Admissions FAQs

Video Information

Do the excerpts need to be from the NWS repertoire list?
The NWS repertoire list is for the live audition only. The video should consist of any solo work and any 3 contrasting orchestral excerpts. Please note that the committee will listen to 2-3 minutes of a solo. Typically just the exposition of a concerto movement is enough.

I know the live video audition cannot be accompanied, but can I have accompaniment on my video application?
We prefer that your video not be accompanied; however, those with accompaniment will still be accepted.

Does the audition video need to be in one file or may I have separate files for the solo and each except? 
You may upload separate files for each item.  If you have questions about uploading your file, please contact the AcceptD Support Center which can be accessed from your application.

For my solo selection, what does the committee want to see and hear? 
The committee will listen to only two or three minutes of a solo selection, such as the exposition of a concerto. No complete movements or cadenzas are required. You may select any solo work that you wish.

The Live Audition

Are all of the wind and brass excerpts from first parts?
Unless otherwise noted, all excerpts are from the first parts.

Should I bring an accompanist to my live video audition?
No, live video auditions are not accompanied and NWS does not supply an accompanist.

Are you auditioning for my instrument this year?
Each year we audition for every instrument in the orchestra (with the possible exceptions of timpani and percussion). These auditions also serve to create a substitute list for the season so even if you are not chosen to be an NWS Fellow you still could have the opportunity to play with the orchestra.

How do I know if there is an opening for my instrument in the coming season?
Because NWS Fellows often leave before their three years are over, it is impossible to know what openings there will be in the coming season. Therefore, you should plan to audition each season so that you may be considered if a fellowship position becomes vacant.

Is NWS able to provide a harp for me to use at my audition?
No, unfortunately, NWS is not able to provide a harp for you to use.

I am applying just to stay on the substitute list (not the actual fellowship program). Are the audition requirements the same for the fellows and the substitutes?  Is a live audition required?
Yes, the live video auditions during the winter audition tour are for both a fellowship at NWS and also to be placed on the substitute list. A live video audition is always required. 


The Interview Round

How should I prepare for my interview? What will I be asked?

In order to get to know you better, musicians who are being actively considered for a fellowship may be invited to schedule an interview with NWS staff and or alumni.  While we do ask you to respond to three essay questions in your initial application, and while we wish we had a few minutes at the end of your live video audition, we may not have enough time to get to you and your why you are interested in joining the New World Symphony.  The interview will be an opportunity for us to better understand your motivations and also for you to ask any questions you might have.


Timpani and Percussion

I am a percussionist or timpanist and would like to audition for New World Symphony. Can I audition anywhere on the National Audition Tour? 
All percussion and timpani auditions are held in Miami usually in May. There is not enough time or sometimes enough space to accommodate these instruments in all of the venues of the audition tour. Information will be posted here.


Degree Requirements

I don't have a college degree, but have been performing professionally for a few years. Can I be an NWS Fellow?
In order to be named a Fellow for the New World Symphony you must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree; however, anyone may audition to be placed on the substitute list.

I won't be done with my degree program for 2 years. Can I be an NWS Fellow?
You must have completed your current degree program to be an NWS Fellow. However, you may still audition to be put on the substitute list for the season.

I am currently enrolled in a DMA program.  Am I eligible for a fellowship at NWS?
If you will have finished your residency requirement by the start of your fellowship then you are eligible.

I am currently enrolled in a certificate, diploma or other program (not a master’s degree).  Am I eligible for a fellowship?
It is possible that you may be eligible depending on your specific situation.  Sometimes a school and your private teacher will allow you to leave the program and this is determined on a case by case basis.  Please let the audition committee know if there has been a change to your status.

I have been out of school for a few years, am I eligible for a fellowship?
Yes, our only requirement for a fellowship is a bachelor’s degree and anyone is eligible for our substitute list.


The Fellowship Program 

If NWS offers me a fellowship, am I required to stay for three years?
NWS fellowships are awarded on a season-by-season basis for up to three years; however, no one is required to stay for three years.

Is there an age limit for NWS fellows?
There is no age limit.


Foreign Applicants

I read the requirements page on your website and it says I need one of the following documents: I-20, Green card or employment authorization card. Why do I need these documents for the application?
If you are currently living in the USA, NWS requires proof that your current visa is valid and could be transferred should you be offered a fellowship. If you are not living in the USA, NWS may be able to issue you an F-1 Student Visa should you be offered a fellowship. If you are invited to perform as an extra or substitute musician with the orchestra you will need to acquire either CPT or OPT on your F-1 Visa (from your school) or possess a Green Card or O-1 Visa.

If you do not currently have a visa then please leave this section of the application blank.

Conducting Fellowship

I heard that NWS offers a conducting fellowship. How do I apply?
The New World Symphony offers a three-year conducting fellowship to highly qualified conductors who have finished at least a bachelor’s degree and are not currently enrolled in a degree program. The Conducting Fellow works with Michael Tilson Thomas and many visiting guest conductors and leads the NWS in several of the season’s concerts and reading sessions. Every year, we accept applications for a conducting workshop with Michael Tilson Thomas.

Please apply online using our online application page. The deadline is November 15 of each year.

Audio Engineering and Library Fellowships

I heard that NWS offers audio engineer and library fellowships. How do I apply?
In conjunction with its musician training program, the New World Symphony offers fellowship programs for an audio engineer and an orchestra librarian. These programs offer aspiring engineers and librarians extensive hands-on experience in their chosen professions. Fellows work with Michael Tilson Thomas, NWS staff and noted professionals in these fields to develop their skills, and are invited to participate on a season-by-season basis for up to three years. For detailed information on the application process, please send an email to Announcements regarding vacancies are posted here.



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