Summer 20/21 Dates: Coming Soon
“We’re committed to building an interactive and inclusive online community for our faculty and students, despite the physical distance. It will be an intensive learning environment, but also one in which we can still keep the fun and social atmosphere that we’ve enjoyed with every previous YASP season.”
—David Serkin Ludwig, artistic director and composition faculty member
Stay tuned for more information on the 20/21 season.
Challenge yourself to grow in an intensive conservatory environment. The three-week course features personalized attention from celebrated faculty, many of whom are Curtis alumni with thriving pedagogical or performance careers. A comprehensive musical schedule includes private lessons, diverse ensembles, opportunities to perform, and more.
Musicians aged 13 to 22 who have studied privately at the advanced level are encouraged to apply. Applications for the online program will be accepted on a rolling basis while positions are available. The final deadline is June 15 at noon ET, but positions may fill before then.
Students who were confirmed to attend the 2020 program were contacted via email on April 16 and may choose to either participate in this virtual program or decline.
Rather than the highly structured, immersive schedule of the in-person program, the online curriculum aims for maximum flexibility, allowing students to participate from home in whatever way they can. We anticipate using Canvas, the same online learning platform that Curtis Institute of Music students are using in the spring semester. It allows students to access recorded and written content at their own pace, and in different time zones, while also scheduling live events in a calendar.
The curriculum elements for students will include:
You will receive three lessons, rotating among the studio faculty. We will do our best to schedule these at workable times for students living in different time zones than faculty members.
These may be live, or students may submit a pre-recorded piece to review in class, depending on faculty preference. Instrumental students will perform in at least one studio class during the program. Some instruments may have multiple studio classes per week. Studio classes may also address topics such as practice techniques, reed-making, breathing techniques, warm-up routines, etc.
Students may submit recordings of themselves made at home. Faculty will review submissions and curate virtual student recitals of a select number of these recordings, to be posted online.
Faculty will share pre-recorded or live performances from their home.
YASP’s musical studies curriculum explores the richness of music’s living past. Over the course of the program, students will trace the broad arc of Western music history, encountering masterworks from many eras and uncovering deep connections among them. This course synthesizes principles of music history, theory, and ear training, showing that careful study of a diverse range of music can deepen the way we hear, write, and play.
Any student may sign up to perform live in a webinar for their peers within the online learning platform.
An array of speakers will present on age-relevant topics such as: art in times of crisis; engaging communities, time and stress management during the pandemic; applying to conservatories; career-building and sharing; responsible online promotion; creating performance opportunities; and music pedagogy.
Students will be led in additional community-building activities online and will be able to engage with faculty, Curtis Institute of Music students, and one another on discussion boards and informal virtual hang-outs.
Chamber ensembles, piano four-hands, choir, and orchestra cannot take place as planned. However we are committed to exploring online opportunities for group musical collaborations and will have more information as the festival period approaches.
Composition seminar classes will cover composing techniques, repertoire, and professional development, among other topics. Composition students will have the opportunity to write solo works for members of the YASP faculty ensemble, who will record pieces from their homes.
Conductors will have seminar classes and private lessons taught by conducting faculty. Seminar topics may include: score analysis of a variety of diverse repertoire, technique, rehearsal preparation and strategies, internalizing and memorizing scores, career guidance, and an exploration of historical recordings and performances. Private lessons will offer the opportunity for further discussion, as well as individual feedback on pre-recorded videos.
Tuition is now $2,250. There is, of course, no housing and dining fee. For information on financial assistance, please visit this page.
Many of the faculty will be the same as those who were scheduled for the in-person program. In fact, most of them are already teaching students online. All faculty members are esteemed performers and almost all are Curtis alumni who are accomplished soloists, hold positions in major chamber and orchestra ensembles, and are teachers at recognized teaching institutions. Confirmed updates will be posted to the website as soon as possible. Feel free to inquire on the specifics for your discipline by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “YASP faculty question” in the subject line.
Video sessions will be recorded so they may be referred to later if needed (for educational use only.) Here is one possible example, if a student is able to participate in all activities live, in real time. The actual timing will vary.
All times in Eastern Daylight Time:
9–10 a.m. Warm up/movement (at home, on your own)
10–11 a.m. Private live lesson via video app (may occur at a different time)
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Musical studies class via webinar*
12:30–2 p.m. Lunchtime mixer (call in to a virtual hang-out or check the discussion boards while you eat lunch)
2–3 p.m. Studio class via webinar*
3–4 p.m. Professional development speaker/Q&A via webinar*
4–6 p.m. Break/practice time
6–7 p.m. Dinner at home
7:30 p.m. Open Performance via webinar (optional)
*recorded for later viewing, if student is unable to tune in live
Link 1 (Blue Yeti/Blue series USB microphones): This option is simple to plug into your device and can be used for both speaking and recording your instrument. Microphone settings are adjusted in Zoom and on the microphone itself. It has been tested by a Curtis staff member who liked it.
Link 2 (Samson G-Track Pro/Samson USB microphones): This option is simple to plug into your device and can be used for both speaking and recording your instrument. It also has a setting that allows instruments to be plugged directly into the microphone. Microphone volume settings are adjusted on the microphone only. It has been tested by a Curtis staff member who liked it.
Selecting the “cardioid” setting that is on both of these microphones produces improved sound for Zoom calls.
