Auditions & Appointments / Interviews / Los Angeles Philharmonic / Music News & Info: Classical

Inside info about LA Phil auditions from Nathan Cole, First Associate Concertmaster

On the heels of all the talk about various auditions in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Spring 2022 edition of “Comings and Goings at the LA Phil” published earlier this week, I thought All is Yar readers would find this interesting . . .

Nathan Cole is a violinist extraordinaire, being the First Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and before that a member of the First Violin section of the Chicago Symphony. In addition, he shares the microphone with Akiko Tarumoto (his wife and the LA Phil’s Assistant Concertmaster) on their awesome podcast, Stand Partners for Life, and he has his own website,, where he covers many topics, particularly orchestral auditions.

Given his expertise, he’s a popular resource for people wanting to learn how to succeed in auditions, whether you play violin or some other instrument. He wrote an article for Audition Cafe, “Forget Perfection: An Insider’s Guide to Audition Committee Persuasion.” It’s a solid read.

Even better and more fun is the conversation he had with the four hosts of the Per Service Podcast, part of, with an intriguing title:

It includes a set of mock audition evaluations of three violinists and three flute players. He even makes a brief comment about how LA Phil audition committees, um, “might” [scare quotes mine] react differently with European vs American oboe players; start at 16:03 to get the right context. Given that the podcast was published September 24, 2018, right before former Principal Oboe Ramon Ortega started his abbreviated tenure with the LA Phil, the comments, however brief, reinforce what I mentioned in my various posts on the topic.

That said, I highly recommend that you listen to the whole 100+ minute conversation if you can spare the time.



Photo credit: courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic

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