Music Academy of the West brings back the restorative power of live music
More than 70 classical music events will take place in person this summer in Santa Barbara performed by more than 100 fellows on full scholarship and 65 faculty and teaching artists
Innovation Institute inspires entrepreneurship, offering seminars with The Concert Truck’s Nick Luby and Susan Zhang, Fort Worth Opera’s Afton Battle, soprano Lisette Oropesa, and many more, Fast Pitch Awards, Digital Challenge Competition, and a new Technology Resource Hub
Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of Chineke!, an orchestra dedicated to championing change and celebrating diversity in classical music, to present Convocation Keynote Address about positive change for classical music post-pandemic
Opening Night Gala Return to Miraflores celebrates alumni and faculty artists Ben Bliss, Jeremy Denk, Conor Hanick, Nino Sanikidze and the Takács Quartet; Richard O’Neill to receive Distinguished Alumni Award
Michael Tilson Thomas debuts in two programs at the Granada Theatre with the Academy Chamber Orchestra; conductors Marin Alsop and Larry Rachleff return
New x2 Series pairs fellows and teaching artists in side-by-side chamber ensemble concerts
Vocal Institute produces video performances screened for live audiences with conductor Daniela Candillari and Creative Director James Darrah
Faculty and Teaching Artists will teach 50 hallmark public Masterclasses
Five London Symphony Orchestra principals will mentor in private lessons and coachings, and adjudicate Keston MAX auditions in partnership with the Academy
Mosher Guest Artist Conrad Tao will teach in-person private lessons, masterclasses, and perform in recital; Mosher Guest Artists Sasha Cooke, Steven Isserlis, and Tyshawn Sorey will join the Festival remotely
Winners of Academy Marilyn Horne Song Competition, Duo Competition, and Solo Piano Competition will receive commissioned works to perform by Carlos Simon, Conrad Tao, and Tyshawn Sorey
Hahn Hall has begun a significant technology upgrade to offer fellows new opportunities to utilize cutting-edge recording and stage technology thanks to generous support from the Hind Foundation
Summer School and Festival dedicated to philanthropists and volunteer leaders Mary Lynn and Warren Staley
Santa Barbara – The Music Academy of the West will welcome fellows, faculty, guest artists, and audiences in Santa Barbara for the 2021 Summer School and Festival. At the forefront of the Academy’s goals this summer are providing a transformative experience of artistic and personal growth for every fellow and offering a safe and responsible environment for all. The Festival is Monday, June 28 through Saturday, August 7, followed by a week of video content released online through August 14.
More than 100 fellows on full scholarship will join more than 65 esteemed teaching artists on the Academy’s oceanside campus, Miraflores. 70 live, public events are scheduled at Hahn Hall and Lehmann Hall and at the Granada Theatre – the first since being shuttered in 2020. Most events will be 60-75 minutes with no intermission. Several events will be recorded and streamed online free of charge, offering worldwide access.
We’re grateful and eager to meet the 2021 fellows in person after meeting them virtually in 2020. Our program is designed to be a challenging and life-changing experience for all of them.
— Eileen Sheridan, Music Academy Board Chair
Our Academy family returns this summer to bring the restorative power of musicians performing for audiences live and in-person back to this community. We had an extraordinary experience last summer communicating remotely. We’ve missed the human connection that occurs in performances with audiences. The pandemic and movements for social justice inspired us to add more perspectives to our training curriculum and to focus on being more inclusive. We’re committed to empower these talented young artists with the knowledge and skills that will help them incubate their own careers.
