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Juilliard School of Music

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Juilliard School of Music

"Juilliard" redirects here. For the philanthropist who funded the founding of the school, see Augustus D. Juilliard.

The Juilliard School
Alice Tully Hall in The Juilliard School building
Type Private
Established 1905
President Joseph W. Polisi
Enrollment Approximately 800 college, approximately 290 pre-college
Campus Urban

The Juilliard School /ˌliˈɑrd/ located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, United States, is a performing arts conservatory which was established in 1905. It is identified informally as simply Juilliard and currently trains about 800 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely regarded to be one of the world's finest and most prestigious arts programs.[1][2][3]


In 1905, the Institute of Musical Art was founded on the premise that the United States did not have a premier music school and too many students were going to Europe to study music.[4] At its formation, the Institute was located in Manhattan at Fifth Avenue and 12th Street. During its first year, the institute enrolled 500 students. It relocated in 1910 to Claremont Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, onto a property purchased from Bloomingdale Insane Asylum.[5] In 1920, the Juilliard Foundation was created, named after textile merchant Augustus D. Juilliard, who bequeathed a substantial amount of money for the advancement of music in the United States. In 1924, the foundation purchased the Vanderbilt family guesthouse at 49 East 52nd Street to start the Juilliard Graduate School.[6] In 1926, it merged partially with the Institute of Musical Art with a common president, the Columbia University professor John Erskine. The schools had separate deans and identities. The conductor and music-educator Frank Damrosch continued as the Institute's dean, and the Australian pianist and composer Ernest Hutcheson was appointed dean of the Graduate School. In 1937, Hutcheson succeeded Erskine as president of the two institutions, a job he held until 1945. In 1946, the combined schools were named The Juilliard School of Music. The president of the school at that time was William Schuman, the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music. In 1951, the school added a dance division, directed by Martha Hill.

William Schuman graduated from Columbia's Teachers College (BS 1935, MA 1937) and attended the Juilliard Summer School in 1932, 1933 and 1936. While attending Juilliard Summer School, he developed a personal dislike for traditional music theory and ear training curricula, finding little value in counterpoint and dictation. Soon after being selected as president of The Juilliard School of Music during 1945, William Schuman created a new curriculum termed "The Literature and Materials of Music" (L&M) designed to be taught by composers. L&M was Schuman's reaction against more formal theory and ear training, and as a result did not have a formal structure. The general mandate was "to give the student an awareness of the dynamic nature of the materials of music." The quality and degree of each student's education in harmony, music history or ear training was dependent on how each composer-teacher decided to interpret this mandate. Many questioned the quality of L&M as a method to teach the fundamentals of music theory, ear training and history.

William Schuman resigned his job as president of Juilliard after being elected president of Lincoln Center in 1962. Peter Mennin, another composer with directorial experience at the Peabody Conservatory, was elected as his successor. Mennin made significant changes to the L&M program—ending ear training and music history and hiring the well known pedagogue Renée Longy to teach solfège. In 1968, Mennin hired John Houseman to manage a new Drama Division, and in 1969 oversaw Juilliard's relocation from Claremont Avenue to Lincoln Center and shortened its name to The Juilliard School.[7][8]

Dr. Joseph Polisi became president of Juilliard in 1984 after Peter Mennin died. Polisi's many accomplishments include philanthropic successes, broadening of the curriculum and establishment of dormitories for Juilliard's students. In 2001, the school established a jazz performance training program. In September 2005, Colin Davis conducted an orchestra which combined students from the Juilliard and London's Royal Academy of Music at the BBC Proms, and during 2008 the Juilliard Orchestra embarked on a successful tour of China, performing concerts as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Beijing, Suzhou, and Shanghai under the expert leadership of Maestro Xian Zhang.

In 1999, The Juilliard School was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[9]

Manuscript collection

In 2006 Juilliard received a trove of precious music manuscripts from the billionaire collector and financier Bruce Kovner. The collection includes autograph scores, sketches, composer-emended proofs and first editions of major works by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, Ravel, Stravinsky, Copland and other masters of the classical music canon. Many of the manuscripts had been unavailable for generations. Among the items are the printer's manuscript of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, complete with Beethoven's hand-written amendments, that was used for the first performance in Vienna in 1824; Mozart's autograph of the wind parts of the final scene of The Marriage of Figaro; Beethoven's arrangement of his monumental Große Fuge for piano four hands; Schumann's working draft of his Symphony No. 2; and manuscripts of Brahms's Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 2. The entire collection has since been digitized and can be viewed online.[10]


Admittance into The Juilliard School is known to be highly competitive. During 2007, the school received 2,138 applications for admission, of which 162 were admitted for a 7.58% acceptance rate.[11] For the fall semester of 2009, the school had an 8.0% acceptance rate.[12] In 2011, the school accepted 5.5% of applicants.[13] For Fall 2012, 2,657 undergraduate applicants were received by the college division and 7.2% were accepted. Juilliard admits both degree program seekers and pre-college division.[14] All applicants who wish to enroll in the Music Advancement Program, for the Pre-College Division, must perform an audition in person before members of the faculty and administration and must be between ages 8 and 14. Before being scheduled for an audition, each applicant must submit a complete application for admission. Select applicants, following the auditions, will be invited to meet with a program administrator. For consideration into all college programs (drama, dance, and music) applicants are required to submit an audition tape for pre-screening. GPAs are required for admission, but SAT scores are not. The 75th percentile accepted into Juilliard in 2012 had a GPA of 3.96 and an SAT score of 1970.[15]


