College application season is ramping up quickly and we here at Cello Central want to make sure that you know which colleges are the best for cello performance. Choosing the right cello college is an important step that can shape your career forever, so we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best colleges for cello performance to you should apply to.
Applying to Music School
Before we get to the list, we wanted to first provide an overview of what you should expect when applying to music school for cello performance. There are two main parts to the application process, the online application and the audition. Generally, you will be required to submit an online application before you can even register for an audition. Increasingly, universities are requiring you to also submit a CD/DVD recording of you performing to make the pre-screening process smoother. Once you have submitted your application, you may sign up for an on-site audition. Obviously each university has different requirements, so make sure you check their website before you apply.
Majoringinmusic.com has a great overview of the application and audition process. We highly recommend that you check them out!
Our Ranking Criteria
We looked at multiple ranking factors to determine our list of best cello colleges. These included: current cello faculty, strength of overall music program, and famous cello alumni.
The Best Cello Colleges
|School||Location||Annual Tuition||Notable Faculty||Application|
|1. New England Conservatory||Boston. MA||$44,300||Natasha Brofsky, Paul Katz||Apply|
|2. Curtis Institute of Music||Philadelphia, PA||Full Scholarship||Carter Brey, Peter Wiley||Apply|
|3. Bard College-Conservatory of Music||Annandale-On-Hudson, NY||$47,560||Peter Wiley||Apply|
|4. Manhattan School of Music||New York, NY||$44,100||Wolfram Koessel, Frederick Zlotkin, Alan Stepansky||Apply|
|5. Rice University Shepherd School of Music||Houston, TX||$28,030||Norman Fischer, Desmond Hoebig, Brinton Averil Smith||Apply|
|6. Juilliard School||New York, NY||$41,310||Richard Lee Aaron, Darrett Adkins||Apply|
|7. Colburn School||Los Angeles, CA||$12,500||Francesca Bori, Jennifer Goss, Carey Beth Hockett||Apply|
|8. Cleveland Institute of Music||Cleveland, OH||$49,106||Mark Kosower, Melissa Kraut, Sharon Robinson, Richard Weiss||Apply|
|9. Indiana University Jacobs School of Music||Bloomington, IN||$12,459||Emilio Colon, Eric Kim, Peter Stumpf, Brandon Vamos||Apply|
|10. Peabody Institute||Baltimore, MD||$44,122||Amit Peled, Alan Stepansky||Apply|
So where did famous cello players attend college?
You’ll notice that many of the famous cellists mentioned went to many of the universities above or their international equivalents. While attending a prestigious music performance college is no guarantee of success in the music industry, it certainly helps.
- Yo-Yo Ma: Yo-Yo Ma studied cello initially at Julliard and Columbia, but later transferred to Harvard to complete his studies.
- Pablo Casals: Pablo Casals studied composition at the Madrid Royal Conservatory in Madrid under Víctor Mirecki.
- Julian Lloyd Webber: Julian Lloyd Webber completed his studies at the Royal College of Music in Geneva under a full scholarship with Pierre Fournier.
- Paul Tortelier: Paul Tortelier studied at Conservatoire de Paris which he entered at age 12.
- Arthur Russell: Arthur Russell studied North Indian classical music at the Ali Akbar College of Music and Western composition part-time at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Jacques Offenbach: Jacques Offenbach also studied at the Conservatoire de Paris.
- Pierre Fournier: Pierre Fournier graduated from the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of 17 in 1923.
Applying to music performance college is a stressful process, but when you receive that first acceptance offer, you will be thrilled. Just make sure that you put in the hard effort to make sure your application is the best and that you are well-prepared for the auditions. Best of luck!