— Scott Reed, Music Academy President and CEO
Building on the success of the 2020 Music Academy Remote Learning Institute (MARLI), the Innovation Institute spearheads entrepreneurial training for fellows with interactive seminars focused on creating a rewarding and sustainable profession. Speakers include The Concert Truck’s founders and artists Nick Luby and Susan Zhang, Fort Worth Opera’s Afton Battle, soprano Lisette Oropesa, among many more to be announced. Fellows will continue to utilize the technology package received during MARLI to create digital content. They will flourish in writing and speaking through one-on-one guidance from mentors through Project Resonance in association with the University of California Santa Barbara Department of Music and a new Technology Resource Hub will provide a space for creating solo and small ensemble recordings. The Fast Pitch Awards and Digital Challenge are video content created by fellows with the opportunity to fuel their projects and honor their creativity. Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, founder, artistic and executive director of the Chineke! Foundation, the first professional orchestra and junior orchestra in Europe to be made up of a majority of Black and ethnically diverse classical musicians, will be the Keynote Speaker for the Opening Convocation. She will share a powerful address on what classical music and society could take away from the pandemic. Described as a visionary, her perspective will be featured in this summer’s online Innovation highlights, available to the public.
This year’s outdoor Opening Night Gala Return to Miraflores is a celebration of the accomplishments of Music Academy alumni and teaching artists. The concert will feature faculty artist pianists Jeremy Denk and Conor Hanick performing together for the first time and the Takács Quartet. Alumnus tenor and Metropolitan Opera star Ben Bliss (’12) joins the Gala in collaboration with Nino Sanikidze (’01, ’02), and alumnus violist Richard O’Neill (’98, ‘99), a member of the Takács Quartet, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award at the event. Among his many accolades, Richard won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo, the second violist in history to receive the prestigious honor.
The Academy Chamber Orchestra will grace the stage of the Granada Theatre for four exciting programs. Larry Rachleff, Professor of Orchestral Conducting at Rice University, will open the summer with a program featuring Katy Abbott’s Punch, Wolfgang Mozart’s Symphony No. 39, and Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Michael Tilson Thomas, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra, will lead the fellows in debut appearances; one program featuring works by William Grant Still, Richard Wagner, and Johannes Brahms, the other featuring Tilson Thomas’s own Street Song and concluding with Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Marin Alsop returns to conduct two performances of the ever-popular annual Community Concert. The program comprises Joan Tower’s exciting Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman alongside Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The first three concerts will have 100 $10 Community Access tickets available and every ticket will be $10 for the Community Concerts.
A highlight of the Academy’s offerings is the opportunity given for fellows to rehearse and perform alongside world-class faculty artists. This summer, these side-by-side performances form the debut x2 Series of chamber music concerts featuring a wide variety of repertoire from Baroque to brand-new for ensembles of varying sizes. The series will include works by contemporary composers Carlos Simon, Christopher Cerrone, and Jessie Montgomery, with a world premiere of Georgina Derbez Roque’s Oiseaux Tristes for violin, cello, clarinet, and piano. Several of these programs will welcome in-person audiences at Hahn Hall, while others will be available to view as part of the Music Academy Concert Hall Online. The Takács Quartet and pianist Jeremy Denk will appear in special event recitals that include fellows in Hahn Hall.
The Vocal Institute will be highlighted in performances curated by faculty, led by Director of Music John Churchwell and Creative Director James Darrah. The singers and vocal pianists of the Vocal Institute and select instrumentalists will be featured in Living Voices, a celebration of song by living composers, conducted by Daniela Candillari. A group of opera scenes entitled Mirrorflores is a purposeful play on words to reflect past and present as James Darrah will redefine how opera can be delivered through the cinematic lens, prepared by conductor William Long.
Masterclasses, a hallmark of the Academy since its founding in 1947, will be held for each instrumental studio and the Vocal Institute. 50 public classes (three for each studio, six for violin, one for harp, and one for chamber) will be offered in person, and one Masterclass Sampler will be recorded from several studios and available online.
In the fourth year of an ongoing partnership, members of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will remotely mentor in private lessons and coachings, and adjudicate the Keston Music Academy Exchange (Keston MAX) auditions. Winners receive an opportunity to perform with Music Director Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO.
