Search

Nonprofit

Music Academy of the West

Santa Barbara, CA | https://www.musicacademy.org/
Joined in November 2018

About Us

The Music Academy of the west makes a unique and enduring contribution to the world of classical music by:

  • advancing the development of the next generation of great classically trained musicians;
  • cultivating discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences.

Founded in 1947, located in Santa Barbara, California, the Music Academy of the West’s primary activity is an eight-week summer school and festival. The Academy provides training for exceptionally talented musicians from around the world and presents distinguished faculty and visiting artists in public masterclasses and performances. The festival offers more than 200 events for the community annually; the 10 acre facility is in use year-round by the local community, musical organizations, and non-profit institutions.

The Academy annually provides musicians (fellows) full scholarship to participate in the summer school and festival, including tuition, room, and board. Fellows are selected from 2,000 worldwide applicants to study with eminent faculty and visiting guest artists. Fellows participate in one of five programs: instrumental (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion), solo piano, collaborative piano, vocal piano, and voice. The Vocal Institute has been featured in a fully staged opera production presented for the community each year since 1997.

From 2014-2018, the Music Academy of the West partnered with the New York Philharmonic to provide educational opportunities for Academy fellows and concerts for the community. New York Philharmonic musicians taught and performed during the summer festival and Academy fellows performed in New York City with the New York Philharmonic in concert, as part of the Academy’s year-round programming.

In 2018, the Music Academy launched a new four year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra in a strategic move to expand the Academy’s programs internationally.

Music Academy of the West alumni are members of major symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties worldwide. More than 65 alumni participate in careers with the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, and San Francisco Opera. The New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony have a total of more than 60 Academy alumni on their current rosters. Legendary and esteemed artists including Burt Bacharach, Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Donald McInnes, Orin O’Brien, Cynthia Phelps, Paul Schenly, David Shifrin, and Donald Weilerstein attended the Academy and have received its highest honor, the distinguished alumni award.

The Music Academy has expanded its programming throughout the 12-month calendar, including a 10-day orchestral exchange program in London, the development of a community children’s choral program in coordination with the Santa Barbara County Education Office, two multi-city international recital tours featuring fellow competition winners, and the Alumni Enterprise Awards program which provides financial support to Academy alumni leading innovative projects that further the organization’s Mission.

The Music Academy of the west makes a unique and enduring contribution to the world of classical music by:

  • advancing the development of the next generation of great classically trained musicians;
  • cultivating discerning, appreciative, and…

Issue Areas Include

  • Arts & Music
  • Children & Youth
  • Education

Location

  • 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, United States

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite organizations and get email alerts when new ones are posted.