You know what a year at Juilliard now costs? $73,892.00

From our diarist Anthea Kreston:

There is the old joke, a person stops someone on the street in New York City, and asks “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” – the answer, of course, is “Practice, Practice, Practice”. This week, I ask myself a similar question – “How do I get to Juilliard?“ The answer is the same, “Practice, Practice, Practice”, but that is just the tip of the iceberg – 99% of the weight – the financial burden – looms dangerously below the surface. Between that sweet moment when the acceptance letter is received, and the scholarship (or lack thereof) is announced there is a tense waiting period. Hopes are up – the butterflies in your stomach when you realize “I got in!” are mixed with a deep pit in your stomach “what will this do financially to my family, to my own future – will the benefits outweigh the sacrifice to us all?“

The cost of attending Juilliard is astronomical. We all know this, and know that there are good, solid reasons that this is the case. A large, state-of-the-arts campus in the heart of Manhattan, faculty whose names roll off the tongue with familiarity, the chance to make connections which will lay the foundation for the future, the name itself – which, in certain parts of the world at least – carry their weight in diamonds. It’s the price we pay – all students who have worked hard enough their entire lives to be admitted to Stanford, Harvard, Juilliard. The next decision, however – the financial decision – creates a point of no return – it will be the moment, whether the decision is “yes“ or “no“, which a person will refer to for their entire lives, when traveling forward in their careers and lives. Yes or No.

When the young Macedonian violinist, Aleksandar Ivanov, was preparing so diligently for his Curtis audition a couple of months ago, it seemed clear that his family, teachers, and the whole of Macedonia was rooting for him. He worked himself to the bone, and although he didn’t get in, he told me he had never felt better – he felt supported, encouraged, and more comfortable than he could have every hoped for during the audition. It was the experience he had hoped for. And he is smart. He didn’t put all of his eggs in an impossible basket – that gleaming row of mansions in central Philadelphia – free for those accepted. He auditioned at a variety of other schools. Weeks later, he messaged me – great news – he had been accepted into Juilliard! Now the wait – if this had been Curtis, the answer would have been clear, but for a school like Juilliard, with a price tag rivaling the Ivy Leagues, scholarship could mean the difference between a dream come true and a dream forever obscured.

His initial scholarship was very good – over half of the tuition. Two more rounds of appeals, with supporting letters and documents, proved fruitful. A 4 year, nearly 75% scholarship. That’s fantastic. $35,000 of $47,000. On top of that, a required $17,900 for room/board (first year), and no scholarship can be offered for that. So – $29,900 per year. For those of us from wealthy countries, or countries which offer loans or scholarships, which have an infrastructure for future musical employment, this is doable. For a person from Macedonia – it’s almost as doable as single-handedly defeating the Night King in combat (thank you, Arya Stark).

As you may know, Macedonia is an incredibly poor country. It is at the bottom of the wage scale for former Yugoslavia – the average wage for a full-time employee is 439 dollars per month. Both of his parents work, and their combined wage does not reach $1,000. His entire city of Skopje, and in fact the country, views Alek as one of their hopes for the future, the hopes for their country. He is loved and supported. But, unfortunately, with such a poor country, the support they can offer is only their time, talent, and hope.

Without more support, Alek has no hopes of being able to reach so far outside of his world. His country can help with $1,000 per year, an enormous amount for them. He has been scraping together bits of financial support, to chip away at this iceberg.

Why would a person decide to go to Juilliard when they could go to other, less expensive but excellent institutions? Because he would be the first Macedonian violinist to attend. Because the name speaks to everyone, and this will open opportunities for him unlike other schools. More often than not, after concerts, audience members will ask me if I went to Juilliard. I say – no – I went to Curtis. Blank stare. It’s in Philadelphia. Blank. It’s a small music school where Lang Lang went. Oh – that’s interesting. Why didn’t you go to Juilliard?

Here is my question to you, the reader. I ask you to consider this special person, and the special place he is destined to hold in the musical world – for his country, the Balkan states, for himself as an inspiration to other to show what hard work under difficult situations can result in. Alek is one of those individuals destined to make a mark in this world. He is effervescent and hard-working, creative and passionate. He is also in between a rock and a hard place.

