of the cities we will be auditioning in it would be worth your while to do a live audition. Maestro Timothy Muffitt personally evaluates all of the live auditions and listens to each individual recorded audition.
Scholarships are awarded only to students enrolled for, and who will participate fully in, the entire program.

In 2018, the Chautauqua Institution awarded direct scholarship aid to 100% of the students in the Instrumental Program.

While we do offer TUITION FREE scholarships, it is helpful to fill out the financial aid form if you want to be considered for additional aid to cover room/board.
Applicants for full-term programs must be enrolled in or recently graduated from music studies at the time of application. Professional musicians are not eligible for admission or financial aid.

Recorded Auditions

String applicants: a movement from a standard concerto and two to three suggested orchestral excerpts.

Winds and brass: a solo piece and two to three suggested orchestral excerpts.

Percussion: entire list of repertoire included on the link below.

Please apply online at

Your recordings should be separate uploads (solo piece and then the excerpts). For the excerpts you may select what to include, we do not have any required portions although most applicants prepare the “standard” selections on each.

Suggested Excerpts

Auditioning Live

Apply at least 2 days before scheduled live audition to receive an audition time. You may select your audition city on the application from those listed below.

String applicants need to prepare: a movement from a standard concerto and two or three suggested orchestral excerpts.

Wind and brass need to prepare: solo piece and two or three suggested orchestral excerpts.

Application Deadline: Feb. 1

Please do not bring your application, financial aid for or recommendation with you, apply online prior to February 1.

Suggested Excerpts


Live auditions by city

Monday, January 28
4 - 8 p.m.
University of Michigan
School of Music,
Room 2016

Sunday, February 3
1 - 4 p.m.
University of Cincinnati - CCM
Studio MEH 3250 

Thursday, January 24 
2 - 6 p.m.
Cleveland Institute of Music
Room TBD


Wednesday, January 23 
11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Eastman School of Music
Main Building, Room TBD

Tuesday, January 22
6:30–10 p.m. 
The Juilliard School 
Room TBD

Saturday, February 2 
1 - 5 p.m. 
Northwestern University
Regenstein Hall of Music,
Room 139

Saturday, January 19
3 - 5 p.m.
Rice University
Shepherd School of Music, Room 1131