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Rudolph Polk Memorial Award in Music

Application Process

Named for Rudolph Polk, a violinist who was influential as a concert impresario and promoted the musical careers of a number of concert artists, in part by producing important films of performances by the violinist Jascha Heifetz, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Arthur Rubinstein, and others. The award was established in 1958 by Polk’s widow, Mrs. Pauline Polk (Claremont), Prof. Kenneth Fiske (Pomona College), Dr. Robert Bernard (Claremont University Consortium), and Mr. Heifetz.

These annual auditions for both the Polk Graduate and Undergraduate Awards are open to students at the Claremont Colleges who play the violin, viola, cello, double bass, or piano. The founders intended that the award be used by the recipient for further musical studies.

Administered by The Claremont College Services, the awards are given on the basis of superior musical ability. There are two divisions, one open to graduate students and one open to undergraduates. For details about eligibility, please consult the chair of the Screening Committee, Alfred Cramer. Each division award is $1000 and will not be subdivided. The award need not be made every year, and recipients of the award must wait a year before participating in the auditions again.

A preliminary screening committee composed of members from the music faculties at the Claremont Colleges will determine those eligible for the auditions from the applications. Students will be auditioned individually – without an audience and should plan for the audition to last approximately 25 minutes. String players should provide an accompanist where required.

For those invited to audition, rehearsal times in Balch Auditorium can be arranged from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the week preceding the auditions. To schedule, contact Scripps Music Department Administrative Assistant Diana Fortelny at 909-607-3266.

Candidates Should Prepare:

  • Four complete compositions representing a wide range of styles
  • Selections should originate in at least three different centuries
  • Pieces should not be transcriptions.

Requests for exceptions to these rules may be submitted in writing to the Preliminary Screening Committee before the application deadline.

2022 Applications Forms Due: February 2022 – precise date to be announced.

Forms will be available online. [link forthcoming]

2022 Auditions: late March or early April 2022 – date to be announced

Please direct questions to Prof. Alfred Cramer, Pomona Music Department, chair of the Screening Committee.