Would you like to help to chip away at his iceberg? Help him with dorm costs, food, tuition? I am going to, as are some of my friends. I talked to him about the American way – how he can invite his sponsors to concerts, special events and to lunch in the cafeteria. He will create a little club – something where he tells us of his progress, his journey.

He is, now, submitting paperwork for a possible government scholarship. If this goes through (very unlikely), he would have to sign a contract that he would have to work in Macedonia for eight years after school. In addition, it would put his parents in a difficult political situation, as they would be forced to become spokespeople for the government. I don’t want to see him go in this dangerous direction. is the contact if you want to be involved. Or write to m e direct: Or help Alek here.




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  • “The American Way”…….America is the greatest, most fantastic country on Earth. The world would fail without America, the bastion of free speech, its objective mass media, the impeccable moral fiber of its leadership, its spotless cities…there is no end to its excellence.

  • He could always try to get into one of the better German schools, e.g. Hanns Eisler in Berlin, or wherever else a truly great teacher at the moment can be found. For zero tuition.
    Sorry, if you can’t afford Julliard, it’s pointless to attend. Particularly if you are from Europe in the first place. It’s not better than good schools in Europe that cost less or even nothing.
    Still too many people are sucked in by the ever great American marketing machinery.
    It’s not all gold that is polished to look very shiny.
    American schools have marketing departments. European schools usually not. Says it all.

    • And wasn’t it Juilliard that was closing over Christmas a year or two ago, severely inconveniencing foreign students?

      Those fees sound extortionate, anyway.

    • OxBridge charges tuition and the British schools figured out years ago that they have to raise money just as do we. And if you think those schools don’t use PR, think again. “We are sooo old we must be first-class.”

      • OxBridge is not a relevant comparison if you can have a good central European school for free. Also OxBridge charges less than 20% of Julliard. (for EU citizens)

      • What are you wittering about? Don’t most major universities in the US charge admission fees? (Are the State universities, some of which I acknowledge are good, free?).

        This is about music schools, and anyway even Oxford and Cambridge don’t charge a fraction of what Juilliard does.

        • State universities do charge, but for in-state students tuition is a small fraction of what Juilliard takes. Establishing residency to qualify for in-state tuition usually means living in the state for a year without attending the university.

          • That’s what I did in Ohio for Cleveland State University. That was a tough year waiting, but it did make it possible for me to pay directly for school and take no loans.

        • Sorry but the state universities in America are not free. They charge tuition (other costs include room and board, books, fees etc.) but many do have scholarships. I believe this is more and more true also in Germany (where university schooling was once free).

          Indiana, Michigan, Texas and many other state universities have good music schools. Indiana is probably on a par with Julliard.

          Rice, USC (Thornton), Northwestern, Harvard etc. are private and charge more (but also have scholarships).

      • Correct Patricia. In 2017, according to Wikipedia, Oxford charged an undergraduate tuition of 9,250 GBP (for Brits). ($12, 032.17).

        Cambridge charges the same but the international tuition is 21,732 GBP. That ain’t cheap. Neither figure includes, of course, room and board, books, fees etc.

        In short, Oxbridge is pricey too.

        • 9,250 GBP not only for Brits but also for all EU citizens. And according to last statements from Britain for at least 8 years after any Brexit, if it ever happens.
          So that’s very cheap, compared to Julliard. That’s less than 20% of a Julliard tuition. Even the full international tuition is less than 50% of what Julliard charges. And cost of living is cheaper there than in Manhattan.
          So, compared to Julliard, Oxbridge is not pricey. Only from a central or Northern European perspective, where university education is free, it still is.

    • Zero tuition? Please support your assertion. I’m looking at the Hanns Eisler website and it definitely costs but whereas Julliard is up front about what it costs to attend there, Hanns Eisler is not.

      Nowhere in their website that I can see do they list the costs you but it obviously costs because they are talking about stipendiums (scholarships) and costs.

      From their website: “To spend a concentrated and carefree study, there are numerous opportunities for student financing. On the following pages we would like to give you an insight into the topics BAföG, Studienkredit and scholarships. In addition to information on external funding programs, all private and public scholarships that are awarded to Hanns Eisler are presented here.” But there is no indication of what these costs are at all.