Note on Remote Learning Equipment
Curtis is seeking sponsors to support student technology for students in need. If you lack the required equipment, such as a wifi hotspot or a device with a screen that will be available to you during the program, please contact us at email@example.com before you pay tuition.
There is no language requirement for international applicants. For the best experience, however, we suggest a basic understanding of conversational English.
We are quickly learning about options for virtual pianists and will make recommendations based on the student and repertoire. When a virtual pianist cannot be obtained, faculty will accept students playing their part on their own.
Every participant selects one area of focus:
Activities included for a typical year. Please see above for online program curriculum in 2020.
Composition participants will receive five lessons during the program.
—In the first and second weeks, participants will attend a total of four hour-long lessons in pairs in order to gain the additional perspective from observing a deep conversation of a peer’s work. Time in each lesson will be split equally and both participants will receive feedback on their compositions.
—In the third week, each of the composition participants will have the opportunity to meet privately with the chair of Curtis’s composition department and YASP artistic director, David Serkin Ludwig, for a 45-minute lesson.
Those interested in competing will be asked to submit a video recording of one movement of a standard concerto about six weeks before the start of the program. You may use a score for the video recording, but should you be selected to participate in the final round, your performance must be from memory. For the video, an accompanist is encouraged but not required. A panel of faculty judges will select ten finalists to go forward to the final round. Finalists will be notified by e-mail a week before the program begins. Each finalist will have ten minutes in front of a live jury during the first week of the program. Three prize-winners will be chosen. The first-prize winner will perform on one of the final concerts.
Those interested in competing will be asked to submit a video recording of one movement of a standard concerto about six weeks before the start of the program. You may use a score for the video recording, but should you be selected to participate in the final round, your performance must be from memory. For the video, an accompanist is encouraged but not required. A panel of faculty judges will select ten finalists to go forward to the final round. Finalists will be notified by e-mail a week before the program begins. Each finalist will have ten minutes in front of a live jury during the first week of the program. The first-prize winner will perform on one of the final concerts.
In a typical year, the whole program, consisting of about 100 students, comes together through:
Curtis Summerfest's extremely nurturing musical environment helped me grow not only as a musician, but also as a person. The opportunity to work with such accomplished and inspiring faculty who encouraged a supportive, learning-focused atmosphere was truly irreplaceable. I can confidently say that the connections I built with the program's talented and dedicated musicians through our shared passion for classical music will last me a lifetime.
She has loved every minute of her time with you all, from her flute lessons, ... chamber music, choir and orchestral music to the friends she made, the people she met, staff at Curtis Summerfest and Philadelphia itself. She has come home, knowing without question, that she wants a career in music and is very focused on what she needs to do moving forward into her two final years at school.
Curtis Summerfest was one of the best experiences of my life. I met so many interesting and talented people. It was amazing to be in an environment where everyone is extremely dedicated and has a shared interest. The Curtis Summerfest faculty are such a supportive and smart group of people. As a composer there, I learned so much from Nick DiBerardino and David Ludwig and the guest composers who taught us.
Thank you for making YASP such a memorable experience. Everyone at Curtis created such a warm and supportive environment, so thank you — I had the time of my life.
I learned so much about music and life in general, I can’t wait to apply their advice in my own life. It is an amazing opportunity to work with such wonderful people as a high school student.
...[H]ow grateful I feel to have attended such an amazing music course where I learnt so many things in such a short amount of time. ... Attending this prestigious summer course has inspired me so strongly and has given me the pure confidence that this is exactly why I wish to continue learning music.
“The Young Artist Summer Program was the best experience of my life. Sincerely, all the expectations that I had before going to YASP were NOTHING compared to what I lived those 3 weeks in Philadelphia. The masterclasses, the chamber groups, the choir, my lessons with the faculty, the orchestra… All the activities that we had were amazing!! I enjoyed meeting people from all over the whole world and making music with them. I’m sure I not only met the greatest musicians of my age, I made friends that I know I will have for the rest of my life. If I could go back in time to any part of my life, I absolutely would go back to the summer I lived at Curtis.”
“It is hard to describe how profound an experience it was to work with someone of David Ludwig’s caliber and talent and what he imparted to me musically is hard to put into words, but I enjoyed the lessons with him very much. With the instruction and encouragement of David Ludwig and the other professors, along with the atmosphere that was created at Curtis Summerfest, I was able to create music and work at a level that was superior to anything I have so far achieved. … I learned so much & it inspired me toward deeper and sustained music study.”
“We appreciate the nurturing and supportive environment all of you created – it gave her a real boost in confidence and brought the joy she feels when playing music to the forefront. Your program gave her a more mature and whole way of looking at music as a career and way of life.”
YASP has made me love music more and love life more, and I am forever grateful. It has changed my life.
“The final concerts were nothing short of incredible. The sound of the orchestra was jaw-dropping and the sight of our son so poised at the piano left us overwhelmed with gratitude. He feels every aspect of the program this year helped develop him. … It is a gift that continues to give, long after the program ends.”
At Curtis Summerfest, each day was so full of music that it seemed impossible to fit in any more, yet if there had been a way to include more music in every day (and still eat and sleep) I would have gladly done so. … Now, I often find myself encountering pieces, styles of music, and composers that I first learned about at YASP composition seminars.