Inside a Symphony Audition

Ever wonder how the players on the stage get there? Some think orchestral musicians volunteer their time. Others often believe that the musicians on the stage only got a position because of personal connections. The musicians of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra actually go through a rigorous hiring process, filled with multiple audition rounds, to gain a position. They are hired and paid exclusively as a result of their talent.

Every musician signs a contract just like all other professionals. But, as you might imagine, auditioning for a professional orchestra is quite a bit different than interviewing for an engineering company. At the end of last year, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra held auditions for a viola position. CSO is one of the few full time orchestras and also one of the nation’s oldest. Their audition process can take up to three days. Below is an article vividly describing what is like to audition for an orchestra, as seen through the eyes of CSO applicant, Stephen Goist.