      Source: (official website)

      • Hanns Eisler (and any other public German school leading to a bachelor or masters degree) charges zero, nada, nothing for tuition.

        They have a fee that is called Semesterfee, which is 305,- EUR, about 342.- USD per semester. That fee is for covering:
        -using Berlin’s extensive public transport for free,
        -a small administrative fee
        -social security
        Health insurance is also free for students in Germany, since those with parents in the German health insurance system are covered for free.
        Those who are not covered by that, can purchase student health insurance for about 80 EUR / 90 USD per month.

        Scholarships in Germany are generally considered to be used for covering the cost of living (housing, food etc.) and for additional costs related to studying. (books, scores, computer and other supplies.). Never for tuition itself, since there is none.
        They are given out on a per need base, income of parents is considered. Some of it is given as a grant. Additional needs can be covered with student loans.

        So bottomline attending Hanns Eisler would cost you 684 USD a year. For that fee you get to use the public transport for free.

        • It’s really really hard to get in. Really hard. And I think even more difficult for a non-European.

          • So you are saying that it is harder to get into Hanns Eisler than into Curtis or Juilliard?
            What about the dozens of other good schools in Germany that are also free?
            European or non European plays no role. If the Jury thinks you are worth studying there, they accept you. It is up to you to figure out the administrative requirements for non-EU foreigners.



    I mean, if he is great – even though I have doubts since I heard quite a few 12-13 year old play Bruch, but rarely as bad as he did – he will make it also in less well marketed schools. Why bother with Julliard? Will he get further in any audition, because he studied there?

    • Tamino – please, a little kindness. Is this really the kind of person you would like to be?

      • There is kindness in being truthful to their face and helping young people to find the best way for their career goals.
        Spoon feeding them faux mythology about the faux greatness of uber-expensive American music schools is – IMHO – on the other hand anything but kind.

        You have been around. You know better. Is four years at Julliard worth 300,000.00 US $ more? (we haven’t even considered the higher cost of living in Manhattan yet.)

        Sure in a very few rare cases it might be. If said education at Julliard gives you a competitive advantage and preemptive networking to win one of the few chairs in a top 10 US orchestra. But is playing such lottery worth it for a kid from Macedonia?

        • It’s his choice. It must be worth it for him if he and his family is willing to sacrifice. It would be something like 140,000 for the 4 years for him, including food and housing and health insurance. Food and housing for any large American city would probably be 20-25,000 a year in any case, plus health insurance, so it’s really not that big of a stretch past that in the end.

    • Yeah, always have an excuse in your back pocket ready to pull out and dab at your wounds. Truth here: the smart and the talented succeed in life. As it is and ever shall be, amen.

        • Just because I didn’t vote for them doesn’t mean that I can’t see that they are, all three, smart and talented.

        • Yes, unless you think being President isn’t for people who are ‘smart’ in some way! “Smart” might mean learning to play the game, making a great transaction, winning at debate. Never confuse ‘smart’ with highly intelligent; the universities are full to the brim with people who are intelligent but definitely not smart!!

        • Bush and Trump are on different ends of the spectrum, actually. One is a silver-spooned SOB who started two needless wars, the other is Trump. 🙂

    • Exactly. Nowadays music is secondary. If you have money for PR, promotion, masterclasses, demos etc. you are in, regardless of your talent.

  • The fact is, for most undergraduates, one can get just as good, if not a better music education at any number of State Schools: University of North Texas, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, University of Georgia, the list goes on. I teach at a tiny state school, and we have recently had two voice students advance to the Met Council finals. I have no doubt both of these students will have successful careers, just as I know of plenty of students who went to Juilliard and are not in music at all anymore. It’s all about putting in the work and if you have a good teacher, of which there are plenty of, aside from Juilliard or any other of these boutique schools.
    Unless you get a scholarship to get into Juilliard, it ain’t worth it.

