Admissions Guide: Degree programme in Classical Music Performance (Instrument)

5,5-year education (Bachelor + Master)

 

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Fill in the application here: [link to the application in Studyinfo service]

Entrance examination date: 

  • Accordion: 16 May 2019
  • Bassoon 2 May 2019
  • Cello 29 April 2019
  • Clarinet 11 May 2019
  • Double bass 10 May 2019
  • Early music 7 May 2019
  • Euphonium 10 May 2019
  • Flute 16-17 May 2019
  • Fortepiano 17 may 2019
  • French horn 9 May 2019
  • Guitar 13-14 May 2019
  • Harp 29 April 2019
  • Kantele 14 May 2019
  • Oboe 2 May 2019
  • Organ 10 May 2019
  • Percussion 2 May 2019
  • Piano 6-10 May 2019
  • Piano chamber music and lied 13-14 May 2019
  • Saxophone 10 May 2019
  • Trombone 10 May 2019 
  • Trumpet 11 May 2019
  • Tuba 10 May 2019
  • Viola 3 May 2019
  • Violin 6-7 May 2019 & 9-10 May 2019

For more information about the programme, see: Classical instruments

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Admissions requirements 2019

 

Please read also the general admissions requirements before applying!

 

In the Classical Music Performance 5.5-year programme, the main subject is an instrument. The languages of tuition in the programme are Finnish, Swedish, and English. All applicants to the Classical Music Performance programme must demonstrate their language proficiency in Finnish, Swedish, or English. In multilanguage degree programmes, students can choose their language of tuition from the available options (Finnish/Swedish/English). However, the majority of group tuition at the Sibelius Academy is provided in Finnish or English.

Applications are accepted to four different departments: Early Music; Piano, Accordion, Guitar, and Kantele; Wind instruments, Percussion, and Harp, and Strings. Applications to the Organ and Clavichord are directed to the Church Music department.

The main subject in the department of Early Music is one of the following period instruments: Wind instrument (Baroque Oboe, Baroque Trumpet, Recorder, or Traverso), String instrument (Baroque Cello, Baroque Violin, or Viola da Gamba), Harpsichord, or Lute. 

In the department of Piano, Accordion, Guitar, and Kantele, the main subject is one of the following instruments: Piano, Accordion, Guitar, or Kantele. 

In the department of Wind instruments, Percussion, and Harp, the main subject is one of the following instruments: Woodwind instrument (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, or Saxophone), Brass instrument (French horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, or Tuba), Percussion, or Harp.

In the department of Strings, the main subject is one of the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, or Double bass.

 

Admissions process

Applicants seek for entrance in main instrument groups. Applicants are chosen for studies according to their success in the entrance examination and their knowledge, skills and educability.

The entrance examination comprises two sections:

  1. General tests in music theory, aural skills, and perception
  2. Audition in the main instrument 

The audition in the main instrument may have two parts. If the audition in the main instrument has two parts, the general tests in music theory, aural skills, and perception will only be participated by those applicants who are approved to the second part. You should be aware of the fact that you may have to score a certain number of points in the audition for the main instrument to be allowed to take the examination for music theory and aural skills. This applies for programmes with a one-part audition in the main instrument as well.

You will be rejected if you fail to perform any section or part of the entrance examination.

The sections of the entrance examination will be weighted so that they affect the sum scores as follows: The audition in the main instrument will be weighted so that it will represent 95 % of the final points. The music theory, aural skills, and perception tests will be weighted so that their sum will represent a maximum 5 % of the final points.

The Entrance Examination Board will assess your suitability for education and a career in music in connection with the main instrument audition.

The Entrance Examination Board may listen to only a part of your audition. The compositions must be performed from memory if so stated in the admission requirements for the main instrument. If the entrance examination composition is specified, you must obtain the sheet music for the composition yourself. The music for a compulsory composition that is not specified by title will be sent to you together with the invitation to the entrance examination.

If you're selected for an audition, you will receive a letter of invitation by e-mail approximately two weeks in advance. The invitation will contain information on the time and place of the audition (including the tests in theory, aural skills, and perception), on the compulsory composition for performance (when applicable), and on where the lists of those who are accepted to the possible second part of the audition can be found. The date and time of the audition cannot be changed.

