Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, MD)
The Peabody Institute is one of the most important institutions for music in the US. The programs in classical and jazz performance are among the most selective in the country.
As such, students of the program are incredibly skilled. The strings faculty at New Peabody is particularly noted, as some of the world’s most noted teachers in violin, viola, and cello performance call Peabody home.
The voice program at Peabody is also well-known, housing the likes of Denyce Graves on faculty, one of most important classical vocalists of the last 30 years.
Notably, Peabody also has on faculty guitarist Manuel Barrueco, one of the greatest classical guitarists of all time.
Peabody is moving throughout the 21st century with a renewed sense of passion for education in music, having recently created an aptly called Breakthrough Plan.
Already, Peabody has made 50 new faculty hires in the last two years, including Du Yun, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music Composition, as well as Midori, world-renowned violinist who is a visiting artist for 2018-2019.
The breakthrough plan at Peabody resulted in nearly a 20% increase in applications for the 2018-2019 school year from the year before in 2017-2018.
Additionally, like other music schools are now doing, the school is making a push for diversity in their admission process.
Peabody has long been one of the best schools for music in the US; the advent of its Breakthrough Plan is already placing the school in the highest echelons of excellence.
San Francisco Conservatory of Music (San Francisco, CA)
Who says the west coast has no classical music?
It is true that many of the best schools for music are clustered in the northeast and the Midwest regions of the US.
However, San Francisco Conservatory stands out as one of the most forward-thinking independent conservatories in the country.
What students love about this school is the close-knit relationship with one of the world’s foremost symphonic ensembles, the San Francisco Symphony.
How close is the relationship? Students at the school are given the rare opportunity to work with performers in the San Francisco Symphony, who are among the most gifted performers and teachers in the country.
On top of that, students at the school are studying in one the cultural epicenters of the US. There are well over 100 live performance venues in San Francisco proper alone, providing unprecedented opportunities for performance in one of the country’s most intriguing cities.
Some of the faculty are among the most famous in the industry. We noted opera superstar Deborah Voigt earlier this month as a legendary professor.
Recently, the school recently created the Roots, Jazz, and American Music program for students interested in more contemporary styles of performance. Faculty in that program are among the most diverse in the world today, including Julian Lage, one of the foremost living jazz guitarists who is only 31 years old.
Shepherd School of Music (Rice University) (Houston, TX)
Rice has nothing to prove – the outcome for alumni speaks volumes to the tremendous training of this school.
Alumni hold positions in the tier-1 orchestras throughout the country, including the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and more.
Some programs in particular are widely considered the best throughout the country.
Barbara Butler & Charles Geyer, husband-wife pedagogues, have produced some of the most outstanding trumpet players throughout the world who have been placed into top orchestras.
Benjamin Kamins, faculty in the bassoon program, is considered one of the top teachers in his instrument.
And, a teacher we recognized earlier this month as a “legendary professor” has helped pupils worldwide advance their careers to top symphonic orchestras and professorship positions.
Ask anyone “in the know” about music schools, and you will hear that Rice’s own student orchestra is on par with any professional orchestra. That is due not only to the excellence of performance program, but also their legendary faculty conductor, Larry Rachleff, who heads a well-regarded
Conducting program and is the conductor of the school’s formidable orchestra.
Based inside one of the highest ranked academic universities in the US, the Shepherd School of Music is a top choice for any student aspiring for a career in classical performance and composition.