Solo Piano

8 fellow openings per summer

Training & Performance Opportunities

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 participate in:

  • Weekly private lessons
  • One of two chamber groups:
    • Faculty Intensive Chamber Music Experience: In an 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.
  • Weekly solo piano and chamber masterclass instruction
  • Masterclass performances
  • Fellow recitals on Friday evenings (“Picnic Concerts”)
  • Community concerts in downtown Santa Barbara
  • “PianoFest” (a recital featuring all solo piano Fellows)
  • Solo Piano Competition (read more below)

Solo Piano Competition

Solo Piano Competition

Solo Piano competition sends a winning fellow to perform on national tour in partnership with Steinway & Sons, a first-ever collaboration as part of the Academy’s All-Steinway distinction

The winner, selected by a panel of professionals, is presented with a $5,000 cash prize and will perform on an international tour, including the LSO’s St. Luke’s venue in London.

The 2019 panel included composer Amy Williams. The 2019 winner, Elliot Wuu, will perform a world premiere by Williams on the tour, commissioned by the Music Academy. Just announced: 2020 composer-in-residence Tyshawn Sorey will write a commissioned piece for the 2020 winner.

2020 Audition Requirements

2020 Audition Requirements

The 2020 season application season is closed

Video Upload Deadline / Feb 20, 2020 (this deadline has passed)

Video Upload Audition ONLY (no live auditions)

Video must include three works for solo piano (i.e. no concertos)

  • One work must be a Classical Sonata
  • The other two works should be stylistically varied and represent different aspects of the applicant’s musicianship
  • All three submitted works must be complete unless the piece is commonly excerpted (e.g. Claude Debussy, Preludes; György Ligeti, Etudes)

Video performances must be UNEDITED and recorded in the past year.

Each piece should have its own recording/”track”; multi-movement works may be on separate tracks.

For admissions inquiries, please email [email protected]