 

General tests in music theory, aural skills, and perception

All applicants to the 5.5-year Classical Music Performance programme must take part in the general tests in music theory, aural skills, and perception.

The first part of the assignments in music theory, aural skills, and perception tests your aural ability to recognize works and different styles in music and the second your basic theoretical knowledge of music. The third part is a aural skills assignment, which may include identification of intervals and chords, melody and rhythm dictation, and sight-reading. You may prepare for the tests by reviewing the entrance examination questions from the previous years. The questions have been published on Uniarts Helsinki admissions website: https://www.uniarts.fi/en/apply-to-sibelius-academy.

The music theory. aural skills, and perception tests may be taken in Finnish, Swedish, or English. In the application form, you must make a note of the language you wish to be tested in.  

If you are offered a place in the 5.5-year programme in Classical Music Performance but your skills in music theory and aural perception are deemed inadequate based on your entrance examination, you are required to complete remedial studies in music theory and aural skills in a manner defined by the university. More information will be available in the letter of approval, if necessary. The remedial studies must be completed before the regular music theory and aural perception studies.

The results for the general music theory, aural skills, and perception tests in the entrance examination can be taken into consideration for those accepted to the Sibelius Academy as part of the placement test to be arranged at the beginning of the studies.

 

Accompaniment in the main instrument audition

The accompanying instrument is piano apart from Early Music programme where the accompanying instrument is harpsichord.

Cello and Viola, Woodwind and Brass instruments, Harp, Early Music instruments

Works requiring accompaniment should be performed with an accompanist. Sibelius Academy’s own accompanist will be available or you may bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use an Academy accompanist youmust state this in the application form. The choice of accompanist cannot be changed after the deadline for sheet music submissions. It’s not possible to practice with the Academy’s accompanist before the audition. 

If you intend to audition with an accompanist provided by Sibelius Academy, you are required to submit the sheet music for the free-choice compositions no later than 12 April 2019 via e-mail to the address siba.documents@uniarts.fi. The sheet music must be submitted in PDF format, and every piece must be delivered as one file (not one page at a time). A file must not exceed 20 Mb. Each piece must include the name of the composer and the piece as well as your own name and the programme you are applying for. This information must be placed at the top of the first sheet. In addition, you must bring the sheet music to the entrance examination either as originals or as copies taped in book form.

Other instruments

All works (also those normally requiring accompaniment) should be performed without accompaniment.

Early Music

Applicants to instruments in the Early Music programme are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

In addition to a compulsory composition, you should play two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic periods. A sight-reading assignment may also be necessary. Harpsichordists and lutenists will also play continuo.

The programme is to be played on a period instrument. Compositions need not be played from memory. 

Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. An accompanist provided by the Academy will be available. You may also bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use the Academy accompanist, you must state this in the application form. The accompanying instrument is harpsichord.

Piano, Accordion, Guitar, and Kantele

Piano as a main instrument

Applicants to piano as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

The audition is in two parts. In the first part, you play:

  • A fast and a slow movement from a Viennese classical sonata, including those of Schubert;
  • One etude by Chopin, (excluding opus 10, nos. 3 and 6, opus 25 no. 7 and opus posthumous in F minor and A flat major); and 
  • A compulsory piece (the sheet music will be sent to you with the invitation to the entrance examination)

Selection for the second part is based on the points given in the first part. For the second part, you must prepare:

  • A prelude and a fugue by J. S. Bach or a comparable composition; 
  • An etude in fast tempo (which is to be different from the one played in the first part); and 
  • A programme of your own choice. The free-choice programme (approx. 5-10 minutes) may be a part of a larger work.

The compositions must be performed from memory, except in the case of the compulsory composition. The Entrance Examination Board may listen to only a section of the programme prepared.

The Entrance Examination Board will evaluate applicants selected for the second part on a scale of 0-25. The points are based on an evaluation of their total strengths, i.e. including the first part of the main instrument audition.

Those selected for the second part may, if they so wish, also participate in the accompaniment and sight-reading test. The test mainly includes tasks prepared briefly in advance and sight-reading / playing tasks. Your ability to cooperate and your sight-reading skills will be emphasized. Based on this test, you may receive a maximum of two extra points, which will be added to the points awarded in the second part audition of the main instrument.

