TEN DECADES

1940s

In June 1947, the Music Academy offered financial assistance for students to attend its inaugural season. Scholarships were funded by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Jascha Heifetz, and Hollywood studio mogul Daryl F. Zanuck, among others.

Early faculty included music luminaries Lotte Lehmann, a co-founder along with Otto Klemperer, Roman Totenberg, Ernest Bloch, Darius Milhaud, Roy Harris, Rosalyn Tureck, Arnold Schoenberg (the Academy’s first composer in residence), and John Charles Thomas.

1950s

The Academy received a gift of the coastal property Miraflores, a Spanish revival style home built in 1915, and the surrounding property, for use as “a conservatory of music only and for no other purpose.”

Lotte Lehmann oversaw the Academy’s first opera productions and the Academy began to produce its first internationally successful alumni including Lucine Amara, Burt Bacharach, Grace Bumbry, Marilyn Horne, and Benita Valente.

Maurice Abravanel became Music Director, a post he held until 1980. Gregor Piatigorsky served on the faculty from 1950-53, and continued teaching at the Academy through 1975.

The Women’s Auxiliary formed, crucial ambassadors and fundraisers still active today.

1960s

Martial Singher became head of the Voice Department in 1962, remaining until 1981.

William Primrose joined the faculty.

1970s

Faculty member Jerome Lowenthal performed at the opening concert of the dedication of the newly dedicated Abravanel Hall in July, 1972.

1980s

Violist Donald McInnes and pianist Paul Schenly joined the faculty.

1990s

Marilyn Horne became Voice Program Director.

The 13-studio building Claeyssens Hall added to campus.

The Music Academy became a full-scholarship institution.

The Compeer Program was launched.

2000s

Abravanel Hall was fully renovated both architecturally and acoustically, becoming Hahn Hall.

2010s

Luria Education Center opened, offering additional world-class facilities on campus. Main House renovated and dedicated to Marilyn Horne.

Mosher Guest Artist Recital Series began, featuring international artists in the intimate space of Hahn Hall.

New York Philharmonic Partnership initiated, bringing Academy fellows to perform in New York with the Philharmonic, and performances by the New York Philharmonic in Santa Barbara. The Philharmonic’s former Concertmaster, Glenn Dicterow, joined the faculty.

 

2017

Jeremy Denk and the Takác Quartet join the faculty.

Hind Hall teaching studio building will open, adding eight state-of-the-art studios to the campus.

A Commissions & Premieres program is launched.