    • But – I think the perception of the name (and education received) at Juilliard carries infinitely more weight in other countries. This is a fact. If you put Ohio State on your resume, or Juilliard, and you are trying to get on the sub list for the Prague Philharmonic (or whatever), you and I both know what a difference that would make. Or even getting your application for a teaching position to be put in the yes or no pile…..sad but true. I loved going to NIU and First College at Cleveland State, and the Hartt school, but none of those make it onto my short resume. No one in Germany would have the faintest idea of what those are. Curtis does. And Juilliard does, under the section “Seminars Attended“.

      • It doesn’t carry more weight as soon as the playing (in the audition) started.
        Will this mythology – oh the great American way – ever end?
        It’s attractive to be a professor at these schools. They pay very good salaries (even though how far that gets you in Manhattan is another story). That’s about it. End of story.

        • Yes Tamino – that is true. As soon as the playing, sample teaching and interview starts, other things begin to mean more. But the name gets you through the door. That’s a big advantage.

      • Nobody in Europe cares for orchestra auditions if you studied at Juilliard, at the Royal Academy in London, or in obscure conservatoire in the middle of Russia. Invitations for orchestra auditions in Europe are based on having the necessary training (regardless of the school) and enough orchestral experience.

      • ” I loved going to NIU and First College at Cleveland State, and the Hartt school, but none of those make it onto my short resume.”

        What a great way to treat places that apparently treated you well. I think I heard something recently about getting into big-name/big-reputation schools; hazy on the details, though. There is a controversy of some kind.

      • Anthea, you’re not suggesting that brand-name carries weight and value? Surely this goes against the ‘equal outcomes’ and affirmative action policies we’ve all been hit over the head with, relentlessly, for the past decades? 🙂

        • Dear Sue,
          I certainly think Curtis delivers on both name-value and quality. No question there. I am simply saying that if I hand in a 1 page resume, it’s going to have space for Curtis on there. And honestly, not for NIU, Hartt and Cleveland State. I don’t know how I feel about it. But that’s how it is. For a while, I used to tell people I went to Cleveland State University when they asked me where I went to school. They walked away pretty quickly, and you can guess if they stayed or not if I said Curtis. Don’t forget that I love those other schools!

    • My favorite musicians did NOT study at Juilliard. And they had to be taught that there is not one way to play the violin, cello etc. One size does not fit all from the Renaissance through the 21st Century. It took them some years to work this out. I still do not think they have absorbed the message. And that is far too much tuition – even for a Gnu York City college. And of course, one has to live in Gnu York City with 8 million others.There are better music schools in other cities – start with Boston. And if you can cut the mustard, try Oxbridge. Americans do well at those old schools. (And they sing better there.)

      • What?! The music taught Oxford and Cambridge is almost completely academic (with the exception of the organ scholars (and even they can’t obtain a qualification in Organ Performance). In fact, performance in any instrument is purely an optional part of an Oxford or Cambridge BMus. I think you should perhaps engage in a little more research?

      • Now all you have to do with that information is convince those doing the selections. I think Andrea is suggesting “don’t give the Europeans a reason to put your application in the bin”. After that the rest is up to the applicant. But it’s hard to see where they have a chance of succeeding from the bottom of the bin!

        I used to tell my English students in high school that if they weren’t literate they were doomed to spend the resent of their lives hearing a four-lettered word:


      • Cambridge charges international students tuition of over 21,000 GBP. I presume Oxford does the same. That ain’t cheap and of course does not include other costs like room and board, books, instruments, music etc.

    • The state schools you also wrote about also charge tuition (and since the applicant would be out of state, he would have to pay the much higher out of state tuition) plus other costs (room and board, fees, insurance. etc.). True: many of these schools have scholarships but so does Julliard. The applicant simply has to do the research to find the best fit which should also include their mental happiness.

      Odd that you would leave out Indiana (Jacobs) in your list since it is by far the best known state school. And Michigan is better than Michigan State.

  • I was so honored and excited to be accepted and attend Juilliard, and I still am. It was worth every penny of the money it cost my parents, and I am grateful to them everyday. Of course in 1972 it was approximately 1/5 of today’s cost.

  • Here in Spain, we had a young trombonist who was accepted to Juilliard and crowdfunded his tuition and expenses. He just put it out there on the internet – a situation similar to this – and people donated. He raised a lot of money and I’m pretty sure he ended up going.

