The following degrees are offered in String Performance:

Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science (B.A./B.M./B.S.)

Click here for Undergraduate degree options (Bachelor of Arts/Music/Science)

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process.

Audition Requirements

  •  Perform an audition, up to 10 minutes, on your major instrument for the area faculty.
  •  Your audition should include two or three contrasting movements, or compositions, such as a slow and fast movement, representing the candidate’s technical and musical ability. The candidate is strongly encouraged to include in these choices a movement of a standard concerto, and (with the exception of bassists) a movement of solo unaccompanied Bach.
  • An accompanist is optional

Guitar

  • Two movements or compositions in contrasting character or style, such as a fast and slow movement of a Sor Etude, Nos. 11-20 (Segovia edition)
  • A movement of a Bach Suite (or the equivalent)
Prospective music education students whose main instrument is piano or guitar must audition on a second instrument (Voice or Band/Orchestral instrument) at this time as well.
Harp

Perform an audition, up to 10 minutes, on your major instrument for the area faculty. Your audition should include:

  • Two solos (chosen by the applicant) in contrasting styles demonstrating technical and interpretive abilities
  • Applicant should be prepared to play etudes/studies that demonstrate scale and arpeggio technique.
  • Applicants auditioning for scholarship funding should play two of the following orchestral excerpts (to be chosen by the applicant) in addition to the above.
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, “Waltz of the Flowers” (Cadenza)
Franck: Symphony in D minor, Mvt. II
Brahms: German Requiem, Mvt. II
Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (Harp I)
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms, Mvt. I
Saint-Saens: Danse Macabre
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain

Master of Music (M.M)

Degree Requirements

See your worksheet below for details. This is the document your advisor will use to keep track of your degree progress.

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process.

  • Recordings: As part of your application, you will submit up to 5 links (URLs) to videos of yourself performing a total of 20-30 minutes of music. The easiest way to do this is by posting the video(s) on YouTube. You may be invited for a live audition recital based upon the quality of your video(s) and supplementary application materials.
  • Audition: If you are invited to audition, please prepare a 15-minute recital with the following repertoire. Please note that an accompanist is NOT required. Solo auditions are encouraged!
    • Violin
      1. Two contrasting movements of a Bach solo partita or sonata
      2. One movement of a standard concerto
      3. A Paganini caprice or an additional contrasting work
    • Viola
      1. Two contrasting mvts. of a Bach Cello Suite, or Solo Violin Sonata or Partita
      2. One movement of a standard concerto
      3. One movement of a viola sonata
    • Cello / Guitar / String Bass
      At least two or three contrasting selections, for example a movement from a major concerto (for most players this would mean a romantic concerto but it could also be twentieth century), one movement or more of unaccompanied Bach, and perhaps something else of your choice.

Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.)

Admission Requirements

Please see information on the School of Music Application Process.

  • Recordings: As part of your application, you will submit up to 5 links (URLs) to videos of yourself performing a total of 20-30 minutes of music. The easiest way to do this is by posting the video(s) on YouTube. You may be invited for a live audition recital based upon the quality of your video(s) and supplementary application materials.
  • Audition: If you are invited to audition, please prepare a 20-minute recital with the following repertoire. Please note that an accompanist is NOT required. Solo auditions are encouraged!
    • Violin
      1. Two contrasting movements of a Bach solo partita or sonata
      2. One movement of a standard concerto
      3. A Paganini caprice
      4. An additional work of the applicant’s choice
    • Viola
      1. Two contrasting mvts. of a Bach Cello Suite, or Solo Violin Sonata or Partita
      2. One movement of a standard concerto
      3. One movement of a viola sonata
      4. (optional) Short contemporary or virtuosic work
    • Cello / Guitar / String Bass
      At least two or three contrasting selections, for example a movement from a major concerto (for most players this would mean a romantic concerto but it could also be twentieth century), one movement or more of unaccompanied Bach, and perhaps something else of your choice.

Degree Requirements

Doctoral Minor – Required for all Doctoral programs

The purpose of the doctoral minor is to add breadth and depth to the D.M.A or Ph.D degree. To insure coherence a minor program must be approved by the appropriate department, a student’s advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies, and must include courses at the 300-level or above. Typically, a minor requires 12 credits of work.

Students have a variety of options, including completing an internal minor within the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. conducting student who minors in ethnomusicology or a Ph.D. in music theory who minors in clarinet performance), completing a minor in a department outside the School of Music (e.g., a D.M.A. in horn performance who minors in Women’s Studies or a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology who minors in East Asian studies).

Students may, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, devise a distributed minor that brings together courses from a variety of departments around a particular topic or area of interest. For example, a D.M.A. student in voice devises a minor in vocal health that includes courses in communicative disorders, or a Ph.D. student in musicology devises a minor in Medieval History that includes courses in art history, history, and languages.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The String Area includes internationally active performers who are acclaimed soloists, renowned chamber and orchestral musicians and leading pedagogues.  String graduates are regularly accepted on scholarship at top conservatory graduate programs. Many have won positions in major orchestras, are members of internationally known string quartets, have professorships in major universities, and are laureates from top international competitions.

All students receive weekly lessons and master classes with their major professor, with frequent guest artist master classes also available. Recent guests include Pinchas Zuckerman, Rachel Barton, Nobuko Imai, Samuel Rhodes, Mark Kosower, Leon Fleisher, and Charles Neidich. In October 2017, David Kim, concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra visited for a residency, including several master classes and concert with UW Madison Strings. Read a review of the concert.

String students are typically very creative and curious, and often pursue double majors. This is strongly supported by the faculty.

Long known for its emphasis on chamber music, the string area offers coached ensembles who perform each semester, including the Perlman Piano Trio and the Hunt Quartet.

The Pro Arte Quartet also calls UW-Madison home. The quartet have been artists-in-residence at UW-Madison since 1940 and long recognized as one of the world’s leading chamber ensembles.