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I have been practicing Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 and I have an audition coming up. It requires me to choose a 15-minute excerpt, covering all three movements. As this is my first time auditioning for a concerto soloist, I have no idea what to look for when choosing an excerpt. For instance:

  1. Should I choose parts where I'm most comfortable with? But in that case, would it not showcase enough technicality if I just choose the easier parts?

  2. Should I avoid jumping around in movements? i.e. is 3 continuous excerpts, one from each movement the best?

  3. Should I start with the actual opening of the concerto, and end with the actual ending of the concerto?

In general, does anyone have any other tips on choosing excerpts, or just auditioning for a concerto position? Thanks.

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    I'm puzzled about how a 15 minute excerpt can cover all three movements. Do you mean three different excerpts, one from each movement with a total of 15 minutes? Also will you have orchestral accompaniment?
    – JimM
    Feb 25, 2022 at 22:07
  • @JimM Yes, that is what I mean (sorry for the confusion). There will be a piano accompaniment for the orchestral part.
    – blastzit
    Feb 25, 2022 at 23:28

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There really are no instructions, besides "15 minutes, three movements"? It's unusual that they let you pick your own passages. If I were judging a competition, I would ask for a selection of passages demonstrating contrasting skills. Technically challenging passages—whether fast or challenging in some other way—and lyrical expressive passages. Consider: if the judges' job is "find out who plays this concerto best," what are the parts they would skip to save time? And what are the must-hear parts?

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  • Unfortunately, that is the only instruction they give. But thanks for the advice! I was wondering: what if the must-hear parts are scattered throughout the movement? Would it be normal in an audition if I suddenly cut off after a section and skip to another section in the same movement?
    – blastzit
    Feb 25, 2022 at 23:32
  • @blastzit - don't join all the passages together - instead announce what you're going to perform, so the panel know what to expect. It also tells the panel how comfortable you are talking to the audience about the music. (The performance starts the moment you walk into the room!) And think about how your chosen passages fit together - perhaps your final selection should be the closing part of the third movement. Feb 26, 2022 at 11:31

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