From Patrick Hu
Posted January 11, 2007 at 05:30 AM
It's getting close to the end of my junior year in high school, and I really need some help.
My friend (c/o 06) went to NEC after getting into julliard, curtis, etc, and has told me how wonderful it is there. On the other hand, my other friend went to Yale and is now in the music school (which he raves about)...and then we have my friends in Julliard who always make the same claim: It's julliard...can't beat perlman, midori, chang, shaham, Lin, Ehnes, Dicterow, Rabin, Kennedy, zukerman, ETC ETC ETC ETC!
So i'm wondering which music program really IS the best for violin performance (and yes, I know it has a lot to do with other variables such as faculty, climate, etc, but i just wanted a subjective opinion)
Yale doesn't have music program for undergrads, but I've met great people (with awesome all around undergrad degrees) who are great musicians still. I think they just continued to practice and take lessons as an academic undergrad.
I'd say, if you find a teacher you like, then go there. Conservatory orchestras can be sour at times, at any given conservatory, because many students'd often times rather practice than sit for 3 hours. CIM has good chamber music, as does NEC. Manhattan has the orchestral playing program. Rice, Peabody, USC, Indiana, Northwestern have the academics to back you when you're penniless and are performing on the streets (joking - I'm sure you'll be fine : )
Obviously levels of playing will be high at all these places - Juilliard, Curtis, Manhattan, Peabody, etc., but if you're focused on your instrument you'll be most beneficial, foremost, with finding a teacher who works well for your development.
I think that any of the conservatories would be great- you'll find ups and downs to each, but if you find the right teacher you can make just about any school work.
If you play well, then apply to the most selective schools, Juilliard and Curtis, then probably NEC, CIM and Indiana.
If you are really really serious about playing, then apply to the best studios -- if you can get in. Weilerstein at Juilliard and NEC, Ida and Danch. (and everyone else) at Curtis, M.F. and Paul Biss at NEC, Kang at Yale, Kantor and the Cerones at CIM, all those plus more.
Then there are tastes. Curtis is extremely serious, and so is Juilliard. Plus NYC -- how can you beat the musical opportunities and to listen to great orchestras. Then Curtis, often considered the training ground for Philadelphia Orch. Then CIM, in OHIO, not very liberal yah? AND NEC in the crazy town of Boston -- I mean, if you are really smart and can cross enroll to Harvard or MIT, check them out. It's worth it to broaden your horizons.
I suggest, 2 apply to as many places, see where you get in, and then decide. Don't decide NOW...
I get them mixed up because obviously, Curtis Institute of Music, has the same initials.
Take it for what you think it's worth.
Minnesota Orchestra: no winner
Cincinntai Orchestra: Boris Astafiev (Columbus Sym)
Oregon Symphony: Jason Schooler (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music)
Minnesota Orchestra: Matthew Frischman (Curtis Institute)
Utah Symphony, Asst. Principal: Student of principal won
Los Angeles Philharmonic: David Moore (Houston Sym)
Louisville Orchestra: Kingsley Wood (Peabody Conservatory)
Houston Symphony: Ali Yazdanfar (Peabody, Rice)
New York Philharmonic: David Grossman (Student of principal/Juiliard)
Colorado Symphony: Jonathan Burnstein (Rice U.)
Charleston Symphony, Principal: Charles Barr (Curtis)
National Symphony: Ali Yazdanfar (Houston sym.)
New Mexico Symphony: Kathy Olszowka (Indiana University)
San Antonio Symphony: Zlatan Redzic (I.U.)
Kansas City Symphony, 1-year spot: Ju-Fang Liu (I.U.)
President's Own Marine Band: Eric Sabo (Arizona State U.)
Seattle Symphony: Jonathan Burnstein (Rice, Colorado Sym.)
Buffalo Philharmonic: Edmond Gnekow (I.U.)
Tulsa Phil, principal: Dan Johnson (Iowa?)
Dallas Symphony, principal: no winner?
Columbus Symphony: Jena Huebner (Peabody)
Houston Symphony: Burke Shaw
Cleveland Orchestra: Charles Carleton (Juilliard/Curtis)
San Francisco Sym., principal: Ali Yazdanfar (not retained?@#$!)
Metropolitan Opera Orchestra: Kingsley Wood (Peabody, Louisville Orchestra)
Alabama Symphony: Long Luo (Juilliard)
Oregon Symphony: no winner (for 2 spots!)
Florida Philharmonic, principal: Shigeru Ishikawa (member of section )
Louisville Orchestra: Karl Olsen (I.U.)
Cleveland orchestra: Eric Harris (principal St Louis) won, then left for SanFran;
runner up Charles Barr (Curtis) got in.
Montreal Sym., principal: Ali Yazdanfar (now going back to National)
Charleston Symphony, principal: Scott Pingle (Manhattan)
National Symphony: cancelled; they welcome Ali Yazdanfar back
Baltimore Symphony: Mark Huang (Nashville Symphony)
Oregon Symphony: Paul DeNola (I.U., U.S.C.)
San Francisco Sym., principal: Eric Harris (not retained?!@#!?)
Indianapolis Sym., principal: Ju-Fang Liu (I.U.)
Boston Symphony: Ben Levy (Rice U., New England Conservatory)
Calgary Philharmonic: Jeff White (I.U.)
Grant Park Orchestra: Andy Anderson (I.U.)
Nashville Symphony, principal: Joel Reist (member of section)
resulting section spot was offered to runner-up, Ryan Kamm (I.U., Boston)
Louisianna Philharmonic: Colin Corner (I.U.)
Naples Philharmonic: Matt Medlock (Boston, Rice)
New York Philharmonic: Satoshi Okamoto (San Antonio, Juilliard; student of principal)
Louisville Orchestra, principal: CANCELLED!@#$!
San Francisco Sym., principal: Hired noone again!@#$??
San Diego, Principal and Asst.Principal: Jeremy Kurtz, principal(Curtis, Rice), Susan Wulff, Asst. (member of section)
If admissions acceptance has to be kept so low, it's obviously for a reason. If it was me, I would no doubt choose these schools, there's a reason so many great violinists come out of them.
The last one, principal of San Diego, his birthplace googles up as Harlan, Ky. That was a bad place. It was called "bloody Harlan." Mine unionizing and strikes and so on.
The same with leading soloists. Where did Hilary Hahn go to school?
Boston Symphony: Julianne Lee (Curtis/NEC)
New York Philharmonic: Mei Ching Huang (Peabody/Juilliard)
San Diego Symphony: Kate Hatmaker (Carnegie Mellon)
Spokane Symphony, concertmaster: William Harvey (Indiana/Juilliard)
Detroit Symphony: Sarah Crocker (Cleveland/Juilliard)
Oregon Symphony, concertmaster: Jun Iwasaki (Cleveland)
Louisiana Philharmonic, concertmaster: Ariana Kim (SFCM/Juilliard)
Cleveland Orchestra, assoc concertmaster: Amy Lee (Curtis/Juilliard)
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, concertmaster: Andrew Wan (Juilliard)
Philadelphia Orchestra: Noah Geller (Juilliard) (2
St. Louis Symphony, asst concertmaster: Erin Schreiber (Curtis)
For violin, you cannot go wrong with Curtis. Otherwise, you want to think about who you want to study with, not just the school! Each school might have better or worse teachers.
CNSM, Hans Eisler (sp??), Munich, Cologne, RAM, RCM
Besides the teacher you are looking for I think it's also important that the school is competitive so you can also learn from your fellow students.
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