Princeton University Concerts

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Engaging with Music

It all started in February 2015, when over one hundred undergraduate and graduate students signed up for the first ever Creative Reactions Writing Contest. Conceived by the Student Ambassadors of Princeton University Concerts, this writing contest gave students a free ticket to attend a Princeton University Concert in the legendary Alexander Hall, in return for a creative written response to the performance—and a chance to win a cash prize. The wonderfully diverse group of submissions brought together judges from many corners of the Princeton community, including professors in the Creative Writing Program and Music Department, the owner of Labyrinth Bookstore, and long-standing community audience members.

The enthusiastic response to this novel initiative made clear that students were eager to extend the concert experience beyond the walls of Alexander Hall, and to share their passion for or curiosity about music with the community at large. Princeton University Concerts (PUC) has developed the Creative Reactions Program in order to provide such an opportunity to all Princeton University students. While continuing the Creative Reactions Contest on an annual basis, now expanded to include other art forms, this program will also present various other means through which students will be able to harness their creative talents in their engagement with music on campus. This includes a student-designed and student-written season brochure, opportunities for writing to be included in printed programs, and more.

The Creative Reactions Contest, dedicated to the memory of Vera Sharpe Kohn

Hosted by the Student Ambassadors of Princeton University Concerts



Held annually, the CRC is a creative competition for Princeton students that uses the PUC series as inspiration. The contest has two categories: one for creative writing and one for the visual arts. Prizes will be awarded to Princeton students who, after attending a Princeton University Concert, best capture their personal experience of hearing live classical music through an art form of their choice. The CRC seeks to further PUC's mission by connecting students to the arts and celebrating classical music's unique contributions to campus. This season's contest includes TWELVE eligible events for the creative writing category, and ONE eligible concert for the visual arts category. All currently enrolled Princeton students may enter, except for previous first-prize winners.

NEW: The Visual Arts Category of the Creative Reactions Contest invites Princeton University students to artistically respond to the Tenebrae Choir concert in the Princeton University Chapel on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 8PM. Submissions in this category can take any number of forms, including but not limited to: painting, drawing, graphic design, illustration, printmaking, letterpress, photography, sculpture and video -- as long as the final work can be submitted electronically and easily displayed. Students participating in the contest will have access to special seating in the Chapel where they can sketch during the concert. Video and photography during the performance is strictly prohibited. [GUIDELINES]

What's the prize?

The Frist Prize winners of the Creative Reactions Contest in each category will each receive $500.  A smaller cash prize for up to three honorable mentions is possible, in both categories. The winning works will be widely distributed online and in print. The winning works will also be read aloud or displayed at our final concert of the season on May 3, 2018. The Prizes will be awarded by a selection committee composed of distinguished members of the Princeton faculty and the community. Previous judges have included poet C.K. Williams, Musicologist Scott Burnham and Owner of Labyrinth Books Dorothea von Moltke.

How do I participate?

Step One: Choose your concert. Entrants are offered one free ticket to the concert to which they will submit their reaction, pending availability. Concerts sell out quickly; tickets are limited, so early registration is advised. The Visual Arts category is restricted to the Tenebrae Choir's concert on March 15, 2018 only. Creative writing participants are welcome to submit more than one entry on any and all of the eligible concerts; however, they must obtain their own tickets beyond the one ticket allotted by the contest. New for the 2017-2018 season: creative writing participants may also attend a Live Music Meditation.

Creative Writing Eligible Events: 

Visual Arts Eligible Concert: 

Step Two: Sign Up Online. All participants must sign up to participate in the contest. At the time of sign up, creative writing participants will be asked to give their 1st and 2nd preferences for the one free concert ticket of their choice; visual arts participants will automatically be registered for the Tenebrae Choir's performance. Tickets to each event are limited and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. Once you have signed up, you will receive an email confirmation which will contain your personal ID number, an essential part of your submission. 

