Liederkranz Competition FAQ (pdf)
Is there a place to warm up?
A warm-up room is available for brief use by each candidate prior to the audition.
Is the competition open to the public?
As of this update it is our intention make the Final Round of the General Opera and Wagner division. The Lieder/Art Song* Finalists Concert has always been a public event. All those who have participated in the Art Song Division may attend this free of charge.
What should I wear?
Wear what you would normally wear to an important daytime audition. This is true even for the Lieder Finalists’ Concert. The Winners Concert at Weill Hall is a more formal affair where gown and tuxedos are appropriate.
How long is the audition?
At the preliminaries for the General and Wagner Divisions we hear 7 or 8 people an hour. For the Art Song Division we hear 6 people an hour. The time slots at the finals are somewhat longer. It is in the candidate’s best interest to offer contrasting selections in a variety of styles that best show off his or her talents. Beginning with a lengthy selection may not be the wisest choice. There is a wealth of repertoire that is not overly long that can serve you very well. As with most auditions It may also be helpful to offer the judges the choice of the second part, no recit, the ornamented section only, etc. so that you make optimal use of your time. At the very least, do not take offense if the judges make similar requests of you. Show us what you can do, not what you think we want to hear.
What is the formal of the audition?
It is not really different from a regular audition. With rare exceptions, candidates offer an opening selection of their choice. The judges then normally choose the second selection, and, very rarely, all or part of a third.
Is it acceptable to have an operetta piece in the General Division?
Yes. Zarzuela is also welcomed.
Must I be a United States citizen in order to compete?
No. The Competition is open to singers from all over the world.
Can I get feedback from the judges?
The judges’ feedback will not be made available to the candidates, although on occasion comments may be offered at the time of the audition.
Who are the judges?
It is not our policy to make this information available in advance of the event but the names and affiliations of the judges will be posted at the time of the Competition. Within each division there are two different panels of judges for preliminary and final rounds to ensure that finalists are heard by fresh sets of ears.
What if I have worked with one of the judges in a professional capacity?
In order to have judges who are knowledgeable in their field and who take an interest in up and coming talent, it is a virtually impossible for every single singer in the competition to be an unknown quantity to the panel of judges. No candidate is given any lesser or greater consideration, despite any “history” with any of the panel members.
Why don’t you ask for a resume?
Ours is a vocal competition based on vocal ability and expression. Your experience or lack thereof is not the element on which the judges will base their scores. A resume would in fact be a distraction in their scoring process.
Why do you no longer ask for our repertoire on the initial application?
We used to, but so much time elapses between the mailing of the application and the competition itself that a lot of time was lost when singers (whose vocal ripening does not stand still between September and January) had made repertoire changes and needed to announce them at the audition.
Where do the finals take place?
The Lieder Finalists’ Concert and the Final Round of the General Opera and Wagner Divisions take place at the Liederkranz. The Winner’s Concert, which involves all the prizewinners of all three divisions, takes place at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Before you enter the contest be sure that you are available for the Winners Concert at Weill Recital Hall. If you are unable to appear in the concert, you will not be granted an award. Be careful with prior commitments and contracts that may require you to be elsewhere on that date.
Please feel free to e-mail the office with any questions you may have. That said, the application (as does the letter to the winners) contains a great deal of information. Before you contact us, you might see (you may check the application on line) if your questions are answered somewhere in the fine print.
*This division was started in 2006, originally called the Lieder Division. In an attempt to clarify the broader range of repertoire involved we have been using the somewhat cumbersome label of Lieder / Art Song Division. It is not, nor was it ever limited to Lieder per se. We apologize for any confusion. There is, however, a semantic ease to "Lieder Finalists Concert" that has yet to be improved by "Art Song Finalists Concert".