Mosher Guest Artists bring their extraordinary talent to the Music Academy in residencies that incorporate performances, masterclasses, and private lessons for fellows. Conrad Tao is equally well-known for his pianistic and compositional skills. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, his compositions have recently been premiered by the New York Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic, and he has performed as a soloist with LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Conrad will appear live in a recital and masterclass and the three additional Mosher Guest Artists will appear in video screening recital premieres at Hahn Hall. Music Academy alumna and two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke (’02) is sought after by the world’s leading orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music ensembles for her versatile repertoire and commitment to new music. Cellist Steven Isserlis is a legendary and distinguished soloist, chamber musician, and educator. In addition to his robust performance and teaching schedule, he authors books about music for children, writes articles for major media outlets, and broadcasts on BBC Radio. Dubbed a “musical shapeshifter” by NPR, MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey is a multi-talented artist who performs on several instruments, composes, and conducts. The Wall Street Journal called him, “a composer of radical and seemingly boundless ideas,” and the New Yorker said he is, “among the most formidable denizens of the in-between zone… An extraordinary talent who can see across the entire musical landscape.”
Fellows will participate in the Solo Piano Competition, Duo Competition, and the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. Each winner receives a cash award and a work commissioned specifically for them to premiere. The commissioned composers include Mosher Guest Artists Tyshawn Sorey for the Solo Piano winner and Conrad Tao for the Duo winner. Carlos Simon will write a new work for the winners of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition, a singer and vocal pianist.
The Music Academy of the West will expand Hahn Hall’s production and technology capabilities beginning in June 2021. To help the next generation of artists add technology to their creative palette, the Hall’s recording and lighting systems will undergo major upgrades. The new equipment will integrate with the Meyer Sound speaker system and allow for concerts to be recorded and broadcast with the highest industry standards. The project begins with a system design and installation of best-in-class microphones and robotic cameras in a flexible setup allowing for audio and video capture & post-production capabilities. The project is supported by the Hind Foundation.
The 2021 Summer School and Festival and Opening Night Gala are gratefully dedicated to Mary Lynn and Warren Staley in recognition of their philanthropic and volunteer leadership on behalf of the Music Academy, and for their contributions to numerous humanitarian causes around the globe. Through the Music Academy of the West’s relationship with Steinway & Sons as an All-Steinway School, Steinway has now gifted two pianos to the school in Ghana. Warren joined the Academy’s Board of Directors in 2015 and served as Chair from 2018-19.
The lead sponsors of the London Symphony Orchestra partnership are Linda and Michael Keston and Mary Lynn and Warren Staley. Additional support has been provided in remembrance of Léni Fé Bland.
The Mosher Guest Artists Recital Series is generously supported by the Samuel B. and Margaret C. Mosher Foundation.
The Community Concerts are presented in remembrance of Léni Fé Bland.
All artists and programs subject to change.
For health and safety, all tickets for the Summer Festival will be emailed to view and display upon entry on mobile phones, or printed at home. Capacity has been reduced and socially distanced seating will be possible at every venue.
We encourage audiences to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to attending Music Academy events, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Health, and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
Everyone is welcome to choose to wear a mask at Music Academy events at any time. Please follow the current guidelines from the CDC regarding masks indoors for unvaccinated adults and children.
Tuesday, June 15: Advance sale tickets begins for members of the Academy’s President’s Circle (June 15-16), Premier Council (June 18-19), and Council of Contributors (June 21-24)
Fri, June 25 at 10 am: Tickets go on sale to the public online at musicacademy.org (available 24/7) and via phone at 805-969-8787
For the latest information about ticketing and event safety protocols, please visit musicacademy.org.
