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Programs of Study


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Programs of Study


 
I came here to get better at the violin. I went home not only a better musician, but a better human being as well. Thank you so much for two of the best months of my life.
— 2016 Fellow

Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade with James Gaffigan

The Summer School & Festival has five rich programs: Vocal Piano, Voice, Collaborative Piano, Solo Piano, and Strings, Wind, Brass & Percussion. Each offers a wealth of opportunities for individual instruction, collaborative music-making, public performance, and personal growth.

Learn more about the details and highlights of each program below.

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Voice


Voice


Voice & Vocal Piano Faculty

23 Voice Program fellow openings per year

Training

Intensive coaching in singing technique, diction, interpretation, style, and presentation, along with an exploration of literature from opera, musical theatre, and song. Plus:

  • Private rehearsal studio throughout summer
  • Weekly private lessons
  • Weekly masterclass instruction
  • Individual coaching in German, French, and Italian diction

2016 Voice Program fellow, soprano Alexandra Smither, shares her Music Academy of the West Summer Program experience below.

Performance Opportunities

  • A concert of staged opera scenes
  • A fully-staged opera production at Santa Barbara's 1,500-seat Granada Theatre. The 2017 opera production will be Donizetti's The Elixir of Love. (see below)
  • Vocal chamber music with Matthew Aucoin
  • Orchestral vocal project with Matthew Aucoin
  • New York Philharmonic collaboration, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert
  • Public masterclasses
  • The opportunity to compete in the prestigious Marilyn Horne Song Competition (see below)

 

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marilyn horne song Competition

Check out the 2015 Winners' Recital held at WQXR's The Greene Space, March 2016

The prestigious Marilyn Horne Song Competition awards two first prizes – one to a singer and one to a vocal pianist – for excellence in song repertoire performance and audience communication. 2017 jurors will include Renée Fleming and Jake Heggie.

Winners receive

  • A cash award of $4,000
  • A Spring National Recital Tour
  • A career development session in New York with 21C Media Group
  • A professional photo shoot
  • The opportunity to receive innovation funding to add artistic or creative programming to their recital 
  • The winners will perform the world premiere of  a song cycle written by guest composer Jake Heggie on the tour, commissioned by the Music Academy.

Competition Guidelines

Each singer performs three songs of varying styles.

One song must have text in English.

The Jury assesses

  • Collaboration between the singer and pianist
  • Interpretation of the text and music
  • Accuracy of diction
  • Vocal quality and technique, and
  • Connection and communication with the audience

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The elixir of love

DONIZETTI'S THE ELIXIR OF LOVE

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, the opera will be directed by James Darrah and conducted by Speranza Scappucci. The fully-staged and costumed production will be performed in the historic Granada Theatre on July 27 and 29. The Voice Program fellows will be accompanied by the Academy Festival Orchestra. Overseen by Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne.


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    2017 Audition requirements

    PRE-SCREENING RECORDING ROUND
    The following two selections must be uploaded as audio or audio/video files within the online application:

    • 1 opera aria
    • 1 art song


    INVITATION-ONLY LIVE AUDITION ROUND
    The following four selections:

    • 2 contrasting opera arias
    • 2 art songs, one of which must be in English

    Singers must demonstrate in their audition a thorough understanding of the character, dramatic situation, and meaning of each aria or song text.

    The Music Academy provides the piano partner for the Live Round audition.

    Singers not cast in the opera will enjoy other significant performance opportunities.  


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    Vocal Piano


    Vocal Piano


    Voice & Vocal Piano Faculty

    Vocal pianist Nathaniel LaNasa shares his 2016 Music Academy of the West Summer Festival experience.

    Six fellow openings per year

    Training

    Collaboration and coaching of vocal repertoire for advanced pianists, stressing proficiency in both operatic and song repertoire. Plus:

    • Private rehearsal studio throughout summer
    • Weekly private lessons
    • Weekly participation in Voice fellows’ training
    • Weekly masterclass instruction

    Performance Opportunities

    • Weekly public masterclass performance opportunity
    • Opera scenes with Voice fellows
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    Marilyn Horne Song Competition

    The prestigious Marilyn Horne Song Competition awards two first prizes – one to a singer and one to a vocal pianist – for excellence in song repertoire performance and audience communication. 2017 Jurors will include Renée Fleming and Jake Heggie.

    Winners receive

    • A cash award of $4,000
    • A Spring National Recital Tour
    • A career development session in New York with 21C Media Group
    • A professional photo shoot
    • The opportunity to receive innovation funding to add artistic or creative programming to their recital 
    • The winners will perform the world premiere of  a song cycle written by guest composer Jake Heggie on the tour, commissioned by the Music Academy.

