Young Artist Auditions

Frequently Asked Questions

Hosted by the Rochester Philharmonic League since 1955, the Young Artist Auditions is the region’s most prestigious competition for high school-age musicians, recognizing talent and dedication in Male Vocal, Female Vocal, Strings, Piano, and Instrumental categories.  The YAA is judged by professionals in each field, with awards of $500 given for each classification. The winners and runners-up compete for a $1,000 Instrumental Scholarship, a $1000 Vocal Scholarship, and the opportunity to perform in concert with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

The 2019 Young Artist Auditions competition will take place on March 10, 2019 at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs Street, Rochester, NY. Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2019. 


When will I know my audition time and place?

Auditions are scheduled after all applications are received, based on the number of contestants and the availability of space, judges, and accompanists.  Candidates will be notified of the time and room location of their morning auditions by February 15, 2019.

Candidates need to be sure to arrive in plenty of time to register and find their audition rooms.  The audition schedule is precise and cannot allow for late arrivals.  Morning auditions usually begin at 8:30 and end by 12 noon.

Afternoon auditions for winners and runners-up are arranged after the last morning session is completed.  Afternoon auditions usually begin at 1:00 pm and end after the announcement of the winners by 4:00 pm.  Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled warm-up time.


 What if I have other events scheduled for the day of the competition?

Candidates need to be completely flexible on the audition date.  You should make no other plans for the day that would require you to be elsewhere.


 Will I be able to warm up before my audition?

Candidates are assigned to a dedicated warm-up space for 15 minutes prior to their auditions.  A YAA volunteer will be available to guide you to and from warm-up and audition rooms.  If you choose not to warm up in your assigned space, you are responsible for being at your audition location at least five minutes before your scheduled audition time.


 When are winners announced?

The winners of the three instrumental and two vocal award categories will be announced at the end of each audition set, usually between 11:30 and 1:00.  Scholarship and Grand Prize winners will be announced at the end of the afternoon competition.


May my parent(s) or teacher sit in on the audition?

Only your accompanist and page turner are allowed in the audition room.


Must I provide an accompanist for the auditions?

Contestants are required to provide their own accompanists.  Your private teacher should be able to help you find and arrange for accompaniment at the YAA.  Other sources: piano professors at Eastman School of Music, Nazareth College or other colleges, Rochester Piano Teachers Guild.

Be sure that your accompanist is available in the afternoon in the event that you are a winner or runner-up in your morning award audition category and become eligible for the scholarship and Grand Prize auditions.

For scheduling reasons, a pianist is allowed to accompany no more than five contestants.


How should I dress for the Young Artist Auditions?

Informal recital attire is recommended.  Your private teacher should be able to provide guidance.


Will there be any food provided?

 Light snacks and beverages will be available in the Cominsky Promenade on the second floor of the Eastman School of Music where there is also comfortable seating to wait for auditions and announcements.  There are several restaurants located within walking distance.


Will award winners be given an opportunity to perform in public?

 Winners will be invited to perform in a recital: Young Artists in Concert – A Celebration of Winners, usually held in the summer following the competition.  Participation is based on the performers’ availability, and supporters of this competition look forward to hearing the talented musicians each year. The Grand Prize winner will be offered an opportunity to perform with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at a mutually agreeable future date.


What if I have additional questions not answered here?

 Please contact the Young Artist Auditions at with any additional questions or concerns.