About Music Academy of the West
Music Academy of the West is a performance-based training center and incubator that empowers musicians to positively impact society. The Academy welcomes everyone from across all generations, cultures, and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Academy presents the preeminent full-scholarship Summer School and Festival for classically trained fellows ages 18 to 34. They study and perform with more than 50 exceptional faculty and teaching artists, while forging close connections with the community. The Academy’s commitment to long-term collaborations and exchanges with leading orchestras and opera companies results in unparalleled mentorship and career-advancing prospects. The Innovation Institute spearheads entrepreneurial training and ventures through seminars, residencies, and the Alumni Enterprise Awards, substantial grants given annually for a wide range of creative projects. Launched in 2018, Sing!, a free, after-school choral program for local elementary students inspires personal growth and expression. For more information, please visit musicacademy.org.
Calendar of Events
Programs are available at musicacademy.org.
Mon, Jul 5: Cello Masterclass, Alan Stepansky, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Mon, Jul 5: Collaborative Piano Masterclass, Jonathan Feldman, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Tue, Jul 6: Viola Masterclass, Karen Dreyfus, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Tue, Jul 6: Percussion Masterclass, Michael Werner, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Wed, Jul 7: Bassoon Masterclass, Dennis Michael, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Wed, Jul 7: Trombone & Tuba Masterclass, Mark Lawrence, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Thu, Jul 8: Violin Masterclass, Martin Beaver, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Thu, Jul 8: Clarinet Masterclass, Richie Hawley, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Fri, Jul 9: Oboe Masterclass, Eugene Izotov, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Fri, Jul 9: Trumpet Masterclass, Paul Merkelo, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Sat, Jul 10: Opening Night Gala Return to Miraflores, Miraflores Campus, 5:30 PM
Sun, Jul 11: Welcome Concert with Larry Rachleff, Academy Chamber Orchestra, Granada Theatre, 2 PM
Mon, Jul 12: Double Bass Masterclass, Nico Abondolo, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Mon, Jul 12: Percussion Masterlcass, Michael Werner, 3:30 PM, Hahn Hall
Mon, Jul 12: Innovation Institute Seminar, Chi-chi Nwanoku, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Mon, Jul 12: Solo Piano Showcase, Academy Fellows, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Tue, Jul 13: Flute Masterclass, Timothy Day, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Tue, Jul 13: Viola Masterclass, Cynthia Phelps, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Tue, Jul 13: x2 Series Live Rachmaninoff & Mozart, Academy fellows and teaching artists, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Wed, Jul 14: Horn Masterclass, Julie Landsman, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Wed, Jul 14: Chamber Masterclass, Takács Quartet, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Wed, Jul 14: Pianist Jeremy Denk with Academy fellows Recital, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Thu, Jul 15: Violin Masterclass, Kathleen Winkler, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Thu, Jul 15: Trombone & Tuba Masterclass, Mark Lawrence, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Thu, Jul 15: Mosher Guest Artist Steven Isserlis Recital Premiere Screening, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Fri, Jul 16: Harp Masterclass, JoAnn Turovsky, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Fri, Jul 16: Solo Piano Masterclass, Jeremy Denk, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Fri, Jul 16: x2 Series Live Beethoven Piano Trio, Academy fellows and teaching artists, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Sat, Jul 17: Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Brahms, Academy Chamber Orchestra, Granada Theatre, 7:30 PM
