Aspen Music Festival And School

Collaborative Piano Back To Programs of Study /...

Important Information
  • Program offered Full Session only
  • Program includes emphasis in: Orchestral Piano, Instrumental Collaboration, Vocal Collaboration, Opera Coaching, and Choral Collaboration 
  • Fellowships and scholarships available for all emphases - see our Fellowships and Financial Assistance page 
  • All applicants must submit a VIDEO recording for pre-screening by November 3, 2021 
  • Live or virtual auditions are by invitation only
  • Repertoire List, Cover Letter, and Recommendation required
Fees & Deadlines
Deadline: November 3, 2021
Application open September 15, 2021

Application Fee

$25 September 15-October 15, 2021
$60 October 16-November 3, 2021

Audition Dates

NYC or Virtual
Monday, November 22 (Vocal Coach and/or Vocal Emphasis Only)
NYC or Virtual
Sunday, January 9 (Vocal, Choral, Instrumental, and/or Orchestral Emphases Only)
University of Maryland or Virtual
Monday, January 10 (Vocal, Choral, Instrumental and/or Orchestral Emphases Only)

Cameron Stowe, director
Patrick Summers, AOTVA co-artistic director

Myra Huang, AOTVA director of musical administration and head coach 

The Collaborative Piano program provides training for exceptional pianists who are already committed to collaborative arts or are considering a career in this area. 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, opera coaching, choral pianist, 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 experience in opera, chamber music, and art song), and contemporary works with various ensembles. Opera Coaching will be under the joint auspices of the Collaborative Program and the AOTVA program mentored by AOTVA co-artistic director Patrick Summers. Vocal coaches will work with singers on the operatic repertoire and will be répétiteurs for mainstage opera productions, master classes, and auditions. Through hands-on participation in scene preparation, pianists will be trained in coaching technique. The newly created Choral Piano emphasis will be for the pianist of the Aspen Music Festival Chorus. All Collaborative PIanists with a vocal emphasis will have the opportunity to audition for Young Artist Programs and other industry artists. 

The Collaborative Piano 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, song literature, interpretative skills, playing orchestral reductions, and varying aspects of the accompanist and collaborative artist’s work.

Collaborative Piano students can 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.



  • Choose area/s of emphasis. Applicants who are appying for more than one area of emphasis must notify the Office of Student Services prior to submitting their application. 
    • Orchestral Piano
    • Instrumental Collaboration  
    • Vocal Collaboration 
    • Opera Coaching 
    • Choral Collaboration 
  • Resume and comprehensive repertoire list required (please include repertoire specific to the emphasis you are applying to) 
  • Cover letter describing your accompanying experience required, to include:
    • The areas you prefer to accompany (strings, voice, winds, orchestral experience, etc.)
    • 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 required - recommendations should be specifically about the area for which you are applying 


All applicants must submit a video audition for pre-screening with the application by November 3, 2021. 

  • A solo or an instrumental work (or movement)
  • One or more of the below requirements (based on applicant’s choice of emphases)
    • Orchestral Collaboration – orchestra excerpt (either solo or with orchestra)
    • Instrumental Collaboration – a movement or work with an instrumentalist
    • Vocal Collaboration – two contrasting songs or one song and one aria with a singer
    • Opera Coaching – part or all of an opera scene with applicant singing vocal lines
    • Choral Collaboration – excerpt of a performance/rehearsal with chorus 


All invited pianists will be scheduled for an audition on one of the below listed dates to include an interview, sight reading, and playing selections from the below audition requirements. Invited pianists may choose to attend their audition in person or participate through zoom virtually on the dates below. 

  • Monday, November 22 (NYC or virtually) 
    • Opera Coaching 
    • Vocal Emphasis 
  • Sunday, January 9 (NYC or virtually)
    • Orchestral Emphasis 
    • Instrumental Emphasis 
    • Vocal Emphasis 
    • Choral Emphasis 
  • Monday, January 10 (University of Maryland or virtually)
    • Orchestral Emphasis 
    • Instrumental Emphasis 
    • Vocal Emphasis 
    • Choral Emphasis 


Applicants may also submit – in addition - a video or audio recording of a live performance with orchestra for Appalachian Spring and/or Petrushka.

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


  • 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
  • Select movements from one of the below sonatas (20-25 minutes OR minimum 1 slow and 1 fast movement):
    • 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 


Applicants are required to sing and play at least two of the below selections

  • Solo work and/or two contrasting movements from a substantial Mozart or Beethoven Sonata for Piano and Violin
  • Any Puccini aria
  • Any substantial aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute, Marriage of Figaro, or Don Giovanni
  • Stravinsky’s No Word from Tom or a comparable substitution
  • One German lied, one French melodie, and one art song in English


Pianists will sing and play the following 

  • Carmen Act Two Quintet 
  • Falstaff Act One Scene Two (beginning to rehearsal 21) 
  • Die Zauberflöte Sprecher/Tamino Scene 


  • Any chorus from Hanel's Messiah
  • An open-score reading of a Bach Chorale (prepared)
  • Sight-reading will include open-score reading of a Bach Choral
  • Any chorus from one of Verdi's operas 
  • Sing and play a lied or melodie of your choice 



Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO