The Hartt School


When you study viola at The Hartt School, you will receive comprehensive musical training. 

About the Major

You will join a tight-knit community of artists who are perfecting their craft. Through personal attention and mentorship from Hartt’s accomplished faculty members, you will develop innovative ideas and career ready skills.

Admission and Audition Requirements

In order to schedule an audition, the University of Hartford application as well as the Hartt Undergradute supplemental application must be completed.  Learn more about the undergraduate or graduate application process.

The Hartt School conducts live auditions and interviews for applicants on campus as well as in select cities around the United States. Applicants who reside more than 300 miles away from campus are eligible to submit a recorded audition. 


Non-performance applicants should play at least one of the selections from memory. Performance applicants should play at least two of the selections from memory.  Also, works performed must be of at least two contrasting styles/eras.

  • Two contrasting movements of unaccompanied Bach
  • One movement of a concerto or sonata, or a virtuoso piece
  • An étude or caprice

Master of Music & Graduate Professional Diploma

All MM or GPD string applicants must audition with piano accompaniment for at least one work. If you require an accompanist for your audition, you may bring your own or request a Hartt accompanist. There is a $50 fee for a Hartt accompanist, which includes the audition and one 30-minute rehearsal (on the day of the audition). If you require an accompanist, you must notify Hartt Admissions at least three (3) weeks prior to your audition. Be sure to include your name, contact information, degree program, instrument, warm-up and audition times, and repertoire that requires accompaniment. 

  • Two movements of unaccompanied Bach (minimum one from memory)
  • One movement of a concerto (or a showpiece) from memory
  • Another work or movement in a contrasting style
  • A selection of choice (this selection could be an additional movement from one of the first three selections, or a completely different piece)
One of the above selections must be written after 1918.

For the Master of Music in Music History- Performance Practice Emphasis, Three (3) pieces or movements of contrasting styles must be played, and applicants may bring their own pianist or audition without accompaniment. 

Doctor of Musical Arts and Artist Diploma

PreScreening requirements for Doctor of Musical Arts & Artist Diploma Applicants

Confirmation of your audition date will follow a positive review of the preliminary audition recording.

DMA and AD applicants must submit with their completed application a preliminary recording electronically, (via Youtube, Dropbox etc.), on or before the application deadline. All recordings must contain music of contrasting styles and periods within a time frame of 20 to 30 minutes maximum and should contain the following:

  • One movement of a major concerto (to be performed from memory)
  • Two movements of unaccompanied Bach (to be performed from memory)
  • One additional piece, caprice, or a showpiece (to be performed from memory)
  • One movement of a sonata

One of the above selections must be classical and another must be a 20th or 21st-century work.

Our Faculty

Our viola faculty members are experts in their fields.

Rita Porfiris

Rita Porfiris has performed in major concert halls and music festivals worldwide as a chamber musician, orchestral musician, and as a soloist. Rita’s transcriptions for the viola of both classical music staples and pop favorites have been enjoyed worldwide by audiences and performers. Gramophone Magazine called her transcription of Gliere’s Eight Pieces Op. 39, recorded on the Miller-Porfiris Duo’s second CD “Eight Pieces,” "satisfying" and "sung with beautiful warmth."

View Faculty Bio

Melinda Daetsch

An avid performer, Daetsch has performed at numerous festivals such as the Yehudi Menuhin International Festival (Switz), Assisi Performing Arts (Italy), The Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Rutger's SummerFest, the Strawberry Creek Festival (California), and the Luzerne Music Center (NY). She serves as the Principal violist for the Music at Penn's Woods Festival at Penn State University where she has also been the Penns Woods chamber music series coordinator.

View Faculty Bio

The faculty here at Hartt is what initially drew me to the program - their guidance and unwavering passion to teach.

Eugenio Figueroa, DMA in Viola Performance

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