[Creative Reactions: SIGN UP]

[Visual Arts: SIGN UP]

Step Three: Enjoy the music! Attend the concert. All participants must sign-in when picking up their ticket at the hall at the Creative Reactions table. Creative writing participants are welcome to take notes at the event. Visual arts participants will have access to special seating in the Chapel where they can sketch during the concert. Video and photography during the performance is strictly prohibited.

All visual arts participants are encouraged to 1) read the visual arts category guidelines and 2) stop by Art Night at the Princeton University Art Museum prior to the Tenebrae Choir's concert, from 6-7PM. A free event exclusively for students co-hosted by the Student Ambassadors of Princeton University Concerts and the Student Advisory Board of the Princeton University Art Museum, enjoy a reception in the museum prior to a docent talk at 6:30PM about a painting related to the music at the concert.

Step Four: Submit a creative reaction about that concert for a chance to win up to $500! Submission deadlines are two weeks after the concert attended, as outlined below. The winning pieces will also be widely distributed in a publication and displayed at the final concert of the PUC 2017-18 Season, on Thursday May 3, 2018. 

Submission Instructions: Attach your submission AS A PDF in an email to Dorothy Shrader of Princeton University Concerts. All submissions must be accompanied by a short paragraph that says something about the specific connection between the music and the “creative reaction,” giving the judges a sense of the process for each participant. Please put "CRC Submission [PERSONAL ID #]" in the subject line of the email and as the title of the electronic file, and include the Personal ID # on the top right-hand corner of the attached document. Creative writing submissions should not be more than 1000 words. Submissions will be evaluated anonymously.  The attached submission should not identify its author in any way, but the body of the e-mail should contain the writer’s full name, graduation year/graduate student status, netID, personal contest ID number, and telephone number. Entrants agree to follow Princeton's honor code, detailed in the Academic Integrity Booklet.

Submission Deadlines:

Emerson String Quartet, "Shostakovich and the Black Monk": October 12, 2017

Barokksolistene: October 19, 2017

Quatuor Mosaïques: October 26, 2017

Live Music Meditation - Tabea Zimmermann, viola: November 9, 2017

Tabea Zimmerman, viola & Thomas Hoppe, piano: November 9, 2017

Benjamin Grosvenor, piano: November 23, 2017

Cristina Pato, Galician bagpipe (audience on stage): November 30, 2017

Jennifer Koh, violin: February 22, 2018

Live Music Meditation with Jennifer Koh, violin: February 22, 2018

Brentano String Quartet with Jonathan Biss, piano: March 1, 2018

Tenebrae Choir: March 29, 2018 *Visual Arts Category Only*

Have Questions?

For all questions, please contact Dorothy Shrader of Princeton University Concerts.

2017 Contest

First Prize Winners ($500)

Anna Leader ’18 "love songs between balconies" inspired by Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton
David Ting '17, "El barrio(lage) desconocido” inspired by pianist violinist Augustin Hadelich & guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas

Honorable Mentions ($125)

Isabella Bosetti ’18 - “Translation/Aphasia, inspired by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Xin Chua GS -  “The Future Age,” inspired by the Takács String Quartet
Kirit Limperis ’19 - “With the Percussionist,” inspired by percussionist Colin Currie

2016 Contest

First Prize Winners ($500)

Anna Leader ’18,  "Untitled," inspired by the Arcanto String Quartet
David Ting '17,  "Journey Between Worlds," inspired by pianist David Greilsammer

Second Prize Winners ($250)

Magdalena Collum ’18, “Ritual, in four parts,” inspired by pianist Igor Levit
Emily Tu ’16, “Voice,” inspired by pianist Igor Levit

2015 Contest

First Prize Winner

Susannah Sharpless ’15, "Space and Time," inspired by violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Anna Polonsky

Second Prize Winners

Trevor Klee ’15, “Untitled,” inspired by pianist Marc-André Hamelin
Lucas Mazzotti ’17, “Untitled,” inspired by the Brentano String Quartet and Joyce DiDonato

Honorable Mention

Benjamin Goodman ‘17, “Piety,” inspired by pianist Marc-André Hamelin
Rachel Stone ‘17, “In B-flat,” inspired by Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time,” played by violinist Stefan Jackiw and Anna Polonsky

Patrons, you can use the form below to fill out your subscription preferences for the 2014-2015 season. Once you have submitted this information to us, we will contact you to complete your order. We are currently working on streamlining this feature to include payment and hope to have it available soon.

