Principal Viola

Application deadline: Friday, August 23, 2024

Preliminaries: Friday, September 27, 2024
Finals: Saturday, September 28, 2024


Auditions for the principal viola position with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra (H+H) will take place in Boston. There will be 2 rounds of auditions: preliminary and final. The preliminary round will be held behind a screen, and the final round will be unscreened. Only highly qualified musicians with significant experience performing with period instrument ensembles should apply. Resumes should be sent to:

Jason Fisher, Personnel Manager
Handel and Haydn Society
9 Harcourt St.
Boston, MA 02116

or by email: (preferred)

If you are submitting your resume by email it must be in PDF format. Please be sure that it includes your current mailing address, email address and telephone number. Once we receive your resume the audition committee will review it and determine who is invited to participate in the audition. The committee reserves the right to reject any applicant they feel has insufficient experience performing on period instruments.


We do not require the candidate to use more than one instrument for the audition, although you must use an instrument appropriate to either the Baroque or Classical period strung with at least two unwound gut strings.

We do require that appropriate bows for the period must be used (Baroque bow for Baroque works, transitional/Classical bow for Classical works).

Pitch for the entire audition (both Baroque and Classical works) will be A=430.


  • Please prepare both of the following:
    • 1 movement of a J.S. Bach Cello Suite of the candidate’s choice
    • 1 movement of a classical concerto or sonata of the candidate’s choice
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4: III. Presto, bars 1-41
  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1: Forlane (AABB)
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 3, Eroica: II. Marcia funebre, bars 80-104
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 5: II. Andante con moto, bars 1-86
  • Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, Italian: II. Andante con moto, bars 1-11 and 44-58 and IV. Saltarello, bars 30-52 and 196-215
  • Mozart: Divertimento in E-flat, K. 563: I. Allegro, bars 1-73
  • Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro: bars 1-95, 198-236

Chamber Music (finals only, with members of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra)

  • Bach Orchestral Suite No. 1: Menuets I & II
  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2: Overture, bar 1-70, Bourée I
  • Lully: Act 4 Scene 1 Ritournelle from Phaeton
  • Purcell: First Music from Dioclesian

Sheet Music PDFs


Members of H+H are hired on a per-service basis. The number of services varies from year to year based on various factors. Generally speaking, there are 6 full-orchestra subscription concert sets at Symphony Hall and 3 other subscription sets at other venues in Boston that may use smaller ensembles. Normally there are 12-15 hours of rehearsal for each set, and two performances, although those numbers may vary. There is no guarantee of a minimum number of services in any given season.

H+H operates under a collective bargaining agreement with the Boston Musicians’ Association, local 9-535 of the American Federation of Musicians. In accordance with the CBA, once a winner of the audition is determined there will be a one-year probationary period, after which tenure may be granted. H+H is generally required to hire tenured players before offering any services to non-tenured players.

Each member of H+H is required under our collective bargaining agreement to be a member in good standing on the Boston Musicians’ Association, Local 9-535 of the American Federation of Musicians, even if you are also a member of another musicians’ union local.

If you would like more information on all the various wage scales and working conditions, a copy of the collective bargaining agreement will be provided to you on request.

There are currently 24 tenured positions with the orchestra. Musicians who occupy tenured positions are expected to accept and play all requested services. Notwithstanding this, however, the contract allows the following minimums for services offered for the following concert season:

If the number of concert sets offered

  • is 2, then the Musician must accept and play 1;
  • is 3, then the Musician must accept and play 2;
  • is 4, then the Musician must accept and play 2;
  • is 5, then the Musician must accept and play 3;
  • is 6, then the Musician must accept and play 4;
  • is 7, then the Musician must accept and play 5;
  • is 8, then the Musician must accept and play 6;
  • is 9, then the Musician must accept and play 7;
  • is 10, then the Musician must accept and play 7.

If the number of concert sets offered is greater than 10, the Musician must accept and play 75% of the sets offered. A tenured musician who does not meet the minimum above is subject to losing tenure.


Are as follows for the 2024-25 season - $251.35 per service + 25% principal overscale
Note: per service rates are for both rehearsals and concerts

A pension payment of 16% of scale wages is currently made on the musician’s behalf by H+H.