2016 Season Audition
Procedures & Requirements

View the audition flyer

Please click here for the application forms.

Virtuosi of Houston begin its 21st season in the fall of 2016.  Auditions for orchestra membership will be held on:

  • Saturday, May 14, 2016; beginning at 9:00 am (early auditions)
  • Friday, September 9, 2016; 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 10, 2016; 9:00 am to 5 pm

All auditions will be held at the Virtuosi of Houston Studio located in Memorial City Mall, Houston.  A map of our location is available on the website.  

Highlights of Virtuosi of Houston:

  • Only youth chamber orchestra in Houston.
  • Virtuosi of Houston Maestros select 40-55 musicians by audition each season.
  • Artistic Directors and Conductors Andrzej Grabiec and Franz Anton Krager founded the orchestra in 1996.  Both serve on the faculty of the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Under this two-conductor structure, more individual training is provided.
  • A typical season includes two concerts in Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and an annual fundraising concert and dinner in a prestigious Houston hotel.  Concert dates for the 2014-15 season will be on December 6, 2014 (Zilkha Hall), March 2, 2015 (Zilkha Hall), and April 25, 2015 (in a prestigious Houston hotel).* 
  • Total of 30 rehearsals during the academic year/season.
  • Rehearsals are held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 9:30 pm, beginning five weeks prior to the concert date.
  • Dinner is provided by Virtuosi of Houston during rehearsals at break time.
  • Rehearsal schedule is set so as not to conflict with other youth orchestras.
  • Rehearsals are held in a state-of-the-art 5,000 square foot studio in Memorial City Mall.
  • Concert programs are professionally designed and include a headshot and biography for each student member.
  • An Annual Concerto Competition awards a total of $10, 250 in scholarship support to seven competitors.  First-place winners in the wind and string divisions are also invited to perform as soloists in the spring concert.   Scholarship funds can only be applied to music education expenses. The Concerto Competition is open only to current Virtuosi of Houston musicians. 

*Concert dates subject to change.

Virtuosi of Houston operates on the theory that absorbing instruction in an intense, short period of time produces an excellent end product. The student musicians also benefit from the joint direction of two conductors.  While one maestro is conducting from the podium, the other circulates throughout the ensemble tutoring individual players on the correct techniques of fingering, pitch, sound and other good music practices. Each student benefits from their complementary direction, expertise and knowledge.                                    


All Virtuosi of Houston members are expected:

  • Commit to attending all the rehearsals for the entire concert season.  Three unexcused absences may result in dismissal from the orchestra   In case of direct conflict with a school event, the school event will always take precedence. All absences must be called in or emailed to the Virtuosi office by 2:00 pm the day of the absence.
  • Individually practice their respective parts and come prepared to rehearsals to the best of their ability.
  • Demonstrate the highest standards of personal integrity with respect to one another, to the Artistic Directors, and to representatives of the management, the staff, volunteers, and the Board of Directors of the organization.

Virtuosi of Houston will provide:

  • Many exciting musical experiences.
  • An atmosphere of mutual respect and professionalism.
  • Music Directors who will fully share their knowledge and expertise during rehearsals and concerts.

Audition Requirements:

  • New members and returning Virtuosi of Houston orchestra members must audition.
  • All applicants should between 11 to 18 years of age as of September 2013.
  • All applicants need to complete the two-page application form and pay a non-refundable application fee.
  • Application fee for new applicants is $45 and the fee for returning Virtuosi of Houston orchestra members is $35. Checks made payable to Virtuosi of Houston.  Master Card, Visa and American Express credit cards are accepted.

New Members Should Prepare the Following
(memorization is not required):

  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios (3 octaves – string players; 2 octaves – wind players)
  • One prepared solo or concert piece; piano accompaniment is not required
  • Preparation of orchestral excerpts for your instrument. Please contact Virtuosi of Houston via email to request the excerpts.

Returning Members Need Only To Prepare the Following (memorization is not required):

  • One prepared solo or concert piece; piano accompaniment is not required.    

All auditions are held at the Virtuosi of Houston Studio in Memorial City Mall. 
View map of our location. 

The tuition fee for the 2014-15 season is $850 per student and is payable upon acceptance.  Students in need of financial assistance or payment arrangements should send a written request for tuition assistance within 10 days of acceptance notice.  The form is available on the Virtuosi website, or a printed form will be mailed if requested.  The executive committee of the Virtuosi of Houston Board of Directors will rule on all applications for financial assistance the first week of October 2014.  (Please note: All applications must include a copy of both sides of the first page of your 2013 Federal income tax return, with your adjusted gross income information.)

Applications and audition fee must be received at least 14 days prior to the preferred audition date.  If the deadline for applications cannot be met, please call to request a waiver.

For additional information, please call Karen Needham at 713-807-0888
Mail, Fax or E-mail the two-page application form and non-refundable application fee to:

Virtuosi of Houston
2121 Kirby Drive, #117 
Houston, TX  77019-6035
Fax: 713-807-0088
Email: virtuosi@virtuosiofhouston.org


Upcoming Events

Concerto Concert
April 3, 2016

Read more

Gala Concert & Dinner
Celebrating 20 years of memories
May 7, 2016

Read more

Auditions start May 14, 2016

Read more

Eighth Annual
Small Ensemble Summer Workshop

June 2016

Read more

2015-2016 Season Calendar



"Before becoming a part of this program my exposure to classical music performance and working with string instruments were non existent. While I was slightly intimidated at the accomplished musicians of Virtuosi, I took on the challenge of being a part of this group with energy and enthusiasm, and as a result have made huge advancements with my ability as a musician. Being a part of this phenomenal music program has given me opportunities that I would NEVER have had through the public school. Because of Virtuosi, I have committed myself to pursuing a college degree in music."

Virtuosi of Houston

Virtuosi of Houston

Virtuosi of Houston

Virtuosi of Houston