    Competition Guidelines

    Each singer performs three songs of varying styles.

    One song must have text in English.

    The Jury assesses

    • Collaboration between the singer and pianist
    • Interpretation of the text and music
    • Accuracy of diction
    • Vocal quality and technique, and
    • Connection and communication with the audience

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    2017 Audition requirements

    Vocal Piano Program applicants must apply online and perform a live audition.

    Applicants must use a Music Academy vocal partner. Partners are not available for rehearsal time prior to the auditions. Auditions are 15-20 minutes each.

    Enrolled Vocal Piano fellows arrive several days prior to the start of the festival in order to participate in pre-season training.

    REPERTOIRE

    Be prepared to play and coach the following selections in the specified keys

    • Schumann: “Mondnacht” in B Major
    • Fauré: “Fleur jetée” in D Minor
    • Finzi: “Who is Sylvia” in F Major

    Be prepared to play and sing at the same time

    • Donizetti: Duet of Nemorino/Belcore from L’Elisir d’Amore, Act II, “Venti scudi…E ben sonanti”

    SIGHT-READING WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED


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    Collaborative Piano


    Collaborative Piano


    Collaborative Piano Faculty

     

    8 fellow openings per year

    Jonathan Feldman Collaborative Piano Masterclass

    Training

    In-depth exploration of the vast instrumental repertoire, focusing on general concepts of successful partnering, technical and pianistic concerns, building repertoire, and keys to professional development including: resumes, repertoire lists, and stage decorum. Covers a wide range of literature, including sonatas and duos, orchestral reductions, and character pieces. Plus:

    • Weekly private lessons
    • Weekly masterclass instruction
    • Regular collaboration with instrumental fellows
    • Option to attend the Vocal Piano and Solo Piano masterclasses
    • Frequent interaction with the Academy's outstanding instrumental faculty.

    Performance

    • Weekly masterclass performance opportunity
    • Various keyboard parts in Music Academy orchestral concerts

    Competition

    • Involvement as partners in the Academy's Concerto Competition

    2017 Audition requirements

    Collaborative Piano applicants must apply online and perform a live audition

    Applicants must use Music Academy instrumental partners. There will be no exceptions made for substitution of partners. Partners are not available for rehearsal time prior to the auditions. Auditions are 15-20 minutes each.

    Four components of the audition

    • Prepared audition repertoire as outlined below
    • Brief interview
    • A piece (TBD) will be given to each applicant one half hour prior to the audition which must be played at the audition
    • Sight-reading may be requested

    Orchestral Reduction
    Choose one of the following concertos

    • Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Mvt 1
    • Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations (complete work)
    • Copland: Clarinet Concerto (all movements)

    Sonata
    Choose one of the following sonatas; applicant must be prepared to play the entire work

    • Beethoven: Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 8 in G Major, Op. 30, No. 3
    • Brahms: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1
    • Schumann: Fantasy Pieces (all movements)

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    Solo Piano


    Solo Piano


    Solo Piano Faculty

    Leon Fleisher teaches a Solo Piano Public Masterclass.

    8 fellow openings per year

    Training

    Coaching with a primary emphasis on interpretive and stylistic mastery of the extensive literature for solo piano as well as concerto repertoire and chamber music with piano. Plus:

    • Weekly private lessons
    • Participation in one or more chamber groups
    • Weekly participation in Voice fellows’ training
    • Weekly solo piano and chamber masterclass instruction

    Performance Opportunities

    • Weekly masterclass performance opportunity
    • Weekly Fellow recitals on Friday evenings ("Picnic Concerts")
    • Weekly community concerts in downtown Santa Barbara
    • "PianoFest" (a recital featuring all solo piano Fellows)
    • Other engagements at the Music Academy and local venues
    • Participation in one of two chamber music groups:
      • Faculty Intensive Chamber Music Experience: In a two-week intensive program, a faculty member coaches, rehearses with, and performs as a member of the chamber group.
      • Fellow Chamber Music Program: Over a three to four week period, groups receive weekly coaching from a faculty member. The group performs all or a portion of a work in a public concert and/or a public masterclass.
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    concerto Competition

    All solo pianists are invited to enter the annual Concerto Competition, and are encouraged to study a concerto in preparation for this event.

    The competition is held in two rounds to select three winners: one solo piano fellow, one string fellow, and one wind/brass/percussion/harp fellow. The preliminary round is held by area and adjudicated by Music Academy faculty. The final round, adjudicated by a panel of distinguished guest judges, is open to the public. Winners will perform in a concert with the Academy Festival Orchestra.