    • What a wonderful means of achieving your dream, and it’s proof – if that were needed – of the thorough generosity of people.

  • As always with these things, it comes down to value for money. Are these students going to earn such a significant living that it will justify them spending $300,000 on their education? Probably not.

    With regards to vocal studies, the ‘major’ conservatoires are producing some very bad singers. In fact, I would argue that many are teaching techniques that are actively damaging to the singer and bring about a premature end to their careers. I would imagine that we are not far away from the first class action against a major conservatoire for just this. Of course, hard to prove, but the stink would be considerable.

    • Singing styles have -thank heavens – changed over the last 25-30 years. Not constant vibrato, better intonation, better understanding of the piece as a whole and an understanding of music history and scholarship. What did the composer really write in that score, or are you using an edition that has been edited and ‘improved’ by some publisher? If you aren’t being taught properly your voice -and your audience – will suffer.

      • Read Opera as Opera as Opera by Conrad L. Osborne to learn how the recent past and current tuition produces voices that are incapable of meeting the challenges of the E19 repertory. The audience suffers today because these voices cannot meet the demands of the composers. Listen to some of his recommended recordings of great singers of the past to hear how the mainline operatic repertory should be sung!

      • And here’s an example of modern but oh-so-historically informed bad singing from a baroque specialist.
        The ridiculous lip and jaw shaking are technical defects and don’t even get me started on what else is wrong.

        • Couldn’t get the link to work. The singer is Vivica Genaux who has even more mannerisms than Bartoli.

  • Try the Manhattan School of Music up the street in NY. Great teachers, the same NY experience, which counts for much of your musical education.
    I got a MM there in 1972. The experience and lasting benefits were great.

    • He did get in to Manhattan with Zukerman – the scholarship ended up being just about the same in terms of out-of-pocket……

    • Gerry – I met the Artemis at Juilliard when we were bothe students in the Quartet Seminar. It was fantastic. Curtis didn’t have those fees when I went to school there. Very interesting!

    • Only students whose families can afford those fees have to pay, otherwise Curtis steps in and covers the rest.

  • I remember when I graduated from the New England Conservatory many, many years ago my father never got over the fact that my tuition was higher than my brother’s medical school tuition!

    • One of my sisters went to NEC. My oldest sister and I were lucky enough to go to Curtis. I remember the financial discussions over NEC. Was it worth it for you? It was for my sister. She loved it and is a wonderful cellist.

        • That’s why I learned how to play viola at age 9! To play in the family Piano quartet – mom on Piano, oldest sister violin, next older cello, little one on viola….

    • I am willing to bet that the NEC gave you a better education all around than Juilliard – and you didn’t have to put up with Gnu Yorkers. Boston has many good music schools – although the drivers there are murderous.

  • Thank you to those who have already emailed me – we are right now setting up a Go Fund Me Account – hold tight!!! And thank you thank you!!!

  • Julliard may or may not turn out great players, but I have yet to be impressed with their conductors, and so apparently are American orchestras. San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston. Schools in London, Finland, Germany, Austria and elsewhere seem to turn out world-class conductors. Even Curtis grads don’t seem to cut it.

  • It is silly that just a few schools in the US are regarded as legitimate for this purpose.

    Perhaps the other schools that offer training that is just as good but have less name recognition ought to do something about that name recognition. They are not impoverished institutions and they are not without connections in the world.

    On the other hand it… is silly that we have so many music schools producing so many musicians in excess of the possible career openings.

    But if our Macedonian violinist went to an affordable European school and had a career in Europe instead of the US… would that be a tragedy?

    • These are good points, Robert. Absolutely. And, I loved the schools i went to which had no name recognition. I studied with Shmuel Ashkenasi (now at Curtis) for example, at Northern Illinois University. Nadin studied with Ida Kavafian (Curtis) at the Hartt School. Our young Macedonian will find the benefits in Europe as well of a Juilliard Education. The name carries great weight all over the world.

      • Anthea, I am very impressed by your ability to reply to challenging comments in a calm and always kind manner. I get what people are saying, but agree that over the course of a lifetime the price of the big name schools probably gets recovered. I don’t know how this young man plays, but 4 years in an atmosphere with the teachers, peers, and performing experiences he would get will surely be worth his out of pocket expense. The fact that they are offering as much scholarship as they are tells us that somebody hears potential.

        • I taught him at Curtis Summerfest last year – solo, chamber and orchestra. He has something unique, that is for sure – his improvement just in that short time was fantastic. They must also hear what I heard…..

  • Why would an undergrad pay to go to Juilliard and leave with no real-world skills? At least go to a larger school with a REAL music department that offers options such as music education, music entrepreneurship, popular music studies, etc.

    • I am no fan of Juilliard, but to suggest that it doesnt have a “real” music dept is laughable at best!

  • I don’t care where people have studied–either they can play or they can’t.
    Interestingly,two of my favourite violinists,Zino Francescatti and Alfredo Campoli,never attended a conservatory–they were trained by their fathers.

  • Why would anyone want to go to Juilloard? I mean I would rather study in Europe for a fraction of the cost of attending a major conservatoire in the USA and in countries with a more more classical music tradition (let’s remember that although it is an art now practiced in the whole world, classical music is deeply rooted in the European cultures and that easily 90% of repertoire performed today was written by European composers).

    Austria (Vienna Music Uni, Graz, Mozarteum), the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Royal Conservatories), Finland (Sibelius), France (Conservatoire de Paris), Germany (Musikhochschules in Berlin, Weimar, Munich, Köln…), Russia… even the private conservatories such as Reina Sofia School in Spain and the more expensive schools in the UK (Royal Academy and Royal College) are a better option quality- and money wise.

  • Juilliard name doesn’t carry any weight… especially in a US orchestra audition- great if you wanna be on the sub list for Prague symphony… how are you gonna pay off your student loans working in prague- good luck.

  • anthea, i read your piece (not so much the comments) and i really admire your dedication to help. whether or not this is the right path for him, you know far better than do i. but i do think juilliard should give him a full ride, given his financial situation. i realize the attraction of juilliard and new york, especially for someone young and from macedonia. part of me really wishes he would consider the great schools in europe. and perhaps do a two year masters at juilliard later. 4 years there could simply put him in debt for life, instead of, say, investing in a great violin.

    • Dear Guest –
      I know what you mean, and actually I agree. But I am just here to support and help him – he isn’t my student and I give him my opinion, but in the end he has his reasons and his convictions, and I admire that greatly!

  • Well this diary entry certainly took an unexpected turn. I went to Juilliard in the 90s. 20 years later, it still impresses the hell out of people at cocktail parties. And as far as the importance of the name goes, that is IT. Musicians care first how you sound, second maybe who you studied with, and basically not at all where you went to school. Hot teachers in places like Cleveland (I’m recalling Mack or Weilerstein for example) build studios that are every bit as hot as the studios at Curtis and Juilliard, and they have the respect of everyone who matters. You are giving this guy totally misguided advice. He should go where his favorite teacher is, where he will develop the most, as best he can make it happen. Dishing out 100 grand so you impress random people at cocktail parties is not a solid career choice. Though given how little prestige classical music has today, I can see why musicians like to cling to the prestige — I know this feeling myself and I suspect so do you.

  • Sorry, but almost all schools charge tuition. For example, Oxbridge has an international student tuition fee of almost 22,000 GBP per year. The Royal School of Music (London) has an international student tuition fee of 21,500 GBP per year. Hans Eisler in Berlin also charges but their website, amazingly enough, gives no figures.

    The Paris Conservatory costs 32,080 EUROS per year for tuition and fees (other costs not included). It appears that foreign and French students pay the same fees.

    There are also tuition and fees for the Royal Conservatories in the Hague (fees depend on your country and many other factors etc.).

    A bargain might be the Moscow Conservatory at about $11,000 a year but who knows what other entrance fees (like for visa etc.) are required if you are not a Russian citizen.

    • Lots of fake news here.
      The fee of the British schools is for foreigners from Non-EU countries only.
      Hanns Eisler, charges nothing, that’s why there are no figures. Go figure.
      Paris again is also only for Non-EU citizens.

  • Juilliard brings in more high profile guest conductors than other schools and the performance opportunities are staggering there.

  • ==is silly that we have so many music schools producing so many musicians in excess of the possible career opening

    Same in UK, with Royal Academy, Royal College, Guildhall, Trinity and colleges in Manchester, Birmingham etc Turning out lots of debtors

    • There is more to Higher Education than preparing for the job market. I have a lot of respect for Dr Cavett (I heard a fascinating conference paper of hers a couple of years ago), but I think she misses the point here.

      It is also relevant to note that, although the system is far from perfect, the repayment terms for student loans issued by the UK government agencies are not as onerous as many think — in effect, for most “debtors”, they function more like a higher tax band (albeit one from which you cannot escape by moving abroad).

      I have two objections to restricting the numbers permitted to study music:

      1. admissions tutors would become not only gatekeepers to a course of study, but gatekeepers to a profession, a responsibility which they do not want and for which they may not feel qualified; and

      2. a university/conservatoire degree represents an opportunity to *really* concentrate on a discipline at a very high level, and many/most people will never again get such an opportunity in their working lives (because, even if one does become a professional musician, one loses a lot of time dealing with the administrativa and other non-artistic responsibilities), so I think it wrong to deny talented performers/composers the opportunity to have those 3–4 years concentrating on music, even if it were abundantly obvious that they will have to ultimately turn elsewhere when it comes to getting paid work.

  • To support Tamino’s point: my wife was competing for a university faculty job with Doctorate grads of Julliard and Eastman. After she gave her recital, there seemed no dry eye in the hall – and no doubt on everyone’s mind that that L’Universite de Montreal graduate would get the job. Her studies there cost her not a penny, btw. So, go figure what was the best school for getting that job, as they say in NYC. 🙂

  • If the Republic of North Macedonia were to join NATO, as has been proposed, it would be committed to spending 2% of its GDP on defence. In 2015, neighbouring Bulgaria (the poorest country in the EU), which, I am ashamed to say, has already joined NATO, borrowed BGN 16 billion (that is, slightly over EUR 8 billion) for defence spending.

    Having said that, North Macedonia is a democracy in principle, so I think Kreston’s concerns about the strings attached to government assistance are over the top. In practice, the USA is just as corrupt and undemocratic as any Balkan country, so, to be consistent, I suppose she would counsel an American citizen against accepting federal funding?

    Would it not be wonderful if the Macedonian government, instead of lining the pockets of weapons manufacturers, used that 2% of its GDP to support the arts and educating its best artists?

    As for the clause about spending at least 8 years in the country after graduation, it is an understandable requirement (although it is certainly more restrictive than I would find comfortable), given the enormous exodus of talent from the Balkans to western Europe.

  • Where one studies will be increasingly less important. With whom one studies is far more important in their own development, but still not that important because every good teacher and student is a different chemistry.

    YouTube has brought fame to many young artists; competitions are streamed online and we can hear for ourselves (like how a second year student at Park University in Kansas received 2nd Prize at the latest Cliburn, ahead of a Curtis grad who got 3rd, and many others).

    The internet and online resources of masterclasses and recitals allow students and those curious among us (!) about the pedagogy of teachers around the world.

    What is it that a musical institution provides a student beyond the teacher? Few of the schools listed provide a broad range of education. Maybe that is not relevant in music. But it was relevant in the past. Leopold Auer made sure his students were able to speak French, German, and English, and that they understood manners and the world, cultures, and literature. A student can sit in a practice cell anywhere…

    Our diarist makes little secret that she expects her music degree institution to give her an upper hand. It seems an adolescent view—as if you-are-where-you-attended-school is a way to classify people. So and so went here therefore this, and so and so went there therefore that. Look at the modern concert stage, from recording artists to influential musical minds. They’ve reached a major success when they needn’t mention their schooling. We can list many of the great performing artists today who didn’t attend “the greatest” school(s) and somehow managed to get to the top. I can’t recall the last time I heard someone say Janine Jansen, Maxim Vengerov, Julia Fischer, , among numerous others would have been better off if they had attended “the greatest” school. Likewise, I never heard a fellow concertgoer say Hilary Hahn is good because she went to…
    obviously she was bound to be exceptional before she arrived because she was accepted

    • Dear Gerry,
      Good points! I am sorry that it came across that I expect the (famous) institutions I attended to give me an upper hand. I think they did, but that’s not why I went there. It didn’t occur to me until years after I went there. Juilliard tried to recruit me after Curtis, but I decided not to go. It’s a tricky subject. Not sure how I feel about it. I loved going to Cleveland State, and it enriched me very much. But did it help my career? Yes and no. Yes from the inside, no from the outside.