View Complete Season Info  View Seating Chart

Purchasing Subscriptions to the 2017-2018 Season

Subscriptions to the 2017-18 season are now on sale! Series packages start at $39.  To buy a new subscription, or to renew an existing subscription, you have two options: 

BY PHONE:  Call us at 609-258-2800.  We are open Monday-Friday, 10AM-4PM

BY MAIL:  Click one of the options below to print a subscription form.  Fill out the form and mail it to us at Princeton University Concerts Subscriptions, Woolworth Center, Princeton, NJ 08545





For pricing, see the information below.


A  $310     B  $255     C  $140

-RICHARDSON CHAMBER PLAYERS - 3 Sunday Afternoons - add the 3 Sunday afternoons to a Concert Classics Series subscription for an additional $24


Choose 3 or more different series concerts from all of our offerings except PUC125 concerts and save 10% off the single ticket prices. You’ll be seated in the best-available seats for the price zone you select. The earlier you order, the better the seats!

Please note that concerts on the PUC125 series are only offered as single tickets.  Single tickets are on sale ONLINE ONLY on Monday, August 1, 2015 and everywhere else on Tuesday, September 7, 2015.
View the 2017-2018 Season Brochure
View Seating Chart

Purchasing Single Tickets

Single tickets for all events are now on sale ONLINE ONLY.  They will go on sale everywhere else on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.  Concerts on the PUC125 eries are only offered as single tickets.

Please Note

A processing fee of $8 is added to all CONCERT CLASSICS SERIES orders and $6 to all A LA CARTE SERIES orders. We are not able to offer refunds or exchanges on ticket orders. All programs and artists are subject to change.


Please feel free to call the Concert Office at 609-258-2800 between the hours of 10am - 4pm, Monday-Friday, or e-mail us at

Subscription Benefits

Single Ticket Discount

CONCERT CLASSICS SERIES subscribers receive $5 off single ticket prices to many Princeton University Concert events.

Other Discounts

CONCERT CLASSICS SERIES subscribers can add select events to a subscription and receive a discount

Advance Purchases

All subscribers may purchase tickets to our special events before the general public by adding them to a subscription order.

The Best Seats

Subscribers get the best reserved seats and can choose exactly where they want to sit.

Supporting Princeton University Concerts is critical to our future. Ticket sales cover less than half of the cost of presenting the very best in world-class music.

The remaining funds come, in part, from our generous endowment, left to PUC by the Ladies' Musical Committee in 1929. We remain eternally grateful for the support of the Philena Fobes Fine Memorial Fund and the Jesse Peabody Frothingham Fund.

Other support comes from donors like you. What would Princeton be without Princeton University Concerts?  It’s hard to imagine because it has been here longer than any of us – 124 years. What we can say for sure, though, is that without support, we would be so much less. Less impact. Less joy. Less inspiration. We are grateful to the individuals whose support at all levels ensures that the musical performance remains a vital part of Princeton, the community and the region.

Donate Today

all contributions are tax-deductible


Join others! We acknowledge all gifts of $100 or more in our concert programs as follows:
BRAHMS ($500); MENDELSSOHN ($250-$499); BEETHOVEN ($100-$249)

BY PHONE: If you would like to make a contribution to Princeton University Concerts, please call us at 609-258-2800.

BY MAIL:  Please make a check payable to Princeton University Concerts and send it to: Princeton University Concerts, Woolworth Center, Room 301, Princeton, NJ 08544

ONLINE:  Click here to make a secure donation online.