Accordion as a main instrument

Applicants to accordion as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

The audition is in two parts. In part I, you are required to play:

  • A compulsory composition (the sheet music will be sent to you with the invitation to the entrance examination); and 
  • One piece of your own choice (transcriptions are permitted, as are movements of larger works) lasting not more than about 10 minutes

About half of the applicants will be accepted to part II according to the points awarded in part I. Those who go on to part II will play:

  • A sonata by Domenico Scarlatti; and 
  • One composition by a Nordic (i.e. Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or Islandic) composer lasting not more than about 10 minutes 
    • You may play a movement or movements from some larger work 

The compositions need not be played from memory. The Entrance Examination Board will listen to the programme at its discretion.

The final points are based on an overall assessment of you, in other words part I of the audition in the main instrument will be taken into account.

Guitar as a main instrument

Applicants to guitar as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  • One free-choice piece or a movement or movements from a larger work (length approx. 10 minutes)
  • An etude from one of the following:
    • Villa-Lobos: Douze études
    • Brouwer: Etudes simples (11–20)
    • Sor: any étude 
    • Coste: Études op. 38 (5-25) 
    • Carcassi: Carcassi: Études op. 60 (20–25)
    • Regondi: 10 Études
  • A compulsory composition (the sheet music will be sent to you with the invitation to the entrance examination)

The audition is in two parts. First, the Entrance Examination Board will listen to some of the programme. In the second part, they will listen to the rest. Approximately 4-6 applicants will be accepted for part II according to the points awarded in part I. 

All compositions, including the compulsory composition, must be performed from memory.

The final points are based on an overall assessment of you, in other words part I of the audition in the main instrument will be taken into account.

Kantele as a main instrument

Applicants to kantele as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

You must play: 

  • A compulsory composition (the sheet music will be sent to you with the invitation to the entrance examination);
  • One optional piece; 
  • Two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic periods displaying your technical and interpretative skills. The works must be chosen from Sibelius Academy’s repertoire list for Kantele, Level C or B; and
  • Sight-reading test can be included when necessary.

The compulsory composition need not be performed from memory. The other compositions must be performed from memory.

You must choose one of the following four compositions as the optional piece:

  • J. S. Bach: Prelude in C minor BWV 999 (included in Das Bach Buch, Zwölf kleine Präludien)
  • J. S. Bach: Prelude in F major BWV 927 (included in Das Bach Buch, Zwölf kleine Präludien)
  • Tauno Marttinen: Prelude (can be ordered from Music Finland’s Sheet Music Catalogue)
  • Tauno Marttinen: Kalevalainen impromptu II (can be ordered from Music Finland’s Sheet Music Catalogue)

Wind instruments, Percussion, and Harp

Woodwind instrument as a main instrument (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, or Saxophone)

Pre-examination assignment

You must submit your video audition to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Embark system no later than 30 January 2019 at 3 pm (Finnish time). You are responsible for the production of the video recording and for finding an accompanist to play on the recording.

Programme to be prepared on the video (different compositions are used for applicants for different main instruments):

  • Flute – Cécile Chaminade: Concertino (accompanied by a piano)
  • Oboe – Carl Nielsen: Two Fantasy Pieces for Oboe and Piano op. 2 (Romance and Humoresque)
  • Clarinet – Francis Poulenc: Sonata, 1st movement
  • Bassoon – Michael Haydn: Concertino
  • Saxophone – Paule Maurice: Tableaux de Provence, movements 1, 2, and 3 (Editions Henry Lemoine)

The composition need not be played from memory. Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument is piano.

The composition must be recorded in one, single, unedited take (as in a live performance), and the performance must not be edited. You must play facing the camera so that the face and hands can be seen at all times. You must be seen in the video all the way from the head to the knees. The mouthpiece must also be seen in the video. The video must not be shot from too far away. Please make sure that the audio compressor or automatic dynamic adjustment of any kind is switched off on your recording device. 

Further instructions for use of the Embark system will be published in November 2018 on Uniarts Helsinki admissions website. N.B.! Pre-examination assignments cannot be submitted via e-mail or with the application form in the Studyinfo portal!

