The Orchestral Audition Repertoire List for Double Bass

This is the list. THE list.

It was published in an International Society of Bassists Journal about 30 years ago (Sorry, I don’t know the exact year for this citation).When I went to study with James Clute he gave me a xerox of it, and it became the syllabus for his class.

The article was written by Jack Wellbaum, former Personnel Manager of the Cincinatti Symphony. He polled thirty-two symphony orchestras in North America for their bass audition repertoire and compiled the results as follows:

Repertoire asked two or more times (Ranked according to the number of times they appeared on the list):

Beethoven Symphony No. 9

Beethoven Symphony No. 5

Mozart Symphony No. 40

Strauss Don Juan

Mahler Symphony No. 1

Strauss Ein Heldenleben

Brahms Symphony No. 1

Mozart Symphony No. 39

Tschaikovsky Symphony No. 4

Brahms Symphony No. 2

Britten Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Verdi Othello

Bach Suite No. 2 in B Minor

Beethoven Symphony No. 3

Beethoven Symphony No. 7

Ginastera Variaciones Concertantes

Haydn Symphony No. 88

Mahler Symphony No. 2

Mozart Marriage of Figaro Overture

Mozart Symphony No. 35

Mozart Symphony No. 41

Prokofiev Lieutenant Kije

Schubert “Great” C Major Symphony

Smetana Bartered Bride Overture

Strauss Till Eulenspiegel

Stravinsky Pulcinella

Beethoven Symphony No. 2

Brahms Symphony No. 4

Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals

Wagner Die Meistersinger

Repertoire asked only once:

Bach Violin Concerto in E Major

Beethoven Symphony No. 4

Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique

Brahms Symphony No. 3

Bruckner Symphony No. 7

Dragonetti Concerto in G Major

Frank Symphony in D Minor

Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4

Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra

Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra

Strauss Death and Transfiguration

Stravinsky L’Histoire du Soldat

Stravinsky Rite of Spring

Verdi La Forza del Destino

Verdi Rigoletto

Weber Euryanthe

Weber Der Freischutz

Every audition rep list I’ve seen lately has followed this pattern. When you know all these pieces, a concerto and a few movements of unaccompanied Bach, you’ll have 95% of all the rep you need to win an audition.

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