In addition to these sources, Princeton University Concerts gratefully acknowledges the in-kind support it receives from the Department of Music a key partner in bringing Music to Princeton.

Planned Giving

Planned gifts carry on the vision of an extraordinary group of ladies who founded the series.  To inquire about planned giving opportunities, or if you have already included Princeton University Concerts in your plans, please contact Marna Seltzer in the Princeton University Concerts Office at 609-258-2800.

Events for Students at Princeton University Concerts

Hosted by the Student Ambassadors of PUC

Add all concerts and student events to your Google Calendar in two-clicks: 2016-2017 Season using Google Calendar

(In the new window's bottom right corner, click "Add to Google Calendar")

Add all concerts and student events to your Outlook, Calendar for Mac, or Thunderbird apps in two-clicks: 2016-2017 Season using Outlook

Refresh your calendar to stay up-to-date with pre-concert talks, performances, and free food. This handy calendar was made by SA member David Fan '19. 

Sign up for the Student Ambassadors mailing list.  You will receive news and announcement of events.  SIGN UP NOW>

All student ticketholders are welcome at these regular events (below) and special offerings throughout the year!

Princeton University Concerts - Just for Students

Undergraduates and grad students dine together in the Rockefeller PDR before Emmanuel Pahud, flute and Christian Rivet, guitar take the stage

Pre-Concert Dinners: 6pm before every Concert Classics Series (Thursdays at 8pm) performance

Meet other concert-goers and walk to Richardson together

Princeton University Concerts - Just for Students

Brownies and hot chocolate at intermission after Igor Levit performed Beethoven's "Tempest" Sonata

Intermission Meet-Ups: Intermission at every Concert Classics Series (Thursdays at 8pm) performance

Join the SA's for desserts and treats in the Richardson Lounge

Princeton University Concerts - Just for Students

Ming Wilson '18 and David Ting '17, about to meet David Greilsammer after his December, 2016 performance

PUC125 Late-Night After-Parties: 10pm following the second of each PUC125 event

Special-themed food and drink, often with surprise appearances from the artists themselves in the Richardson Lounge

Without Music, Life Would B-flat —The Student Ambassador motto Leadership on the Student Ambassadors Committee SA alumni, Jackie Levine '16 and Noah Fishman '16, meet young children at Communiversity by giving Schubert a makeover Look out for our banner at concerts and community events (We promise it will have free food!)


Student Ambassadors of PUC

The Student Ambassadors (SA) of PUC, a committee of musicians, artists and music-lovers, strive to improve the concert-going experience for Princeton undergraduates and graduate students. Our mission is to make the Princeton University Concerts series an integral, inspiring and memorable part of every student's Princeton journey. The group is currently under the leadership of Tim Ruszala '20. Some of our programs include:

  • Pre-Concert Dinners for students to meet other concert-goers and walk to Richardson together
  • Intermission Meet-Ups at Concert Classics Series events (Thursdays at 8pm) with desserts and treats for students in the Richardson Lounge
  • After-Parties at late-night PUC125 events (9pm) with special-themed foods
  • The Creative Reactions Writing Program, in memory of Vera Sharpe Kohn
  • Collaborate with campus student groups to present openers for Concert Classics events
  • Your ideas! In-progress projects include a career panel on arts administration, a dinner series with music faculty members, chamber music readings with the artists, and partnerships with other humanities departments.

Engage with artists, connect with other listeners, respond to performances, and be inspired to perform yourself.


Have an idea about what the SA's should do at the next concert? Send us your food requests, concert reactions, and wildest musical dreams. SUBMIT YOUR IDEAS>


Sign up for the Student Ambassadors mailing list.  You will receive news and announcement of events.  SIGN UP NOW>


If you would like to join the Student Ambassadors for 2016-2017, please complete this brief application. An ideal candidate is constantly thinking of new ways to engage students at concerts, integrate different arts media with the music that is performed, and advocate for student interests. No musical experience is necessary--only an enthusiasm for classical music and sharing it with the Princeton community.  VIEW APPLICATION HERE>

For more information, please contact Marketing & Outreach Director (and former SA Chair) Dasha Koltunyuk at

You can also follow us on Facebook! 

