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date: 17 April 2024

Solo de concoursfree

Solo de concoursfree

  • Lacey Golaszewski

Exam solos, composed for conservatory exit exams in performance. Developed from traditions at the Paris Conservatory’s predecessors, the solos de concours were instituted at the school in 1797 as part of the concours, or exit examination, for potential wind, string, and percussion graduates. Students perform the solo, orchestral excerpts, and sight-reading before a jury in an attempt to win the premier prix. Composers have historically created new solos de concours, also known as morceaux de concours, or contest pieces, for specific instruments each year. Originally, instrumental professors at the Paris Conservatory composed the solos for the instruments that they taught. In 1894, flute professor Paul Taffanel initiated a programme under director Théodore Dubois in which commissioned composers created the solos. The composers then dedicated the new solos, some of which have become standard repertoire for their respective instruments, to the professor of each instrument. Nearly all conservatories in France, Italy, Belgium, and Germany eventually adopted similar assessments. However, since the late 20th century, the Paris Conservatory has only sporadically commissioned new solos.


  • P.M.F. de S. Baillot: Observations relatives aux concours de violon du Conservatoire de Musique (Paris, 1872)
  • H. Bauer: ‘The Paris Conservatory: Some Reminiscences’, Musical Quarterly, vol.33, no.4 (1947), 533–42
  • J. Caringi: The Clarinet Contest Solos of the Paris Conservatory with a Performance Analysis of Selected Compositions (EdD diss., Columbia U., 1963)
  • H.R. Gee: Clarinet Solos de Concours, 1897–1980: an Annotated Bibliography (Bloomington, IN, 1981)
  • K.K. Fletcher: A Comprehensive Performance Project in Bassoon Literature with an Essay on the Paris Conservatoire and the Contest Solos for Bassoon (DMA diss., U. of Iowa, 1986)
  • L.I. Lattimore: Les Morceaux de Concours de Flûte du Conservatoire de Paris: a Structural Comparison of Selected Works of Jean-Louis Tulou and Joseph-Henri Altès: a Lecture Recital, together with Three Recitals of Selected Works of Mozart, Halffter, Gaubert and Others (DMA diss., North Texas State U., 1987)
  • F.L. Averitt: ‘An Outsider’s View inside the Paris Conservatoire’, Flute Talk, vol.7, no.7 (1988), 11
  • K. Cook: The Paris Conservatory and the Solos de Concours for Flute, 1900–1955 (DMA diss., U. of Wisconsin, Madison, 1991)
  • M.G. Colgin: The Paris Conservatoire Concours Tradition and the Solos de Concours for Flute, 1955–1990 (DMA diss., U. of Texas, Austin, 1992)
  • K.-H.K. Chung: Solos de concours for Flute at the Paris Conservatory: Two Decades, 1900s and 1940s (DMA diss., U. of Maryland, College Park, 2004)
  • P. Walker: Oboe Music Written for the Paris Conservatoire Concours (DMA diss., U. of Kansas, 2014)