The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts
Degree Programs: BFA, MFA
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A family of separate yet interrelated courses of study, the Programs in Performance prepare students for the emerging career pathways of the 21st century—characterized by a remarkably diverse spectrum of professional practices. Each individual program enables students to develop both high-level technical skills in their areas of specialization and the breadth of knowledge and versatility required for success in today's evolving artistic world. Students are presented with myriad performance opportunities, extensive studies of both traditional and cutting-edge music, and an excellent student-faculty ratio. They also have unique opportunities to look beyond music by working in settings that merge music with other art forms, new genres, and previously uncharted areas.
Guided by an outstanding faculty that includes many internationally acclaimed artists, students hone their skills through concentrated training and a demanding schedule of formal and informal concerts. Students present traditional and contemporary repertoire, often alongside new original works, in solo recitals and concerts by ensembles in a variety of configurations. Drawing on an array of musical traditions from around the globe, such ensembles include chamber groups, chamber orchestras, early music groups, vocal ensembles, opera ensembles, jazz and experimental ensembles, various world music groups, and specialized crossover ensembles that link different program areas. As part of this training, students frequently rehearse and perform with faculty, both on- and off-campus, and also work with significant visiting artists who are at the forefront of their field(s).
In addition to surveying Western musical repertoire from the medieval to the modern, the String Instruments Program emphasizes contemporary styles, diverse musical cultures, improvisation techniques, new technologies and interdisciplinary media. The curriculum includes weekly seminars on performance practice and technique, and often features distinguished visiting artists.
Instrumentalists work closely with student composers to study and premiere new works, while advanced student musicians often perform with the New Century Players, the School's resident faculty ensemble.