Princeton University Concerts offers a unique one-of-a-kind experience for students.  Through classroom visits, curricular connections, world premieres, large scale inter-disciplinary collaborations, master classes, residencies and one-on-one contact with professional musicians, students’ lives are transformed by musical engagement.

Tickets for Princeton University Students

Passport to the Arts

University Ticketing is open for students to purchase tickets in person at the Frist Campus Center Box Office, open Monday through Saturday 11AM-5PM or, if available, at the Concert Venue Box Office two hours prior to each concert.

Princeton’s Passport to the Arts program allows students to attend a number of world-class arts events each year at no cost. Each year, every student is given 8 Passports, of which:

  • 3 are Tiger Tickets (Your 3 FREE PUC-eligible tickets!)
  • 3 are Princeton Passes
  • 2 are Student Events-Eligible Tickets

Students can purchase tickets to PUC events for FREE using a Tiger Ticket for concerts with student ticket prices of $10 or above (Concert Classics, Beethoven String Quartet, PUC125), or using a Princeton Pass for tickets less than $10 (All in the Family, Richardson Chamber Players).

The TigerCard website allows students to keep track of their remaining Passports. If you run out, student tickets are only $10!  It’ll never be this wallet-friendly post-graduation.

Questions about free tickets? Contact University Ticketing at (609) 258-9220 or

Student Upgrade Program

Sometimes some of the best seats in the house become available at the last minute, and will be reserved exclusively for Princeton University students! Look out for an email in the days prior to the performance to exchange your tickets for better seats, or stop by the venue box office before the performance. 

Early-Bird Single Tickets

Introduced in the 2016-2017 season, Princeton University students may purchase single tickets to any of our events before they go on sale to the general public. To reserve seats, call the Concert Office at (609) 258-2800.

Student Rewards Program

Coming soon!

“I can honestly say that Richardson Auditorium has been the most inspiring classroom during my time at Princeton. Here I have learned from world-class musicians, surrounded by wonderful friends ... which is why, for me, Princeton University Concerts is the greatest concert series in the world.”

- Dasha Koltunyuk, Class of 2015



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Princeton University Concerts - Directions

To Richardson Auditorium


From New York and northern New Jersey:  Take the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 9 (New Brunswick); follow Route 1 south to Princeton, Washington Road Exit, on your right.  Take Washington Road (Route 571) to Nassau Street, and turn left on Nassau Street.

From Philadelphia and South:  Take I-95 (I-295) north to Route 1 North Exit.  Follow Route 1 to the Princeton Washington Road Exit.  Take the jug-handle to cross Route 1, and travel East on Washington Road.  Follow Washington Road (Route 571) to Nassau Street, and turn left on Nassau Street.


Take New Jersey Transit from New York's Penn Station or Trenton to Princeton Junction.  Transfer to the shuttle ("The Dinky") to the Princeton Station.  Richardson Auditorium is a short walk up campus from the station.


From New York City:  Take Suburban Transit from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, via New Brunswick, to Princeton's Palmer Square.

From Trenton, Lawrenceville, and Princeton Community Village:  Take New Jersey Transit to Princeton's Palmer Square.


The first concert in what is known today as Princeton University Concerts was presented on October 29, 1894, thus establishing one of the oldest continuous series of musical events in the country.  From 1894 to 1914, the “Ladies Musical Committee” presented concerts by the Kneisel Quartet.  After 1914, the programs diversified.  In 1929, the Ladies Committee became the Princeton University Concerts Committee—a town and gown group of interested and knowledgeable music lovers—which has guided the University Concerts to date.