    Shown above, the 2016 winner in Solo Piano, Anna Han, performed a movement from Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 under the baton of James Gaffigan at the Granada Theatre. Click here to read her press announcement.


    STEINWAY SOLO PIANO COMPETITION

    Inaugural Solo Piano competition will send alumni to perform on national tour in partnership with Steinway & Sons, a first-ever collaboration as part of the Academy’s new All-Steinway distinction

    A new Solo Piano Competition will be launched during the 2017 Summer Festival. The winner, selected by a panel of professionals, will be presented with a cash prize and will tour, performing recitals in Steinway & Sons venues nationally.

    The panel will include guest composer Timo Andres. The winner will perform a world premiere by Andres on the tour, commissioned by the Music Academy.


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    2017 Audition requirements

    SOLO PIANO

    • Video Audition Uploads ONLY (no live auditions). For help creating your audition video, watch the following tutorial: Recording Tutorial Video
    • Videos may be uploaded to the online application as separate tracks for each repertoire selection.
    • Video file must have been recorded within the past year and may not be the same file submitted during a previous Music Academy application season.
    • Video Upload Auditions must contain THREE solo piano works of contrasting style. One of these selections should be a complete multi-movement work (such as a Sonata of Schubert or Rachmaninov) or its equivalent (for example, the Liszt Sonata, a Bach Toccata, or Schumann’s Carnival).

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    Strings, Winds, Brass, Harp & Percussion


    Strings, Winds, Brass, Harp & Percussion


     

    Larry Rachleff leads the Music Academy of the West's Academy Festival Orchestra in Dvořák's "New World" Symphony at the Granada Theatre.

     

    Strings, Winds, Brass & Percussion Faculty

     

    STRINGS

    WOODWINDS

    BRASS

    PERCUSSION

    HARP

     

    Training 

    Collaboration and coaching of vocal repertoire for advanced pianists, stressing proficiency in both operatic and song repertoire. Plus:

    • Weekly private lessons, often accompanied by fellows from the Collaborative Piano department
    • Weekly public masterclass instruction for individual instruments and for chamber ensembles

    Performance Opportunities

    • Participation in the Academy Festival Orchestra
    • Chamber Music Programs (see below)
    • New York Philharmonic Partnership / Global Academy auditions
    • String Leadership

       

      concerto competition

      All instrumentalists are invited to enter the annual Concerto Competition, and are encouraged to study a concerto in preparation for this event.

      The competition is held in two rounds to select three winners: one solo piano fellow, one string fellow, and one wind/brass/percussion/harp fellow. The preliminary round is held by area and adjudicated by Music Academy faculty. The final round, adjudicated by a panel of distinguished guest judges, is open to the public. Winners will perform in a concert with the Academy Festival Orchestra.

      The 2016 winners in Strings and Woodwinds, Flute fellow Anthony Trionfo and Viola fellow Ao Peng, performed as soloists with conductor Case Scaglione (former associate conductor with the New York Philharmonic). Click here to read their press announcement.

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      Woodwinds and Brass

      Upon arrival at the Music Academy, woodwind and brass fellows interested in participating in a chamber ensemble will meet with faculty members to select repertoire and divide into chamber groupings

      Strings

      All string fellows will participate in a chamber music group while at the Music Academy. Chamber Music for strings is split into three courses of study, which applicants will order by their preference during the application process. Based on applicants’ audition and expressed interest, fellows will be placed into either the String Quartet Seminar, the Faculty Intensive Chamber Music Experience, or the Fellow Chamber Music Program: 

      String Quartet Seminar

      Led by the Takács Quartet, the String Quartet Seminar offers sixteen string fellows comprising four string quartets a special two-week rigorous training course beginning the week prior to the Festival. Fellows in the SQS program will receive daily coachings by members of the Takács Quartet, participate in a string quartet masterclass, and watch the Takács Quartet work during an open rehearsal – all with a focus on helping fellows hone techniques vital in quartet and chamber music collaboration. The program continues with performances in Hahn Hall featuring all four quartets and additional coachings from faculty and visiting artists throughout the summer. String fellows participating in this program also receive  another week of intensive training with the Takács Quartet when they return to the Music  Academy later in the Summer Festival.
       

       Faculty Intensive Chamber Music Experience

      This two week intensive experience puts a faculty member in a chamber group with fellows. Each faculty member participating in the program will coach, rehearse with, and perform as a member of the group. Groups will rehearse daily, culminating in a performance of a full work of standard repertoire at the end of the two week period. Fellows participating in this program will not participate in orchestra while taking part in this chamber music experience.
       