  • Just to note that Juilliard (my alma mater, no axe to grind) has an endowment of over $1billion for only 850 students. At a conservative draw rate of 4% which would allow the endowment to continue growing, the draw on this would still be $47,000 per student. Much like Harvard, there is no reason Juilliard actually needs to charge tuition, and they don’t… for the students they really want. Anthea, knowing the school well, I would say that unless you are going for a specific teacher, it is really hard to reap the benefits of the school in terms of opportunities, connections, etc unless you are in the top third of the players there. It is much different from Curtis. It really does one no favors to go to Juilliard simply to be lost in the crowd. I always advise students that if they are not going to be in at least the upper half of students attending Juilliard, not to go for undergrad, but to hone their craft elsewhere and then go for graduate school, when they will be better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities offered. It’s also a difficult city to live in as an undergrad. If he can get in as an undergrad, he will surely be able to get in as a grad student, and gain the same name recognition at a fraction of the cost. I wish you both the best

    • Hello
      Excellent points, all. Very similar to the advice I gave him. He does have a wonderful teacher there (Kaplan) and has spoken to other students in that studio. Let’s see what happens. He seems to have gotten some steam through the GoFundMe site. He has a plan and ambition. That’s more than most. Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

  • It is true that going to a name school in the U.S. is very helpful in getting invited to audition for U.S. orchestras. It is certainly not the case that Juilliard and Curtis are the only schools whose names carry this kind of weight, not even close. There are excellent teachers at other schools that cost far less, that will carry just as much weight on the resume in the U.S.–and that weight matters only up to the point of getting invited to the audition; after that, it is all in the playing.

    Indiana and Michigan have already been mentioned. Oberlin, NEC, Eastman are all private schools but they have scholarships to offer, and they don’t have Manhattan-level costs of living (though Boston might be close). These are all big-name schools. Charlie Castleman, formerly of Eastman, is now teaching at the University of Miami (FL) and just donated a Guadagnini to that school. I know excellent violinists with professional careers who attended Carnegie-Mellon, and the University of Maryland.

    It is insanity to potentially bankrupt one’s family, mortgage one’s own future, and beg for money from friends, neighbors, and a financially strapped government when an equivalent education is available at other big-name schools for a significantly lower cost. I wish the young man were getting this kind of guidance instead of JUILLIARD JUILLIARD JUILLIARD.

    • Hello Mary,
      I agree with your statements. I am not actually advising him to go to Juilliard. I gave him other advice. He has a teacher, and also has a very specific idea of what he wants to get from the school. I am just here to support his decision, whatever it happens to be. In Europe, though, no one knows the school names besides the top 2. Insiders might know Oberlin or Colburn. But not many people do. Not that it matters for sure. But it may be part of his thinking.

  • I don’t believe it is the cost of running the school. When I attended Manhattan School of Music, the tuition was lower than my college tuition. Granted, the academic faculty were terribly underpaid, and many things lacked funding. But that has more to do with fundraising. Schools should not depend on tuition for balancing the books. Overspending must be eliminated. That said, if everyone who needs it gets sufficient financial aid, then a high tuition is merely a way to make the wealthy pay their fair share. And who gets the bribes paid to get admitted? Where does that go in the budget? You can get a far better education elsewhere. Juilliard is best used as a finishing school, I think.

  • There are comparable to better conservatories in Berlin that are nearly free, even to US students. My student recently declined Juilliard. They did so based on the teacher, but also saved us parents hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. My advice to aspiring violinists: Learn German and plan to study in Berlin.

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