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2024 Lehrer Vocal Institute applications NOW OPEN!

2024 Instrumental, Solo Piano, Collaborative Piano applications open November 2023


  • Instrumental (95 fellows) 
  • Solo Piano (6 fellows)  
  • Collaborative Piano (9 fellows)  
  • Lehrer Vocal Institute
    • Voice (20 fellows + 8 studio artists) 
    • Vocal Piano (6 fellows + 1 studio artist)
    • Directing Fellow (1 fellow) 


  • Minimum age for enrollment: 18
  • Maximum age for enrollment: 34 (27 for strings players)


Ready for a life-changing summer?

The Music Academy is among the world's top summer programs for extraordinary classically-trained musicians ages 18-34, preparing them for a 21st century career and developing artists of impact. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides the opportunity for world-class training, individualized instruction, collaborative music making, and frequent performances under the guidance of more than 50 internationally renowned teaching artists and guest conductors. Enrolled fellows enjoy dynamic opportunities to support both the on and off-stage experience, developing tools needed to become not just great musicians, but great leaders, realizing their potential for far-reaching impact. All just steps from the beach.

In addition, fellows have the chance to compete for cash prizes and a recital the following year, and enjoy personal growth through dynamic wellness and outreach programs. Through the Academy's Innovation Institute, fellows participate in entrepreneurship and career development seminars, plus a Shark Tank style competition with cash awards for creative ideas that impact the classical music industry and beyond.

All fellows and studio artists attend on full-scholarship: FREE tuition, accommodations, and meals.


  • Weekly private lessons
  • Weekly public masterclasses and/or studio classes
  • Orchestra
  • Chamber Music
  • Solo Recitals
  • String Quartet Seminar led by the Takacs Quartet
  • String Leadership Program led by Glenn Dicterow
  • Fully-staged opera: Bizet's Carmen
  • Lehrer Vocal Institute opera scenes, chamber music, contemporary music, creative project, and song project
  • Lehrer Vocal Institute Studio Artists: three-week intensive opera chorus residency Weeks 3-5 (June 23-July 15). Participate in chorus of Carmen, plus a curated public performance just for studio artists, lessons, weekly coachings and studio classes. Nine studio artists are selected during the audition process (in addition to the 27 Lehrer Vocal Institute fellows who participate in the full eight-week program).
3 Performance Competitions: winners receive $5,000 cash prize and will have a work commissioned on their behalf to premiere in recital in the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall the following year. The winner may also utilize up to $1,000 as an additional award to produce and present the recital in new ways, including the use of technology for sound, lighting, streaming, or recording
  • Marilyn Horne Song Competition for Voice and Vocal Piano Fellows
  • Duo Competition for Instrumental and Collaborative Piano Fellows 
  • Solo Piano Competition
Innovation, Career Development, Wellness, and Community Engagement Opportunities
  • Wellness Program: including Alexander Technique, counseling, and performance medicine
  • Community Engagement: fellows and audiences socialize throughout the summer via the "Compeer Program"
  • Innovation Institute
    • Entrepreneurship and career development seminars with industry leaders
    • "Fast Pitch" Competition: Fellows pitch ideas (Shark Tank Style) that propel classical music boldly forward compete for cash prizes
    • Alumni Enterprise Awards: alumni present trailblazing endeavors in classical music and beyond; winners receive up to $20,000 per grant

The Music Academy Summer Festival is a highlight of the Southern California arts community, presenting over 120 public events over eight weeks, and attended by nearly 40,000 audience members. The Music Academy proudly welcomes everyone from across all cultures and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music.


  • Minimum age for enrollment: 18
  • Maximum age for enrollment: 34 (27 for strings players)

APPLICATION DEADLINES: all deadlines at 11:59 PM Pacific

  • Lehrer Vocal Institute: October 15, 2023
  • Collaborative Piano Program: January 15, 2024 
  • Instrumental Program: February 1, 2024
  • Solo Piano Program: February 1, 2024


  • Lehrer Vocal Institute:
    • Voice & Vocal Piano: Pre-screening Recording Round followed by Invitation-Only Live Final Round 
    • Directing Fellow: Pre-screening Round followed by Invitation-Only Virtual Interview Final Round
  • Solo Piano: Video Upload auditions
  • Instrumental: Video Upload auditions
  • Collaborative Piano: Live and Virtual auditions 

Select your program/studio in the application menu to the left to view audition repertoire and begin your application.

Application Fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Application fee assistance available for those with financial hardship. Contact

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