Princeton University Concerts Committee

2017-2018 Season

  • Michael Gehret, Chair
  • Carolyn Ainslie
  • Scott Burnham
  • Gabriel Crouch
  • Ellis Finger
  • John Gibson '19
  • Brandon Gaines
  • Wendy Heller
  • Gail Kohn
  • Marcia Snowden
  • Don Michael Randel
  • William Stowe
  • Dorothea von Moltke

The Concert Office

Marna Seltzer, Director
John Burkhalter, Subscription Manager
Darya Koltunyuk, Marketing & Outreach Manager
Deborah Rhoades, Accounts Manager
Henry Valoris, Production Manager

To contact the Concert Office, please call (609) 258-2800.

Princeton University Concerts - Our Story

Richardson Auditorium

A Brief History...

Since 1894, the music of history’s most revered composers has been performed by the world’s most celebrated artists at Princeton University. In its 123-year history the series has presented many of the classical music world's most important musicians, including violinist Isaac Stern, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Budapest String Quartet and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy. Today, an extraordinary roster of musicians make their Princeton debuts each season and join this pantheon. Among them are some of the most highly regarded artists of our time...young musicians on the cusp of sensational careers...and riveting performers pioneering new forms of expression.

Princeton University Concerts will continue to make history by commissioning new work and blazing new trails while delivering an experience more intimate, more personal and more moving than anywhere else. What’s more, these transporting performances take place in our own world-class venue, Richardson Auditorium.  It’s all part of Princeton University Concerts’ devotion to HISTORY IN THE MUSIC MAKING.


Princeton University Concerts mission is to educate, challenge, inspire and unite audiences through the presentation of exceptional classical musicians.  Building on a tradition that goes back more than a century, PUC celebrates the transformative power of music, one of civilization’s highest achievements.  As part of one of the world’s foremost centers of learning, PUC embraces Princeton’s mission to connect all students to the Arts, while providing a public gateway to audiences from all over the region to experience the Arts at Princeton.  Through innovative programs presented in an intimate setting, PUC challenges conventions, overcomes stereotypes, remove barriers and creates artistic liaisons, affirming its commitment to make classical music accessible to all.


Princeton University Concerts’ vision is to be recognized internationally for creating and presenting classical music performances that enrich the lives of the widest possible audience.  PUC aims to integrate itself fully into the University community and to impact every Princeton student by demonstrating that intellectual and spiritual growth occur in a concert hall as they do in a classroom, laboratory and chapel.  PUC nurtures and sustains in all attendees a life-long love of live performance and seeks to make classical music relevant to all.  Situated midway between two of the world’s great art music centers – New York and Philadelphia – Princeton University Concerts is where the world’s leading classical musicians aspire to perform, and where audiences are enriched and changed by their engagement with PUC.

Princeton University Concerts - Parking

Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall


Parking is available in the visitor parking area in Lot 23 and at the West Garage, both located located near the south end of campus on Elm Drive off of Faculty Road on the Princeton campus, a ten-minute walk to Richardson Auditorium.  For evening concerts, TigerTransit will extend the hours of the Central Line shuttle bus from both lots to Richardson Auditorium.  The shuttle will run every fifteen minutes until 10:30PM.  Please note that parking on Lot 8 (across from the U-Store) is no longer legal.  Cars parked in that lot will be ticketed.


If available, the best place to park is at metered spaces near Palmer Square and along Nassau Street.  Metered parking on Princeton streets is limited to one or two hours in most cases and operates from 8AM until 8PM., Monday through Saturday.   Three municipal parking garages that charge a small fee are located on Chambers, Hulfish and Spring Streets in downtown Princeton, just off Palmer Square.  They are an easy walk from the concert hall.

Princeton University Chapel

The closest parking is in Lot 10 and Lot 13.  These lots are free to the public between 5PM. and 2AM.

Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall

Free parking is available after 5PM. in Lot 14, located on Ivy Lane just across from Fine Hall.


A limited number of parking spaces are available on campus for people with valid handicap permits.  Please call the Concert Office for more information at 609-258-2800.


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