As the largest and most diverse constituent part of Juilliard, the Music Division trains students at several levels of study and encompasses various curricular requirements and types of courses. Juilliard has the advantage of a student body well grounded in the fundamentals. Unquestionably, Juilliard students have demonstrated a very strong potential to master their instruments, their voice, their composition or conducting talents. The role of the School is to build on the technical prowess students bring to the music in order to continue the transformation from competence to artistry.

Students of voice, for example, develop the ability to integrate the voice and the text from a very personal perspective. String players must plumb the depths of a lyricism that speaks of the music’s very essence. Brass and wind players shape the music with their very breath, as the instrument literally becomes the player’s own voice. Composers must capture what they hear in the mind’s ear, shaping and giving life to the sounds of the music.
Whatever the avenue of expression, the process that envelops all music students at Juilliard is largely the same. Everyone undertakes extensive private study with a major teacher.

Students may do work in any orchestral or keyboard instrument, voice, composition, and orchestral conducting. Piano students also may study accompanying on the graduate level. Advanced singers may audition for admission for the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies. Music students complement their major studies with courses in music theory, music history, ear training, and a wide range of departmental offerings. Learning is an ongoing process at Juilliard. It is a process that elevates performance, one that is equally rewarding for students and their teachers. It is one that persists long after graduation, as students become teachers and performers themselves.

Chamber music occupies an especially important position at Juilliard. The School’s famous ensembles-in-residence — the Juilliard String Quartet, the American Brass Quintet, and the New York Woodwind Quintet — perform at Juilliard every year. Many of their rehearsals are open to students. The ensemble members, who are also on the faculty, coach student ensemble groups and collaborate with other faculty members as part of an extensive program of chamber music playing. Each year an outstanding graduate string quartet-in-residence works with the Juilliard String Quartet, receiving coaching and, in turn, serving as teaching assistants.

Many Juilliard activities have become well known for their contributions to the public’s appreciation of the arts. Among the most important is Focus!, an annual week-long festival of 20th- and 21st-century music that frequently incorporates dance and drama performances. Recognized as being among the finest festivals of its kind, Focus! involves more than 200 Juilliard students and plays to capacity houses.

This biography was most recently edited by...
maestro - 30 Sep 2009