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The Juilliard School, located at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Artsmarker in New York Citymarker, United Statesmarker, is a performing arts conservatory. It is informally identified as simply Juilliard, and trains about 800 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music.

In 2007, the school received 2,311 applications for admission, of which 149 were admitted for a 6.45% acceptance rate.


The school was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art. It was formed 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. At its formation, the Institute was located at Fifth Avenue and 12th Street. In its first year, the institute enrolled 500 students. It moved in 1910 to Claremont Avenue in Morningside Heightsmarker, to a new Neoclassical building now occupied by the Manhattan School of Musicmarker.

In 1920, the Juilliard Foundation was created, named after textile merchant Augustus D. Juilliard, who bequeathed a substantial amount for the advancement of music in the United States. In 1924 the foundation purchased the Vanderbilt family guesthouse at 49 East 52ndmarker to start the Juilliard Graduate School. In 1926 it merged with the Institute of Musical Art under 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 combined institutions, a position he held until 1945. As of 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.

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 distaste for traditional music theory and ear training curricula, finding little value in counterpoint and dictation. Shortly after being selected as President of The Juilliard School in 1945, William Schuman created a new curriculum called "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 contain a formal structure. The broad mandate was "to give the student an awareness of the dynamic nature of the materials of music." The quality and depth 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 an approach to teach the fundamentals of music theory, ear training and history.

William Schuman resigned his position as President of The Juilliard School after being elected President of Lincoln Center in 1962. Peter Mennin, another composer with directorial experience at the Peabody Conservatorymarker, was elected as his successor. Mennin made significant changes to the L&M program--pulling out ear training and music history and hiring the well known pedagogue Renée Longy to teach Solfege. Mennin hired John Houseman to lead a new Drama Division and oversaw Juilliard move from Claremont Avenue to Lincoln Center, effectively dealing with financial setbacks and delays.

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 Londonmarker's Royal Academy of Musicmarker at the BBC Proms, and in 2008 the Juilliard Orchestra embarked on a highly successful tour of China, performing concerts as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Beijing, Suzhoumarker, and Shanghai under the expert leadership of Maestro Xian Zhang.

Juilliard 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.


The Pre-College Division

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

All students study solfege 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 partake in 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" within the Institute for Musical Art. Lincoln Center forced Juilliard to abandon the Preparatory Department as a condition of joining the Lincoln Center Campus, because it created the impression of sub-professional quality. The then-current President of Juilliard, Peter Mennin, resurrected the Preparatory Department as the Pre-College Division, with Olegna Fuschi as its 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. Following 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.

The Pre-College Division gives Juilliard an important role in training the most talented young musicians at the highest musical standards. Juilliard Pre-College's graduates are counted amongst professional musicians, educated concert goers and financial supporters of classical music.

Performing ensembles at Juilliard

A performance space at the school.
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 run and managed group dedicated to larger 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 and the New York Woodwind Quintet.


The Juilliard Second Century Fund aims to raise $300 million to enable The Juilliard School to sustain its leadership position in performing arts education well into the school’s next century. Expanded and renamed on the Juilliard’s 100th anniversary, the fund supports six key components that will help Juilliard continue to recruit the world’s best young artists and faculty, offer educational programs that uphold 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 in 2004 with a benefit concert given by The The Park Avenue Chamber Symphony. The event raised $90,000 to establish a Pre-College Parents' Association Scholarship Fund. In 2005, Juilliard produced its own benefit concert for the Pre-College Division featuring its own students led by faculty member Itzhak Perlman and hosted by 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 cuts. After strong opposition to the cuts, the program, which helps needy inner-city children get music lessons, was then reinstated after several donors pledged money to support it.


Notable alumni

Notable faculty

Pop culture references

  • A major theme in the film Save the Last Dance is Julia Stiles' character's lifelong desire to attend Juilliard, which she eventually does.
  • Juilliard was seen in the 2007 film August Rush, where the titular character attends school after being discovered as a musical prodigy and composes his own rhapsody. His birth mother also attended the school before him.
  • Juilliard was a notable part of High School Musical 3: Senior Year, where students performed for a Juilliard School Scholarship.
  • In the 2009 film The Soloist, after a promising violin and cello player develops schizophrenia, he does not graduate from the school.
  • In the television series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, the main character, Amy Juergens, dreams of one day attending Juilliard, but must put her dream aside in order to care for her unexpected baby.
  • In the film Being John Malkovich, Malkovich is briefly shown giving a puppetry masterclass at Juilliard.
  • The main character in the movie Crossroads attended Juilliard before leaving to find the lost Robert Johnson song.
  • In the Southpark episode The Biggest Douche in the Universe Kyle attends 'Jewleeard'; a Rabbinic school whose name parodies that of Julliard.
  • In the Nicholas Sparks' novel The Last Song, character Steve Miller leaves his job as a Juilliard professor to become a concert pianist. Eventually, his daughter Ronnie Miller, a child prodigy at piano, enters the school after Steve's death.
  • In the 2010 film adaptation of the novel, Ronnie, played by Miley Cyrus, is accepted to the school at the beginning, but initially refuses to attend.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, Kramer poses as Dr. Van Nostrand and claims he is a "Juilliard-trained dermatologist"

See also


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 0394555147.
  • Guide to the Juilliard School Archives, by Juilliard School Archives, Jane Gottlieb, Stephen E. Novak, Taras Pavlovsky. Published by The School, 1992.
  • Juilliard: A History, by Andrea Olmstead. Published by University of Illinois Press, 2002, ISBN 0252071069.
  • A Living Legacy: Historic Stringed Instruments at the Juilliard School, by Lisa Brooks Robinson, Itzhak Perlman. Amadeus Press, 2006. ISBN 574671464.

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