Princeton University Sinfonia


The Princeton University Sinfonia is an exciting musical outlet for undergraduate and graduate student musicians. Expanding every year, the orchestra now averages 55 members and performs one concert each semester in Richardson Auditorium with additional, smaller performances scheduled each year. Ruth Ochs has conducted Sinfonia for the past seven seasons, and she has been joined by selected undergraduates pursuing the Music Department’s certificate in musical performance in conducting.

Past concerts have included symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Tchaikovsky, as well as works by Bach, Bartók, Brahms, Dvorak, and Stravinsky. In May 2009, Sinfonia with the Princeton University Jazz Ensemble, Anthony D.J. Branker, director, commissioned and premiered a new work by Laurie Altman called In Another Time.

Designed to have a more modest time commitment than other ensembles, Sinfonia pursues a high level of musicianship while also emphasizing the enjoyable and memorable aspects of performing wonderful music with others.

In September, auditions for Sinfonia run concurrently with auditions for the Princeton University Orchestra (“PUO”). Sign up sheets, audition excerpts, and more information are available at Students may opt to audition for Sinfonia only, in which case they need only come to the audition with a prepared solo piece. (If auditioning for PUO as well, students must prepare all required material, including a solo piece and the required orchestral excerpts). Often, musicians not accepted into PUO are offered spots in Sinfonia. Musicians interested in joining during the year should contact the conductor.

Sinfonia meets every Monday/Thursday 8-10pm in the Lee Rehearsal Hall (forum level of the New Music Building). Extra rehearsals and sectionals are scheduled as needed throughout the semester. Students are asked to be flexible when extra rehearsal is necessary and be serious about their commitment to the regular rehearsal schedule.

Early each spring semester, the Princeton University Sinfonia holds a concerto competition open to its members. Students audition with accompaniment on a pre-approved movement from concerto repertory. The audition is generally held in early to mid February, and the winner performs as a soloist with the Sinfonia in May at Richardson Auditorium.

Learn more about other competition opportunities.

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