Aspen Music Festival And School

Collaborative PianoBack To Programs of Study

Important Information
  • Program offered full-session only
  • Fellowships and scholarships available
  • AUDIO audition recording required
  • Live audition also required
  • Repertoire List and Cover Letter required
Fees & Deadlines
Deadline: January 2, 2018
Applications will be accepted beginning September 15, 2017

Application Fee

$25 if you apply by October 1, 2017
$60 if you apply between October 2 and December 1, 2017
$125 if you apply between December 2, 2017, and January 2, 2018

Audition Dates

Los Angeles
Sunday, January 21, 2018
San Francisco (San Francisco Conservatory)
Monday, January 22, 2018
College Park (University of Maryland)
Saturday, January 27, 2018
New York City (The Juilliard School)
Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rita Sloan, director 
Andrew Harley, associate director 

The Collaborative Piano program provides training for exceptional pianists who are already committed to collaborative arts or are considering a career in this area. Also, solo pianists who are contemplating a career in this area are encouraged to consider the program as it is an excellent introduction to every facet of the collaborative field. The term “collaborative arts” includes any area of piano performance that involves more than solo piano (vocal and instrumental accompanying, duo work, orchestral piano, piano chamber music, etc.). The program combines practical experience with theoretical study, and covers the entire range of the keyboard collaborative arts.

Students may participate in orchestral performance under resident and visiting guest conductors, instrumental collaborations (studio accompanying and performances in various venues), vocal collaborations (studio accompanying focusing primarily on aria work, with additional experiences in opera, chamber music, and lieder, as available), and contemporary works with various ensembles. The program includes weekly seminars with the Aspen Music Festival and School’s artist-faculty as well as visiting guest artists. Subjects covered range from sight-reading and score reading to vocal and instrumental repertoire, interpretative skills, and varying aspects of the accompanist and collaborative artist’s work. Students receive weekly private lessons from a member of the piano artist-faculty and are encouraged to participate in the full curriculum and activities of the AMFS. 2. On the condition of studio acceptance, private lessons are available with the Solo Piano faculty (see Solo Piano program page) or the faculty specializing in the Collaborative Arts (Kenneth Merrill, Virginia Weckstrom, Vivian Weilerstein, and Collaborative Program Director Rita Sloan).

Collaborative Piano students have the opportunity to accompany master classes, private studio lessons, and Spotlight Recitals to augment their scholarship. Accompanying time varies; however, students spend upwards of ten hours per week participating in various activities. This program is offered for the Full Session only.

How to Apply


  • Resume required
  • Comprehensive repertoire list required
  • Cover letter describing your accompanying experience required, to include:
    • The areas you prefer to accompany (strings, voice, winds, orchestral experience, etc.).
      If applying for more than one area of emphasis, you must notify the Office of Student Services prior to scheduling your audition.
    • Any experience with organ, celesta, harpsichord, or synthesizer.
    • Any experience reading figured bass and improvising.
    • If you are an international student, please describe your proficiency in the English language.
    • Explain why you are interested in the collaborative arts, when this interest started, etc.
  • Two letters of recommendation encouraged but not required

Applicants who are interested in also applying for an opera coaching opportunity with the Aspen Opera Center must submit a second application. Please contact the Office of Student Services for an application fee waiver.

Audition Repertoire

Repertoire requirements are for both the recorded and the live audition. Applicants must choose an area of study and prepare the appropriate repertoire from the list below.


Availability of the instrumental collaborative fellowship will be posted by September 15, 2017.
Applicants are encouraged but not required to bring an instrumentalist to the audition. Please prepare:

  • Solo work of your choice
    • Choose one of the following concerto movements:
      • TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35, mvt 1
      • DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto in B minor, B. 191, op. 104, mvt 1
  • PLUS one movement from
    • MOZART: one of the outside movements of any concerto
  • A complete sonata chosen from:
    • BRAHMS: Sonata (Violin, Viola, or Cello and Piano)
    • BEETHOVEN: Sonata (Violin or Cello)
    • A work comparable to the above, which may be substituted with advance permission


Several vocal collaborative fellowships are available.
Applicants are encouraged but not required to bring a singer to the audition. Please prepare:

  • A solo work and/or two contrasting movements from a substantial Mozart or Beethoven Sonata for Violin and Piano
  • PUCCINI: Mi Chiamano Mimi
  • MOZART: any substantial aria from Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni
  • STRAVINSKY: No Word from Tom
  • Choose one German lied, one French melodie, and one art song in English

Note: Please be prepared to sing one of the art songs or an aria



Availability of the two orchestral collaborative fellowships will be posted by September 15, 2017.

  • Solo work of your choice
  • The thirteen-member version of Copland's Appalachian Spring
  • Standard excerpts from Stravinsky's Petrushka




Recording Specifications
  • Recordings must be recent: made no more than three months prior to application.
  • Each excerpt or work must be played through without stopping.
  • All excerpts and works must be uploaded in the order listed.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO