Due to the ongoing pandemic, including travel restrictions and distancing guidelines, the 2021 Astral National Auditions will be conducted via an entirely digital format. 

Eligibility Guidelines

  • 2021 Applicants need not be citizens of the United States. However, applicants must reside in, and be legally eligible to perform and be compensated in the contiguous United States (the 48 states that do not include Hawaii and Alaska, and territories of the United States).
  • Applicants who advance to the semifinals will be requested to record and submit new video performances; applicants advanced to the final round must be available for an interview to be conducted via Zoom video (which will not involve a performance component).
  • Applicants must be available to attend orientation and perform in a Winners Concert event in Philadelphia in early Fall 2021 (pending pandemic restrictions.)
  • Applicants may be under professional management.
  • This season Astral is not accepting application for solo flute, solo cello, solo piano and solo harp.
  • Astral does not accept application for solo percussion and ensembles that include percussion.
  • Ensembles must demonstrate that they have been a pre-formed group for at least 2 years. Ensembles may have a maximum of five players.
  • Prizes are not awarded at the auditions; winners are invited to join Astral’s artist roster.
  • There is no limit to the number of artists to be invited onto Astral’s roster.
  • The panel has the right to recommend no artists, and all decisions are final.

Important Dates

FEBRUARY 24, 2021
Early online application deadline (11:59pm EST); $75

MARCH 3, 2021
Final online application deadline (11:59pm EST); $100

APRIL 23, 2021
Notification of advancement to Round 2 – Semifinal Audition

MAY 14, 2021
Submission deadline for Round 2 – Semifinal Audition

MAY 17-21, 2021
Panel review of semifinals and selection of finalists

MAY 24-28, 2021
Interviews of finalists conducted via Zoom

EARLY FALL, 2021
National Auditions Winners Concert (in Philadelphia)
New artist orientation (in Philadelphia)
New artist workshops (in Philadelphia)
*Should the pandemic prevail the orientation and workshops will be conducted by Zoom and the Winners Concert planned for a later date.

Application Process

The Astral National Auditions are a 3-round process: 1) online application & screening; 2) submission of new video program; and 3) interview conducted via Zoom.

Round 1 – Online Application

  • Early online application with non-refundable fee of $75 due by the deadline of February 24, 2021 (11:59 EST).
  • Final online application with non-refundable fee of $100 due by the deadline of March 3, 2021 (11:59 EST). Late applications will not be accepted. Please read Audio and Video File Repertoire Requirements before applying.
  • Applications and audio files are screened anonymously and scored by an independent panel.
  • Feedback cannot be provided from the application round.
  • Applicants advanced to the Round 2 semifinals will be notified by April 23, 2021.

ONLINE APPLICATIONS

Round 2 – Semifinal Audition

  • Auditions will be conducted via newly recorded video submissions. This video may not exceed 20 minutes in duration and should consist of a single, uninterrupted take with no edits to either audio or video. These videos will remain private and will not be shared with anyone except the jury.
  • All applicants who advance to Round 2 will be offered optional access to a free one-on-one coaching session with Astral’s A/V production associate who can assist each applicant in presenting the best possible audio and video quality for this recording.
  • Please see Repertoire Guidelines for live audition requirements.
  • The independent jury is comprised of esteemed musicians, agents, and leaders in the classical music field. The 2021 Round 2 panelists will be announced in the spring of 2021.
  • Applicants will be adjudicated on the basis of their musicianship, creativity in programming, and personal presentation. Applicants will not be evaluated on the space in which they record, or overall video and lighting quality. All judgements will be directed towards the quality of the unedited performance. Applicants should focus on clear audio and video positioning that does not obscure a clear view of the performance.

Round 3 – Zoom Interview

  • Applicable if recommended by the Round 2 panel, following the recorded video audition.
  • Finalists will be invited to schedule a Zoom video interview with Astral’s Career Development team.
  • The in-person interview helps us get to know the finalists off the concert stage and determine their suitability for Astral’s program. There is no performance component to this interview. The interview will complete the audition cycle and be an important factor in new roster artist selection.

Questions? Contact thomas@astralartists.org or 215.735.6999