Masterclasses & Competitions

Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, works with Neerav Kumar '22)
Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, works with Neerav Kumar '22)


There is nothing more inspiring for a young musician than learning directly from the world’s best performers. The Donna Weng Friedman ’80 Master Class Series offers a regular series of masterclass each year in which professional musicians work with Princeton University students in a format that is open to the public. Recent participants have included Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s principal flutist Elizabeth Mann, and violinist Jennifer Koh.

In addition, artists appearing as part of the Princeton University Concerts series often offer masterclasses for Princeton University students during their visits to campus. These have included conductor Gustavo Dudamel, opera star Joyce DiDonato, and pianist Richard Goode.

Students: please contact the Program Manager for Performance Activities for more information about participating in an upcoming masterclass.

Concerto Competitions

The Princeton University Orchestra (“PUO”) and Sinfonia’s annual concerto competitions provide solo artists with a chance to perform in concert with a full orchestra on the renowned Richardson Auditorium stage.

The Princeton University Orchestra‘s annual concerto competition, held in December/January, offers all currently-enrolled Princeton University students a chance to perform as a soloist with the ensemble—an internationally-recognized orchestra of over 100 undergraduate and graduate student musicians, conducted by Maestro Michael Pratt. Students do not have to be members of the Orchestra to participate in the competition.

The competition takes place in two rounds, judged by distinguished members of the Northeastern musical community. During the 15-minute preliminary round, judges can ask for any section from the concerto, which must be prepared in its entirety. No more than six finalists will be selected; each will have a maximum of 30 minutes in the final round. The winner from the previous year may not participate.

In order to participate in the competition, students must be active in the musical life of the university community in one of the officially recognized ensembles (i.e. an orchestral or chamber music player, or a member of a choral group); and present a signed statement from their private teacher confirming the student’s readiness to perform the proposed work in public.

Any repertoire restrictions and a sign-up link will be posted here and on the Orchestra’s website later in the semester.

Competition winners Haeun Jung, Violin and Katie Liu, Viola perform Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E-flat major, K. 364

Early each spring semester, the Princeton University Sinfonia holds a concerto competition that is 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. For more information, contact Sinfonia’s Director Ruth Ochs.

Graduate student Abraham Chien performs Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26: III. Finale