World university rankings place Juilliard top for performing arts

World university rankings place Juilliard top for performing arts


norman lebrecht

March 08, 2017

The listings, published today, read:

1 Juilliard, NY

2 Royal College of Music, London

3= Royal Academy of Music, London

3= Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

5 University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna

6 Royal College of Music, Stockholm

7 Indiana University, Bloomington

8 Curtis Institute, Philadelphia

9 Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse, Paris

10 Sibelius Academy, Helsinki


More here.


  • Ravi Narasimhan says:

    The term “Royal” seems valuable. I can see some schools adding it to their names for a boost.

  • Anders Lindgren says:

    To be honest, being Swedish, I can’t see Stockholm coming before Curtis. And what about Cologne, Munich or Freiburg ? Bloomington ? Copenhagen ?

  • Peter says:

    And again, in music education: Reputation of your school means almost NOTHING. Your teacher means almost everything.
    These lists are total bollocks, particularly in the arts. The first German Music school, a country with the arguably highest density of high class music employment and probably the biggest employment market for classical music is music on rank 44.
    Did the German schools refuse to pay the necessary fee for the highest rankings?

    Also reading about their methodology, it becomes clear quickly, that this list has meaning for English speaking (and publishing) schools only. It’s not a “World University ranking”, it’s a “English speaking world” ranking.

    Read about the methodology here:

    • Peter says:

      correction: *is Munich* of course

    • jaxon says:

      A couple years ago, a number of my friends from conservatory – smart, engaged people and good musicians – were circulating a list like this of “best conservatories” or something. The list made absolutely no sense – it might as well have included the University of North Dakota at Hoople. But my friends were discussing it very seriously, and saying stuff like “how can it not include Yale! blah blah blah!”

      Evidently none of them bothered to click one page beyond the list to see that it had actually been written on the blog of some precocious, pretentious undergraduate at a US state school, studying choral conducting or something. The list was just his uninformed opinion, and literally nothing more.

      This is the kind of thing that makes me fear American schools are not teaching critical thinking skills anymore.

      • Erney says:

        I believe the prestigious institution to which you refer is actually The University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.

        • Peter Freeman says:

          Was that in the southern part of its northern campus or the northern part of its southern? If the latter, I used to date a girl there but can’t remember whether her last name was East or West.

        • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

          After exhaustive research (30 seconds), I found this:

          In 1954 Professor Peter Schickele, rummaging around a Bavarian castle in search of rare musical gems, happened instead upon a piece of manuscript being employed as a strainer in the caretaker’s percolator. This turned out to be the “Sanka” Cantata by one P.D.Q. Bach. A cursory examination of the music immediately revealed the reason for the atrocious taste of the coffee; and when the work was finally performed at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, the Professor realized too late that he had released a monster on the musical world. Unable to restrain himself, and with the misguided support of the U. of S.N.D. at H. and otherwise reputable recording and publishing companies, Prof. Schickele has since discovered more than four score of P.D.Q. Bach scores, each one more jaw-dropping than the last, each one another brick in the wall which will someday seal the doom of Musical Culture.

      • Steven Holloway says:

        Excellent comment, and an instructive one for me, for I thought the U. of North Dakota was at Beaver’s Kneecap. But re your fear that American universities no longer teach critical thinking: THEY DO NOT. Nor do those in Canada and nor those in England. Other countries I cannot speak to, though I have my suspicions. The concept of education that had remained essentially constant for close to 2500 years started to circle the bowl circa 1970. At the most, what we have now are Job Training Centres. At the most. I’m just glad I retired from academe before I squeezed someone warmly by the throat.

  • Richard Hahn says:

    That’s the way I see it, Peter! Well stated.

  • boringfileclerk says:

    Eh, Curtis was my safety school anyway.

  • tati says:

    Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow- first time I am hearing about it

  • pooroperaman says:

    Wot, no Guildhall?

  • John says:

    Does anyone know anything about the Colburn School in Los Angeles. It’s relatively new, but has some fairly distinguished faculty. Friends I have out there say they’re aiming to be one of the top schools in the country. I have no particular opinion about it since I know so little about it. It’s right across the street from Disney Hall and just down the street from the big performing arts center.

    • Ravi Narasimhan says:

      I’ve enjoyed concerts presented by their students and alumni. Zipper Hall, their main auditorium, is a fine place for chamber music and small to midsized ensembles.

    • William Safford says:

      I have heard good things about it.

      The members of the Calidore String Quartet are alumni of Colburn.

    • Simi says:

      Being a musician and a very recent Juilliard grad, I dare say that this ranking is absolute bu…it. People will argue that Curtis is not Performing arts school because it only offers music education, but they are by far No. 1 music school in the US. Juilliard would probably rank second given that they offer all of the performing arts, but since you mentioned Colburn, I dare say that Colburn these days offers better music education than Juilliard. The school is essentially modeled after Curtis and many of my colleagues would refer to it as “Curtis of the West”.

  • Musician says:

    Curtis has fallen significantly under the leadership of Diaz.

  • calidocious says:

    “they’re aiming to be one of the top schools in the country.”

    They already are. Every student gets free tuition, room, and board. They also have a great faculty.

  • MakeTheseStop says:

    Joke’s on you if you ever actually believe and rely on these rankings.

  • Patrick Peikert says:

    First swiss (51) is Geneva situated by this serious ranking in…