The Entrance Examination Board will invite a part of the applicants to the entrance examination on the basis of the information in the application form, certificates and the pre-examination assignment. You are responsible for making sure that the video audition meets the requirements. If you fail to deliver the pre-examination assignment, you will not be invited to the entrance examinations.

Entrance examination

The Entrance Examination Board will invite a part of the applicants to the entrance examination on the basis of the information in the application form, certificates and the pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  1. Compulsory composition (different pieces are used for applicants for different main instruments):
    • ​Flute –  Jean-Louis Tulou: Grand Solo no. 13, op. 96 (the prelude and interlude abridged: start from bar 37, leave out bars 144–164)
    • Oboe – Benjamin Britten: Six Metamorphoses, sections 1–3.
    • Clarinet – Carl Stamitz: Clarinet concerto no. 3 in B major, parts 1 and 2 
    • Bassoon – Olivio di Domenico: Sonatina (ed. Alphonse Leduc; sheet music available by email from siba.admissions@uniarts.fi)
    • Saxophone – André Jolivet: Fantaisie-Impromptu (ed. Alphonse Leduc)
  2. Two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic period, (total duration of the free-choice compositions is approx. 15 minutes)
    • At least one of the compositions must be accompanied by piano, and the other composition may be a solo work
    • The free-choice compositions may also be a movement or movements of a concerto or a sonata
  3. Playing by sight-reading and tests of musicianship performed in the entrance examination situation at the Entrance Examination Board’s discretion

The main instrument audition is in two parts. In the first part, the Entrance Examination Board will listen to some of the programme. In the second part, they will listen to the rest. The final points are based on an evaluation of your total strengths, i.e. including the first part of the main instrument audition.

The compositions need not be played from memory. Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument is piano. An accompanist provided by the Sibelius Academy will be available. You may also bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use the Academy accompanist, you must state this in the application form.

Brass instrument as a main instrument (French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone Horn, or Tuba)

Pre-examination assignment

You must submit your video audition to the Sibelius Academy Admissions Office via the Embark system no later than 30 January 2019 at 3 pm (Finnish time). You are responsible for the production of the video recording and for finding an accompanist to play on the recording.

In the video, you must play one free-choice composition, lasting approx. 5-10 minutes.

The composition need not be played from memory. Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument must be piano.

The composition must be recorded in one, single, unedited take (as in a live performance), and the performance must not be edited. You must play facing the camera so that the face and hands can be seen at all times. You must be seen in the video all the way from the head to the knees. The mouthpiece must also be seen in the video. The video must not be shot from too far away. Please make sure that the audio compressor or automatic dynamic adjustment of any kind is switched off on your recording device. 

Further instructions for use of the Embark system will be published in November 2018 on Uniarts Helsinki admissions website. N.B.! Pre-examination assignments cannot be submitted via e-mail or with the application form in the Studyinfo portal!

The Entrance Examination Board will invite a part of the applicants to the entrance examination on the basis of the information in the application form, certificates and the pre-examination assignment. You are responsible for making sure that the video audition meets the requirements. If you fail to deliver the pre-examination assignment, you will not be invited to the entrance examinations.

Entrance examination

The Entrance Examination Board will invite a part of the applicants to the entrance examination on the basis of the information in the application form, certificates and the pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  1. Compulsory piece (different pieces are used for applicants for different main instruments):
    • French Horn – R. Strauss: Concerto No. 1, 1st movement 
    • Trumpet – Guy Ropartz: Andante and Allegro 
    • Trombone – Alexandre Guilmant: Concert Piece op.88 
      N.B.! If you audition by playing the Bass Trombone, you must perform a compulsory piece from Ferdinand David: Concerto, 1st and 2nd movement (low version for the bass trombone, Martin Göss)
    • Baritone Horn – Joseph Horovitz: Concerto, 1st movement (Moderato) 
    • Tuba – A. Lebedev: Concerto A Minor
  2. A free-choice composition with piano accompaniment (duration 5-10 minutes)
    • The free-choice composition may also be a movement or movements of a concerto or a sonata
  3. A learning task (this will be sent to you a week in advance of the entrance examination for the instrument in question)
  4. Playing by sight-reading and tests of musicianship performed in the entrance examination situation at the Entrance Examination Board’s discretion

The main instrument audition is in two parts. In the first part, the Entrance Examination Board will listen to some of the programme. In the second part, they will listen to the rest. The final points are based on an evaluation of your total strengths, i.e. including the first part of the main instrument audition.

