How to win a German orchestra audition

How to win a German orchestra audition


norman lebrecht

December 26, 2016

There are six current vacancies at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Fancy your chances?

Tom Greenleaves, the orchestra’s solo timpanist, talks us though the hoops and falls in a fascinating post on Rob Knopper’s blog.


After the closing date for applications, the members of the section (we timpanists count as such for percussion auditions and vice versa; lower brass are also considered to be one section for these purposes) survey all the applicants’ résumés and each member decides individually on whom they would like to invite, and whether he/she should play at the preliminary audition or be invited directly to the main audition. Applicants who already hold prominent positions elsewhere are likely to be invited directly to the main audition.

Normal practice is to invite those receiving the votes of 50% of the section to audition. When the results of this process are collated, the section decides whether it’s actually logistically feasible to invite the resulting number of candidates (bearing in mind that, invariably, not all those invited actually turn up).

Full guide here.



  • Bruce says:

    Interesting stuff.

    Also interesting that this post has attracted zero comments in a week.