I would like to ask a question for an audition piece. I would like to play Brahms cello sonata 1 e minor, the Allegro non troppo for an orchestral audition. It is a piano and cello duet but I will not have an accompaniment when I audition. Do you think this is acceptable to play for an audition? I am afraid that it will not be received well without the accompaniment of the piano.

Thank you.

  • 1
    What level -- school, grad school, local civic orchestra? Jun 12, 2018 at 11:54

4 Answers 4


Ask the person organizing the audition.

Often for professional orchestra auditions, you would be expected to play (probably at sight) excerpts from orchestral parts, supplied by the audition committee. Remember they are auditioning your ability to play in an orchestra section, not your ability as a soloist.


The Brahms will be just fine. You may also be given some orchestral excerpts to sight read. They, too, will sound rather empty without the full orchestra supporting them!

Remember, the orchestra is recruiting players and WANTS to discover that you are a good enough player. They aren't looking to reject you for 'breaking audition rules'.


It will have less impact without the piano accompaniment, to be honest, but it shouldn't affect the audition panel's opinion of your playing. Did you ask the orchestra if they can provide an accompanist?


Brahms Em is one of the absolute standard works for cello. Definitely a suitable choice for an audition (in fact I reckon it's mandatory for many jobs). Chances are you will have accompaniment... bring the score to the audition at any rate, the conductor may play the piano part or at least read it and hear the proper thing in their head.

(If you've not actually rehearsed the piece with a pianist, then it may not be a good idea to let them accompany you, could throw you off more than help...)

As the others have said, in an audition for an orchestral position, it's quite as important that you're able to sight-read decently well, i.e. you'll probably be handed at least one simple accompaniment passage from some symphony and expected to get it right on first reading. Likely, you'll also be given some technically demanding passage that may require nasty thumb position or something – just don't panic if that happens, they'll want to know your limits, but it's natural that most players won't get it anywhere near perfect at first sight.

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