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Instrumentalists and Conductors

  • October 2018: Applications available
  • January 25, noon EST: Applications for all instrumental and conducting participants due. An additional $35 late fee will be assessed on applications submitted after this date.
  • February: Notification of admission and financial aid status provided to all instrumental and conducting applicants who submitted by January 25.
  • March 1: Payment due*
  • July 13: Arrival and Check-In for residential students
  • July 14: Orientation day for all students
  • August 3: Final performances and Check-Out

*Accepted applicants may inquire about installment plans. Those who apply after January 25 receive notification of admission and financial aid status on a rolling basis, as space remains available. Due date of payment for those who apply after the January 25 deadline will be sent with the admissions notification email.



  • October 2018: Applications available
  • January 25, noon EST: Composers who apply by this date save $35 on application fee
  • March 15, noon EST: All composition applications due
  • Early April: Notification of admission and financial aid status provided to all composition applicants
  • April 19, noon EST: Payment due
  • July 13: Arrival and Check-In for residential students
  • July 14: Orientation day for all students
  • August 3: Final performances and Check-Out
  • Application Fee: $65 / $100*
  • Tuition: $3,500
  • Housing and Dining: $2,650**

*Application fee: $65 before noon EST on January 25, 2019; $100 (after January 25). Applicants also submit a $25 transaction fee.

**Includes three unlimited meals per day, housing in Lenfest Hall, and residential activities. Does not include travel or medical care. Local musicians are welcome to commute.

Acceptance to the Young Artist Summer Program is need-blind. Limited financial assistance from Curtis Summerfest may be available, but is not guaranteed. Notice of financial assistance awards will be included in the acceptance status e-mail.

Students and parents are also urged to seek financial assistance from local sources: self-organized fundraisers; school music organizations; county, state, or national music education organizations; youth orchestras and bands; music clubs; service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanas, etc.); businesses; local churches; and foundations.


Merit-based financial assistance

To apply for merit-based financial assistance, see section (Scholarship) of the online application. Answer “Yes” to the first question in this section (“Are you applying for merit-based financial assistance?”).

No further action is required to be considered for merit-based financial assistance.


Need-based financial assistance

To apply for need-based financial assistance, upload the following to section 4 (Scholarship) of the online application.

U.S. citizens:

      • The Young Artist Summer Program 2019 Financial Assistance Application, on Section 4 (Scholarship) of the online application.
      • All parent/guardian 2017 tax returns
      • All parent/guardian 2018 W2 forms (include 2017 if W2 form not yet available)

International applicants:

      • The Young Artist Summer Program 2019 Financial Assistance Application, on Section 4 (Scholarship) of the online application.
      • Copies of all parent/guardians’ most recent bank statements, in English or with translation provided
      • Letters, in English or with translation provided, from all parent/guardian employers stating total wages earned from January 2017–December 2017.

The majority of YASP applicants are dependent upon parent or guardians. If you are an older applicant and are financially independent, income documentation should be your own.


Canadian citizens

Musicians who reside in Canada are invited to apply for the Council for Canadian American Relations Cross-Border Summer Scholarship, which covers tuition, housing, and dining for those who might not otherwise have the financial resources to participate. One Canadian applicant from those accepted into the program will receive notification of this award by e-mail. Applicants who wish to be considered for this scholarship should complete the need-based financial assistance application on the Scholarship page of the online application.



George Walker Fellowship in Composition

The George Walker Composition Fellowship is named in memory of the late composer and pianist, a Curtis alumnus. The fellowship is offered through a unique partnership between the Curtis Institute of Music and the Ritz Chamber Players, and may be awarded to a promising young composer of color participating in the Young Artists Summer Program at Curtis Summerfest who demonstrates some of the trailblazing characteristics that were hallmarks of Dr. Walker’s career trajectory and compositions.

The fellowship recipient will receive free tuition as well as complimentary room and board in Lenfest Hall during Summerfest. As a participant at the Young Artist Summer Program, the fellow will write a chamber work to be workshopped, performed, and professionally recorded. The work will receive an additional performance during the 2019–20 Ritz Chamber Players season.

To apply for the fellowship, submit the Summerfest online application, and click the box indicating the George Walker Composition Fellowship. The Fellow will be notified of their award with their acceptance status notification. Curtis Summerfest may defer awarding the Fellowship until future years in the unlikely event no eligible applicants are accepted.


Long a pioneering figure, Dr. Walker left a profound impact on the landscape of American music and remained active well into his nineties. During his lifetime he published over 90 works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, piano, strings, voice, organ, clarinet, guitar, brass, woodwinds, and chorus. His music has been performed by virtually every major orchestra in the United States.

George Walker graduated from Curtis in 1945, having double-majored in piano and composition. He was one of the first African Americans to graduate from Curtis, the first African American to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music, and the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. Dr. Walker served as composer in residence for the Ritz Chamber Players from 2008 to 2009, and the ensemble has performed many of his chamber works throughout its long history.