The compositions need not be played from memory. Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument is piano. An accompanist provided by the Sibelius Academy will be available. You may also bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use the Academy accompanist, you must state this in the application form.

Percussion as a main instrument

Applicants to percussion as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  1. Compulsory composition (the sheet music will be sent to you 2-3 weeks before the entrance examination)
  2. You must prepare a demonstration of your skill on the following instruments, duration approx. 5 minutes / instrument:
    • Side drum
    • Timpani
    • Melodic percussion instrument (xylophone, vibraphone, or marimba)
  3. Playing by sight-reading and tests of musicianship performed in the entrance examination situation at the Entrance Examination Board’s discretion

The compositions need not be played from memory.

All compositions are performed without accompaniment. You are required to provide the Entrance Examination Board with the sheet music for the free-choice compositions.

Harp as a main instrument

Applicants to harp as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  1. John Thomas: Minstrel's Adieu to His Native Land 
  2. Two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic period (total duration of the free-choice pieces is approx. 5-15 minutes)
    • One of the compositions may be accompanied by piano
    • The free-choice compositions may also be a movement or movements of a concerto or a sonata 

The compositions need not be played from memory. Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument is piano. An accompanist provided by the Sibelius Academy will be available. You may also bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use the Academy accompanist, you must state this in the application form.

Strings

Violin as a main instrument

Applicants to violin as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

The audition is in two parts.

In part I, you must play the first movement (with cadenzas) of one of the violin concertos by W.A. Mozart listed below:

  • B flat major KV 207
  • D major KV 211
  • G major KV 216
  • D major KV 218
  • A major KV 219

You will also play a programme of your own choice. The maximum duration is 15 minutes.

A maximum of 25 applicants will proceed to part II according to the points awarded in part I. If you qualify for part II, you must play a programme of yourown choice, the maximum duration of the programme is 15 minutes. The programme must be different than in part I of the audition. 

All compositions must be played from memory and without accompaniment (also assignments usually requiring accompaniment – for example, movements of violin concertos).

The Entrance Examination Board will listen to the programme at its discretion.

Viola as a main instrument

Applicants to viola as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

You will prepare a programme of your own choice including one caprice by Rode and two other compositions from different stylistic periods. 

Other than the caprice by Rode, the compositions do not need to be played from memory. Compositions requiring accompaniment are to be played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument is piano. An accompanist provided by the Sibelius Academy will be available. You may also bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use the Academy accompanist, you must state this in the application form.

The Entrance Examination Board will listen to the programme at its discretion.

Cello as a main instrument

Applicants to cello as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  • Compulsory composition (the sheet music will be sent to you with the invitation to the entrance examination); and
  • Two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic periods displaying your technical and artistic skills.

Free-choice compositions are played from memory. When you receive the compulsory composition by e-mail, you will be informed whether to play the compulsory composition from memory or not. Compositions requiring accompaniment are played with accompaniment. The accompanying instrument is piano. An accompanist provided by the Sibelius Academy will be available. You may also bring your own accompanist. If you wish to use the Academy accompanist, you must state this in the application form.

Double bass as a main instrument

Applicants to double bass as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  • Franz Simandl: Double Bass School, Part II, etude no. 1 in E flat major
  • Two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic periods displaying your technical and artistic skills

The compositions are performed unaccompanied. The free-choice compositions must be performed from memory.

Organ and Clavichord

Organ as a main instrument

Applicants to organ as a main instrument are not required to submit pre-examination assignments.

Programme to be prepared:

  • Compulsory composition (the sheet music will be sent to you with the invitation to the entrance examination); and 
  • Two compositions of your own choice from different stylistic periods displaying your technical and artistic skills 

The compositions need not be played from memory.

Clavichord as a main instrument

(no admission in 2019)