The school offers courses in dance, drama, and music. The dance division, Juilliard Dance, was established in 1951 by William Schuman with Martha Hill as its director. It offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Diploma. Juilliard Drama was established in 1968 by the actor John Houseman and Michel Saint-Denis. Its acting program offers four-year courses for BFA, Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or, on request, a diploma. The Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program offers one-year, tuition-free, graduate fellowships. Juilliard Music is the largest of the school's divisions. Available degrees are Bachelor of Music or Diploma, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts, and Artist Diploma in certain subjects, including Jazz Studies, Music Performance, and Opera Studies. Academic majors are brass, collaborative piano, composition, guitar, harp, harpsichord, historical performance, jazz studies, orchestral conducting, organ, percussion, piano, strings, voice/opera, woodwinds. The Juilliard Vocal Arts department now incorporates the former Juilliard Opera Center. All Bachelor and Master courses require credits from the Liberal Arts course; Joseph Polisi is a member of the Liberal Arts faculty.

Pre-college division

The Pre-College Division teaches students enrolled in elementary, junior high, and high school. The Pre-College Division is conducted every Saturday from September to May in The Juilliard Building at Lincoln Center.

All students study solfège and music theory in addition to their primary instrument. Vocal majors also must study diction and performance. Similarly, pianists must study piano performance. String, brass and woodwind players as well as percussionists also participate with orchestra. The pre-college has two orchestras, the Pre-College Symphony (PCS) and the Pre-College Orchestra (PCO). Placement is by age. Students may elect to study conducting, chorus, and chamber music.

The Pre-College Division began as the "Preparatory Department", part of the Institute for Musical Art. It is now named the Pre-College Division, with Olegna Fuschi as its first director. The Fuschi/Mennin partnership allowed the Pre-College Division to thrive, affording its graduates training at the highest artistic level (with many of the same teachers as the college division), as well as their own commencement ceremony and diplomas. In conformity with Fuschi, directors of Juilliard's Pre-College Division included Linda Granito and composer Dr. Andrew Thomas. The current Artistic Director of Juilliard's Pre-College Division is pianist Yoheved Kaplinsky, who is also the chairperson of the piano department of the Juilliard School.

Performing ensembles

The Juilliard School has a variety of ensembles, including chamber music, jazz, orchestras, and vocal/choral groups. Juilliard's orchestras include the Juilliard Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Juilliard Theater Orchestra and the Conductors' Orchestra. The Axiom Ensemble is a student directed and managed group dedicated to well-known 20th-century works.

In addition, several ensembles of Juilliard Faculty, called Resident Ensembles, perform frequently at the school. These groups include the Juilliard String Quartet, the American Brass Quintet, the New York Woodwind Quintet, and Juilliard Baroque.


The Juilliard Second Century Fund aims to raise $300 million to enable The Juilliard School to sustain its eminence in performing arts education well into the school’s next century. The tuition expected for 2011 is about $48,670 for the school year. Expanded and renamed on Juilliard’s 100th anniversary, the fund supports six components that will help Juilliard continue to recruit the world’s best young artists and faculty, offer educational programs that maintain the quality of a Juilliard education, and increase the size and functionality of Juilliard's physical plant.

Fundraising specifically targeted to the Pre-College Division began during 2004 with a benefit concert given by The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony. The event raised $90,000 to establish a Pre-College Parents' Association Scholarship Fund. During 2005, Juilliard produced its own benefit concert for the Pre-College Division featuring its own students directed by faculty member Itzhak Perlman and hosted by entertainer Bill Cosby to add to this fund.

In April 2009, it was announced that the Music Advancement Program (MAP) would be curtailed due to budget reductions. After strong opposition to the reductions, the program, which helps inner-city children get music lessons, was then reinstated after several donors pledged money to support it.

Notable people



See also


New York City portal
Dance portal

Further reading

  • Ten Years of American Opera Design at the Juilliard School of Music, Published by New York Public Library, 1941.
  • The Juilliard Report on Teaching the Literature and Materials of Music, by Juilliard School of Music. Published by Norton, 1953.
  • The Juilliard Review, by Richard Franko Goldman, Published by Juilliard School of Music, 1954.
  • The Juilliard Journal, Published by The Juilliard School, 1985.
  • Nothing But the Best: The Struggle for Perfection at the Juilliard School, by Judith Kogan. Published by Random House, 1987. ISBN 0-394-55514-7.
  • Guide to the Juilliard School Archives, by Juilliard School Archives, Jane Gottlieb, Stephen E. Novak, Taras Pavlovsky. Published by The School, 1992.
  • ISBN 0-252-07106-9.
  • A Living Legacy: Historic Stringed Instruments at the Juilliard School, by Lisa Brooks Robinson, Itzhak Perlman. Amadeus Press, 2006. ISBN 574671464.

External links

  • The Juilliard School – its history at 100

Coordinates: 40°46′26″N 73°58′59″W / 40.773871°N 73.983178°W / 40.773871; -73.983178

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