Music Academy Announces 2020 Summer School & Festival

Music Academy of the West uses distance learning to deliver on its mission during the first half of the annual 2020 Summer School & Festival

The new Music Academy Remote Learning Institute advances the development of the next generation of classically trained musicians


Faculty, guest artists, and industry leaders mentor all 139 full-scholarship fellows online

Santa Barbara, CA — The Music Academy of the West announces the introduction of the Music Academy Remote Learning Institute this summer. Over the first four weeks of the Academy’s annual Summer School & Festival (June 15-July 10), all 139 full-scholarship fellows will receive mentorship online from faculty, guest artists, and industry leaders. Dedicated community Compeers will connect with the fellows in online social meetings. Home audiences around the world will be able to watch performances by fellows, faculty, and alumni through livestreams and video recordings. If federal, state, and local guidelines allow, the Music Academy’s eight-week Summer School and Festival will transition to a four-week public Festival to take place from July 13-August 8. The program would include signature events at the Lobero and Granada Theatres and the Community Concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl. Full details will be announced on May 15 or prior.

It’s critical that we provide talented musicians a supportive place to develop their artistry. In this unprecedented time, the world is looking to artists to flourish in new ways. With our outstanding faculty and unique curriculum, the Music Academy is equipped to offer these young people the tools for creative success beyond our physical campus through a virtual space.

— Music Academy President and CEO Scott Reed

2020 Fellows

2020 marks an all-time high for the number of musicians applying to audition for the Summer Festival. Aptly, exactly 2,020 candidates applied for the 139 available fellowships in a highly competitive process. Aged 18-34, the musicians hail from 23 countries and 22 of the United States, representing 42 universities and conservatories. 26 of this year’s fellows are also returning Academy alumni.

Faculty and Guest Teaching Artists

The Academy’s distinguished faculty comprises artists from leading conservatories, orchestras, and opera companies, as well as legendary mentors.

Music Academy Remote Learning Institute (MARLI)

The Academy’s curriculum for fellows will include:

  • Weekly Private Lessons and Studio Classes with Academy faculty and guest artists
  • Career-Building Seminars designed for the 21st century musician
  • Music Academy Concert Hall Online – livestreamed and recorded performances
  • Interview Spotlights with faculty, guest artists, and fellows
  • Fellow Meetings with Compeers, community members who provide ongoing social support
  • Orchestral Excerpts Coaching Sessions for instrumental fellows
  • Diction Coaching and Acting Workshops for Vocal Institute fellows
  • Wellness Activities for all fellows

The Music Academy’s mission for 73 years has focused on performance-based training for artists. We’re fully committed to continuing that this summer. Chief Artistic Officer Jamie Broumas and faculty artists have curated a robust program for the first half of the Summer Festival that will challenge and inspire our fellows.

— Music Academy President and CEO Scott Reed

Our Board of Directors enthusiastically endorses the Remote Learning Institute’s connection to audiences. A community collaboration through the Compeer Program will undoubtedly lead to new relationships as well as support the young musicians while working from home alone. The music lovers in Santa Barbara are here to provide that much-needed positive social connection.

— Music Academy Board Chair Eileen Sheridan

If the pandemic prevents the presentation of public events this summer, the Remote Learning Institute will transition to training resulting in fellow projects that will be presented in a virtual finale event. Fellows will also participate in the annual Solo Piano Competition and Keston MAX auditions for the opportunity to study and perform with the London Symphony Orchestra in London in 2021.

The outpouring of love and enthusiasm for our Summer Festival and year-round programs has been extraordinary. We thank the artists and fellows for their patience during this time of uncertainty and we thank our community for its unwavering continued support. We have pivoted to create programs and connections that will culminate in a new model of festival for the 21st century.

— Music Academy President and CEO Scott Reed

About Music Academy of the West

Music Academy of the West advances the development of 21st century classically trained musicians and cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences. Founded in 1947, the Academy operates on a 10-acre, ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, California. Music Academy of the West’s world-renowned eight-week Summer Festival offers nearly 200 public events. Programs comprise voice, vocal piano, collaborative piano, instrumental, and solo piano. The Academy began a four-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2018 focused on education and performance on both continents. An Innovation Institute supports alumni entrepreneurship with the Alumni Enterprise Awards and an annual residential. In the local community 200 young people participate in the Academy’s expanding choral program, Sing!. For more information, visit

Released: April 20, 2020

Revised: May 5, 2020

Kate Oberjat
Director of Marketing and Communications
Music Academy of the West
[email protected]