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What are the visa and language requirements for international applicants?

International applicants attend Curtis Summerfest on a tourist visa. There is no language requirement for international applicants. For the best experience, however, we suggest a basic understanding of conversational English.


I’m having trouble making a recording, or with some other element of the online registration.

Below are a few quick links to technical support. You may also contact our application platform, Acceptd, for technical support: (888) 725-2122, ext. 2 or


What residential leisure activities are available?

The musical schedule at the Young Artist Summer Program is rigorous, offering a true glimpse into conservatory life and making full use of the resources available at Curtis. Lenfest Hall offers a student lounge equipped with board games, a ping-pong table, couches, and a flat-screen TV for movie nights. Residential staff are available for outings to area shops and restaurants during select breaks and meal times; and offer excursions to some of Philadelphia’s many cultural attractions on Sunday afternoons. Staff often select activities and locations based on the interests of participants.


When will I work on solo repertoire?

Orchestral instrumentalists and pianists at the Young Artist Summer Program are assigned new chamber and orchestral works by Curtis Summerfest faculty. Musicians bring solo repertoire of their choice to private lessons and the concerto competition.


Can participants sign up for extra private lessons?

All participants receive weekly private lessons. While the faculty’s schedules do not permit giving additional lessons during YASP, participants are welcome to ask faculty directly to stay in touch about additional lessons after the program ends.


 Can a parent or family member stay in Lenfest Hall with a participant?

Unfortunately, during the Young Artist Summer Program there is no available space in Lenfest Hall for family members of participants. Here is a list of some nearby hotels:


Do composers participate in instrumental opportunities?

Composition students participate in the all-program choir. Composition students will not be assigned to chamber ensembles, four-hand duos, or orchestra.


Can accepted participants request a lesson with a specific faculty member?

Lessons are assigned based on faculty schedules. Most instruments have lessons with more than one faculty member. 


Is Lenfest Hall a safe and secure environment?

The main entrance at 1616 Locust Street is guarded 24/7. At most times there is also a guard “roving” throughout the building. Curtis students, staff, and faculty may enter using turnstiles activated by swipe cards. Summerfest student residents will have access to private elevators to residential floors. Visitors, including commuting participants, will not be allowed on residential floors during the program.

  • October 2019: Applications available
  • January 19, 11:59 p.m.EST: Applications 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 applicants who submitted by January 19 deadline. Tuition and housing payment will be due shortly after notification, with the option for accepted applicants to inquire about installment plans.
  • July 11: Arrival and Check-In Day
  • August 1: Final performances and Check-Out

*Those who apply after January 19 receive notification of admission and financial aid status on a rolling basis, as space remains available.

  • Application Fee: $90 / $125*
  • Tuition: $3,500
  • Housing and Dining: $2,650**

*Application fee: $90 before 11:59 p.m. EST on January 19, 2020; $125 (after January 19). 

**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 2020 Financial Assistance Application, on Section 4 (Scholarship) of the online application.
      • All parent/guardian 2018 tax returns
      • All parent/guardian 2019 W2 forms (include 2018 if W2 form not yet available)

International applicants:

      • The Young Artist Summer Program 2020 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 2018–December 2018.

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.