Masterclasses & Competitions


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 number of masterclass each year in which professional musicians work with Princeton University students in a workshop format that is open to the public. Recent guest artists featured in this series have included clarinetist Anthony McGill, 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.

Student masterclasses participants are selected by the appropriate Program Director in consultation with Studio Faculty. To express interest in participating in an upcoming Masterclass, please contact your Studio Faculty Member and the Program Director for your instrument. For further questions on Masterclasses, please contact the Program Manager for Performance Activities.

Auditions for MPP 213: Projects in Instrumental Performance: Chamber Music

Typically offered once each semester, this instrumental chamber music performance class pairs student chamber groups with members of our studio performance faculty to regularly coach a chamber work(s) of the 17th-21st centuries. These student ensembles will also participate in two masterclasses led by members of Sō Percussion(ensemble in residence in the Princeton Department of Music), and perform the prepared work(s) in a public concert.

Admission to the class is by audition in the previous semester.  Auditions for Fall 2023 are now closed.  Please check back here for more information about auditions for Spring 2024. 

For questions about this class, please contact Katie Baltrush, Program Manager for Performance Activities.

Concerto Competitions

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

The Princeton University Orchestra‘s annual concerto competition, 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. Judges for the 2023-2024 Concerto Competition will be announced soon.

December 4, 2023 – Preliminary Round in the Lee Rehearsal Room

December 8, 2023 – Final Round in the Lee Rehearsal Room

During the 15-minute preliminary round judges can ask for any section(s) from the concerto, which must be prepared in its entirety. No more than six finalist pass into a final round in which each participant will have a maximum of 30 minutes to play. Participants are expected to provide their own accompanist, if needed.

In order to participate in the competition, students must be active in the musical life of the university and present a signed statement from their private teacher confirming the student’s readiness to perform the proposed work in public. Any winner(s) from the previous year may not compete. 

Please contact Katie Baltrush, Program Manager for Performance Activities, with any questions about the 2023-2024 Concerto Competition.

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

The Princeton University Sinfonia often features its own student members in solo repertory, whether a complete concerto or a portion of a work. These opportunities happen through thoughtful consideration of the orchestra’s instrumental resources, and with the approval of the conductor. Any interested students should 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