Sun, Jul 18: x2 Series Online Mozart & Dvořák, Academy fellows and teaching artists, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Mon, Jul 19: Double Bass Masterclass, Nico Abondolo, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Mon, Jul 19: Collaborative Piano Masterclass, Jonathan Feldman, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Tue, Jul 20: Flute Masterclass, Timothy Day, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Tue, Jul 20: Violin Masterclass, Kathleen Winkler, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Tue, Jul 20: String Quartet Showcase, Academy fellows, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Wed, Jul 21: Bassoon Masterclass, Benjamin Kamins, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Wed, Jul 21: Vocal Institute Masterclass, Daniela Candillari, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Wed, Jul 21: Mosher Guest Artist Sasha Cooke with Kirill Kuzmin Recital Premiere Screening, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Thu, Jul 22: Violin Masterclass, Glenn Dicterow, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Thu, Jul 22: Clarinet Masterclass, Richie Hawley, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Thu, Jul 22: Takács Quartet with Academy fellows Concert, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Fri, Jul 23: Oboe Masterclass, Eugene Izotov, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Fri, Jul 23: Trumpet Masterclass, Paul Merkelo, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Sat, Jul 24: x2 Series Online Renaissance to the 20th Century, Academy fellows and teaching artists, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Mon, Jul 26: Cello Masterclass, David Geber, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Mon, Jul 26: Violin Masterclass, Glenn Dicterow, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Mon, Jul 26: Mosher Guest Artist Tyshawn Sorey Recital Premiere Screening, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Tue, Jul 27: Viola Masterclass, Richard O’Neill, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Tue, Jul 27: Trumpet Masterclass, Barbara Butler & Charles Geyer, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Wed, Jul 28: Horn Masterclass, Julie Landsman, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Wed, Jul 28: Vocal Institute Masterclass, Michael Tilson Thomas, Hahn Hall, 1:30 PM
Wed, Jul 28: Solo Piano Competition, Academy fellows, Granada Theatre, 4 PM & 7 PM
Thu, Jul 29: Bassoon Masterclass, Benjamin Kamins, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Thu, Jul 29: Trombone & Tuba Masterclass, Ralph Sauer, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Thu, Jul 29: x2 Series Live Mendelssohn Piano Trio, Academy fellows and teaching artists, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Fri, Jul 30: Solo Piano Masterclass, Conor Hanick, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Fri, Jul 30: x2 Series Online French Focus, Academy fellows and teaching artists, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Fri, Jul 30: Chamber Music Showcase, Academy fellows, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Sat, Jul 31: Appalachian Spring with Michael Tilson Thomas, Academy Chamber Orchestra, Granada Theatre, 7:30 PM
Mon, Aug 2: Solo Piano Masterclass, Mosher Guest Artist Conrad Tao, Hahn Hall, 1:30 PM
Mon, Aug 2: Double Bass Masterclass, Nico Abondolo, Lehmann Hall, 3:30 PM
Mon, Aug 2: Fast Pitch Awards, Academy fellows, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Tue, Aug 3: Flute Masterclass, Timothy Day, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Tue, Aug 3: Clarinet Masterclass, Richie Hawley, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Tue, Aug 3: Mosher Guest Artist Recital Conrad Tao, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Wed, Aug 4: Horn Masterclass, Julie Landsman, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Wed, Aug 4: Cello Masterclass, David Geber, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Wed, Aug 4: Duo Competition, Academy fellows, Granada Theatre, 7:30 PM
Thu, Aug 5: Violin Masterclass, Jorja Fleezanis, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Thu, Aug 5: Percussion Masterclass, Michael Werner/Joseph Periera, Hahn Hall, 3:30 PM
Thu, Aug 5: x2 Series Live Poulenc Trio, Academy fellows and teaching artists, Hahn Hall, 7:30 PM
Fri, Aug 6: Collaborative Piano Masterclass, Jonathan Feldman, Hahn Hall, 1:30 PM
Fri, Aug 6: Oboe Masterclass, Eugene Izotov, Lehmann Hall, 1:30 PM
Fri, Aug 6: Marilyn Horne Song Competition, Vocal Institute, Granada Theatre, 4 PM & 7 PM
Sat, Aug 7: Community Concerts with Marin Alsop, Academy Chamber Orchestra, Granada Theatre, 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Sun, Aug 8: Innovation Institute Seminar, Highlights, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Wed, Aug 11: Masterclass Sampler, Academy fellows and teaching artists, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Thu, Aug 12: Sing! Children’s Chorus and Concert Choir, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Fri, Aug 13: Digital Challenge, musicacademy.org, 5 PM
Sat, Aug 14: Special Event: Mirrorflores, Vocal Institute, musicacademy.org, 5 PM