      Fellow Chamber Music Program

      Based on the repertoire information submitted by applicants during the admissions process, fellows participating in the Fellow Chamber Music Program will be assigned groups and repertoire based on prior chamber music experience and interest in repertoire. Each group will receive a weekly coaching from a faculty member for three to four weeks before performing all or a portion of a work in a public concert and/or a public masterclass.

      academy festival Orchestra

      All instrumental fellows participate in this orchestra, which is led by distinguished guest conductors chosen for both artistic skill and dedication to making great music with pre-professional musicians. Each program is preceded by sectionals and five rehearsals.

      International guest conductors lead rehearsals and sectionals culminating in Academy Festival Orchestra concerts at the historic Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. Academy faculty artists observe and participate as rehearsal coaches, and occasionally perform in the concerts.

      Previous guest conductors include: Thomas Adès, Christoph von Dohnányi, Alan Gilbert, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, and Osmo Vänskä.

      2017 Guest Conductors

      2017 Repertoire Highlights

      • Matthew Aucoin – Suite from Crossing (World Premiere)
      • Mason Bates – Garages of the Valley
      • Donizetti – The Elixir of Love
      • Dvořák – Carnival Overture, Op. 92
      • Elgar – Enigma Variations, Op. 36
      • Gabriela Lena Frank – Three Latin-American Dances for Orchestra
      • Rachmaninoff – Symphony No. 2
      • Strauss – Dance of the Seven Veils from Salome
      • Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring
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       STRING LEADERSHIP program & global academy

      String Leadership Program

      • Under the direction of former New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, the String Leadership Program offers select violinists an intensive opportunity to explore concertmaster excerpts and the fundamentals of leading a string section, as well as reviewing concert etiquette. Participants in the program will meet weekly in a private masterclass with Mr. Dicterow, performing excerpts for one another and discussing the roles and responsibility of being a leader in an orchestra.
      • Most concertmasters and principal seconds for Academy Festival Orchestra concerts will be selected from participants of the String Leadership Program.
      • Section seating rotates each week.
      • All violin fellows are eligible to audition for the  program at the beginning of the summer.

      New York Philharmonic Partnership

      New York Philharmonic Guest Artists

      The summer of 2017 marks the fourth year of this historic partnership. Music Director Alan Gilbert will conduct the final Academy Festival Orchestra concert on August 5. Philharmonic musicians will teach and perform as guest artists, and conduct the final round of the audition process for the Global Academy during the final week of the festival.

      New York Philharmonic Global Academy

      Through an audition process open to all orchestral instrumentalists, ten Academy fellows will be chosen to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, a 10-day intensive immersive residency held in New York in January, 2018. Activities will include private lessons, chamber music, a mock audition, seminars with artists and administrators, and appearances with the orchestra in a subscription week of rehearsals and concerts. The audition will be held in two rounds: a mid-summer preliminary round heard by faculty artists using a screen, and a late-summer final round heard by Philharmonic artists without a screen.

      2017 Audition requirements

      STRINGS, WINDS, BRASS & PERCUSSION

      Live Audition OR Video Upload Audition *equal consideration granted to both audition methods

      • Live Audition applicants: indicate preferred audition city/date within application. Live auditions are granted in the order that applications are received. Some audition dates may fill prior to the application deadline, so early applications are encouraged. Review audition schedule prior to submitting an application to verify if your preferred date is still available. Live audition appointments will be communicated by email following the application deadline. Live auditions are filmed by Academy administration for later review by Academy faculty/adjudicators. Faculty are present on select dates to observe live auditions.

       

      • Video Upload Audition applicants: upload one continuous, unedited audition video within the online application (upload one video, not separate tracks; do not stop the camera between repertoire selections). Videos must be unaccompanied. Video file must have been recorded within the past year and may not be the same file submitted during a previous Music Academy application season. For best video upload speed, we recommend the following internet browsers: Chrome, Safari and Firefox (the most updated versions of each). For help creating your audition video, watch the following tutorial: Recording Tutorial Video

      See 2017 repertoire requirements for your studio below.

      HARP

      • Video Audition Uploads ONLY (no live auditions). For help creating your audition video, watch the following tutorial: Recording Tutorial Video
      • Videos may be uploaded to the online application as separate tracks for each repertoire selection.
      • Video file must have been recorded within the past year and may not be the same file submitted during a previous Music Academy application season. See 2017 repertoire requirements for your studio below.
       

      Repertoire Requirements