All applications are closed. Applications for 2020 will be available in October.


1. Prepare

Prepare supplementary materials.

A digital photo of yourself, from which a photo ID will be generated. The photo must be full-face view directly facing the camera with both eyes open, no glasses, and no hat or head covering that obscures or shadows your face. (Head coverings worn daily for religious purpose are allowed.)

Contact information for current private teacher. Once you submit your application, your teacher will receive an email with directions from the application system to submit a recommendation letter online. Please coordinate with your private teacher, so that they are ready to submit the recommendation letter promptly once you have applied.

A list of what you’ve played in the past, solo, orchestral and/or chamber works; indicate with an asterisk* the pieces you have been working on for the past year.

Composers: a list of works written, with an asterisk* on the pieces you have completed in the past year.

Your video audition (or composition files if applying as a composer) is the most important part of your application. See below for specific video requirements. Smart-phone video is accepted as long as the image and sound is clear.

In a short video statement, please address three topics. The statement should be made in English.
1. One meaningful highlight of your musical studies.
2. What do you hope to learn by attending this summer program?
3. How do you see music playing a role in your future?

2. Apply

Click "apply now" and create an account on the application platform. Complete the application.

Apply Now

3. Pay

Pay the application fee on the application platform: $65.*
Applicants will be notified of their status by email (acceptance, waiting list, or no admittance). For those accepted, the notice will include directions on tuition and housing payments.

*To request an application fee waiver, email by Friday, January 18, 2019. Please include in your message documentation of financial need in the form of a previous scholarship award at school, SAT fee waiver, etc.



Video Audition Requirements:

Two sample compositions with PDF scores and mp3 recordings, if available. 

Your video conducting sample should include performances or rehearsals of any type of ensemble, lasting no less than ten and no more than fifteen minutes. Video of conducting a premade recording rather than a live ensemble will not be considered. Front-facing, with clear quality and sound is strongly preferred.

Suggested timing for the whole recorded submission is 10 to 15 minutes. Piano accompaniment where appropriate is recommended but not required. Some departments permit latitude in the selection of works to be submitted, while others require specific repertoire:

Violin, Viola, Cello

Your recording must include three contrasting selections: one movement of a solo Bach work, a classical period work, and one work of your choice in a style that contrasts with the others.

Double Bass, Harp, Woodwinds, Brass

Your recording must include two contrasting pieces or movements that represent your level of accomplishment.


Your recording must include three contrasting selections of music:

    1. Cirone: Étude No. 2 from Portraits in Rhythm
    2. One movement of a Bach cello suite, violin sonata or partita
    3. One work of your choice (timpani, marimba, drum set, congas, etc.)

A video sample of your playing, lasting under 30 minutes and including three contrasting selections of music:

  1. Solo Bach work
  2. One movement of a classical period work
  3. One work of your choice in a style that contrasts with the others


Application Process

The deadline for instrumentalist, pianist, and conductor applications is January 25, 2019 at noon EST. All applications for instrumental and conducting divisions will be reviewed by the faculty committee after January 25, and results will be emailed to applicants in February. After the deadline, applications for these divisions will still be accepted and reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Due to a high level of interest, we cannot guarantee availability for all sections or instruments after the deadline. Instrumental divisions that are no longer receiving applications will be noted on the application page under “Video Audition Requirements,” and will be closed on the application platform. For this reason, all applicants are encouraged to apply by the deadline or as soon as possible afterward.

All composition applications are due Friday, March 15, 2019 at noon EST. Composers may apply by January 25 at noon EST to save $35 on the application fee. All composition applications, including those submitted earlier than March 15, will be reviewed by faculty after Friday, March 15. Composition results will be sent in early April.

Applicants will be notified of their status by email (acceptance, waiting list, or no admittance). For those accepted, the notice will cover details on tuition and housing payments, including a deadline to secure your position. Equal-installment payment plans may be possible for those who apply by the regular deadline.

After being informed of the wait-list result, wait-listed applicants are notified of their status as spaces become available. Wait-listed applicants may or may not be accepted. The waiting list exists until the start of the program. If you wish to withdraw from the waiting list, contact so that opportunities may be granted to other qualified applicants.



The Curtis Institute of Music highly values a diverse international student body. Curtis Summerfest welcomes all applicants regardless of race, geographic origin, religious background, socio-economic level, gender, or sexual orientation.

Applications to the Curtis Institute of Music and/or Curtis Summerfest are separate. Entries, materials and fees are not transferable. If applying to both, applicants should submit all items separately and in duplicate if required. Please refer to the program and application pages on this site for specific faculty rosters, application requirements, and program overviews. Enrollment in Curtis Summerfest garners no preferential treatment when auditioning for the conservatory in concurrent or subsequent years. Please contact for questions regarding Curtis Summerfest (summer programs) admissions, and for questions regarding Curtis Institute of Music (conservatory) admissions.