Aspen Music Festival And School

Aspen Contemporary Ensemble Back To Programs of Study

Important Information
  • Program offered Full Session only
  • All students receive fellowships
  • Video recordings required
  • Statement of interest in contemporary music required
Fees & Deadlines
Deadline: January 5, 2021
Application open September 1, 2020

Application Fee

$25 September 1-15, 2020
$60 September 16-December 1, 2020
$125 December 2, 2020-January 5, 2021

Timothy Weiss, conductor

Donald Crockett, conductor

The Aspen Contemporary Ensemble (ACE) is in residence for the full eight-week session. This octet functions as the ensemble in collaboration with the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies and performs music by prominent living composers and twentieth-century classics as well as new works by the Festival’s student composers. Instrumentation is as follows: flute/piccolo/alto flute, clarinet/e-flat clarinet/bass clarinet, violin (2), viola, cello, piano, and percussion. Members of this ensemble receive weekly private lessons with artist-faculty members and may also take elective courses. All student members receive a fellowship.

The program is rigorous and, thus, members of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble are expected to stay focused on their core curriculum and not engage in extracurricular activities, such as concerto competitions.

How to Apply


  • Resume required
  • Statement of interest in contemporary music required
  • Two letters of recommendation encouraged but not required

Applicants who are interested in applying on their respective instrument for the Orchestra program must submit a second application and the applicable fee at the time of submission.

Audition Repertoire

The following positions are available for the 2020 season:

  • One of two violin positions

*Interested candidates may still apply for a filled position, in case of a cancellation.

All applicants must submit the following repertoire for their instrument in INDIVIDUAL VIDEO TRACKS.

Works to be performed solo (no duos, ensembles, accompaniment).


I. Required standard repertory

One of the following sonatas:

  • BACH: Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001, Adagio
  • BACH: Sonata No. 2 in A minor, BWV 1003, Grave
  • BACH: Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005, Adagio


II. Required contemporary repertory

Two of the pieces listed below:

  • CARTER: Riconoscenza per Goffredo Petrassi [4']
  • ZIMMERMANN: Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin [13']
  • HENZE: Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin [18']
  • BERIO: Sequenza VIII
  • BENJAMIN: 3 Miniatures
  • BOULEZ: Antheme


I. BACH: Two movements of a Suite for Cello or of a Sonata or Partita for Violin


II. Two of the pieces listed below:

  • PENDERECKI: Cadenza for Solo Viola [7’]
  • LIGETI: Sonata for Viola Solo, any movement of the candidate's choice
  • BERIO: Sequenza VI
  • SCOTT SLAPIN: Recitative for Solo Viola



I. Two contrasting movement from any of the six J.S. Bach Suites for Cello


II. One or more movements from one of the following works:

  • CRUMB: Sonata for Unaccompanied Cello [12']
  • HINDEMITH: Solo Sonata
  • HENZE: Serenade for Solo Cello


III. One of the following of the candidate’s choice:

  • CARTER: Figment I
  • BERIO: Sequenza
  • DUTILLEUX: Strophe I from Trois Strophes
  • PENDERECKI: Capriccio (mvts. I and II)


I. Two contrasting movements from the following selections without repeats:

  • J.S. Bach Partita for Solo Flute in A minor, BWV 1013
  • C.P.E. Bach Sonata for Solo Flute in A minor, H. 562


II. One of the following:

  • VARÈSE: Density 21.5 [4']
  • JOLIVET: Five Incantations  (Choose one from 1, 2, 4 or 5)


III. One of the following:

  • BERIO: Sequenza I for Flute [6']
  • TAKEMITSU: Voice
  • CARTER: Scrivo in vento
  • HALFFTER: Debla
  • DONATONI: Nidi


IV. Piccolo:

  • SCHOENBERG: Pierrot lunaire, Op. 21, No. 18: Der Mondfleck


V. Alto Flute:



I. Both of the below works:

  • MOZART: Concerto for Clarinet in A major, K. 622  1st movement with piano
  • STRAVINSKY: Three Pieces for Clarinet [6']


II. One of the following works:

  • JOAN TOWER: Wings [9']
  • BOULEZ: Domaines
  • DENISOV: Sonata 1st and 2nd movement
  • CARTER: Gra
  • DONATONI: Clair


III. Bass Clarinet
Two from the following excerpts:

  • RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé full score of rehearsal number 156 to 161
  • STRAVINSKY: Le Sacre Du Printemps: Introduction Rehearsal 4-6 and Rehearsal 139-142
  • STRAUSS: Don Quixote Rehearsal 14-19
  • SHOSTAKOVICH: Concerto No. 1 in A minor for Violin and Orchestra op. 77 Rehearsal 23-25



I. XENAKIS: Rebonds B [6']


II. Marimba
One selection from the following:

  • DRUCKMAN: Reflections on the Nature of Water [15']  (marimba)
  • DONATONI: Mari (marimba)


III. Vibraphone
One selection from the following:

  • MANOURY: Le livre des claviers, Mvt 4 – solo vibraphone
  • DONATONI: Omar, 1st or 2nd movement
  • HUREL: Loops II for Vibraphone


I. 1st movement of one of the following sonatas: Beethoven: Op. 7, Op. 10 (No. 3), Op. 22, 31 (No. 1), Op. 53, Op. 57, Op. 81a, Op. 106, Op. 111


II. Two of the pieces listed below:

  • BOULEZ: Notations [16']
  • LIGETI: Fanfares from Études, Book I [4']
  • LIGETI: L'escalier du diable from ƒtudes, Book II
  • CARTIER: Caténaires [4’]
  • MESSIAEN: Loriot from Catalogue d'Oiseaux
  • CARTER: 90+



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.
  • Please label each upload with the name of the excerpt or work. DO NOT include your name.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO