All of our 71 musicians join the orchestra by audition. To assure fair and unbiased results, all candidates play their audition behind a screen so that the committee does not know their identity. Audition procedures follow a code of ethical standards agreed to by the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
Musicians come from all over New York State and the region to compete in the auditions, which are advertised nationally in the International Musician, the AFM’s monthly magazine. The Philharmonic can receive as many as forty or more resumes in application for one position, and those auditioning hold degrees from institutions including some of the finest music conservatories in the country. An audition for one position can involve hours of preliminary rounds and culminates in final rounds for two or more candidates.
Our musicians have taken and won orchestra auditions at orchestras all over the country. The story of the audition is one that we find compelling and fascinating. Here is an in-depth article about one musician’s experience auditioning for the Boston Symphony:
Here is another audition story by a member of the Minnesota Orchestra:
Here is a conversation with two Metropolitan Opera Orchestra musicians about their winning auditions:
Here is a great interview with the Principal Flutist of the Fort Worth Symphony:
Check out Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Percussionist Rob Knopper’s Five-Step Audition Preparation Method and learn what it takes to audition and win a job in professional orchestra:
You can also find this wonderful video about the Metropolitan Opera’s annual competition for young singers at your local library or order it online:
The Audition (DVD), 2007, Produced by the Metropolitan Opera
Here is plenty of information on auditions, including positions open and articles on performance anxiety, interviews with musicians, etc.: