PDF of this page (including excerpts)

We are pleased to announce auditions for the position of Concertmaster. Audition appointments for a new Concertmaster are now being scheduled for July 17, 2018. You are invited to email your bio and contact information to: info@seattlefestivalorchestra.org. If selected, you will be contacted with details of the audition location (Seattle) and time slot.

Seattle Festival Orchestra is a community orchestra of experienced musicians. Participation is by audition and direct invitation. Rehearsals & performances are in Seattle. The 2018-19 season will contain 30 rehearsals and 8 performance dates. See attached full schedule.

Concertmaster Position Responsibilities & Compensation

Concertmaster Compensation:

The concertmaster salary compensation is $80-100 per service commensurate with experience.


The concertmaster is responsible for setting a good example of musicianship, preparation and leadership.

The concertmaster may be called upon occasionally to solo with the orchestra in works mutually agreed upon with the conductor, and will be expected to play solo passages in the 1st violin part.

The concertmaster is responsible for coordinating the bowing and articulations of all the strings before parts are distributed to the orchestra. The concertmaster will put in bow markings for principal parts of all string sections, as well as the 1st violin parts, then make them available for string principals to adapt for their respective sections no later than two weeks prior to the distribution of music.

The concertmaster will study the music scores and watch/listen to recorded performances in the process of deciding on bow markings.

If necessary, the concertmaster will communicate changes in bow markings to section leaders during rehearsals. (This will be kept to a minimum.)

The concertmaster is responsible for seeing that the orchestra tunes to the oboe A prior to rehearsals and performances, and after rehearsal/concert breaks.

The concertmaster will communicate to the conductor any music-related questions from the 1st violin section, and, if necessary, from the principals of other sections, either during rehearsal or after rehearsal, as appropriate.

The concertmaster will lead sectional rehearsals of the 1st and 2nd violins, if the conductor schedules sectionals.

Conductor-Concertmaster Relationship:

  1. Whenever possible, the conductor will involve the concertmaster in recruitment and selection of string players and in auditions, if scheduled. The conductor will forward to the concertmaster the credentials of all string recruits when they are hired.
  2. The concertmaster will establish violin seating within the current rotation pattern for each concert and confirm the plan with the conductor.

Audition Details: At Your Audition...

Your audition will be heard by SFO Music Director & Conductor Bobby Collins, departing SFO Concertmaster, winds personnel manager & string personnel manager. Please plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to relax and prepare yourself for your audition. For any questions or further information, please email: info@seattlefestivalorchestra.org.

All auditioning concertmaster candidates will be asked for the following:

  1. Please prepare the exposition from the solo part of the first movement of either Mozart violin concerto #3, #4, or #5, and the exposition of a romantic/modern concerto.
  2. Please prepare the following excerpts. Download the PDF at the top of this page.
    1. Excerpt #1: Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade: Movement III solo violin parts
    2. Excerpt #2: Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night’s Dream, II. Scherzo, Beginning to E
  3. Be prepared to play a short excerpt from sight. It will not be anything terribly difficult – We are simply interested in verifying your rhythmic security and sense of musical styles.
  4. Please prepare to leave with us a copy of your resume covering your education credentials and performance experience. Thank you. We sincerely look forward to meeting you and hearing your audition.

Recent Past Repertoire Includes

Brahms: Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, Op. 102
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Op. 64
Mozart: Die Zauberflote, K. 620 Overture
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, Op 93
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5, Op. 107
Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet Suites 1 & 2
Saint-Saens: Violin Concerto No. 3
Dvorak: Symphony No. 9