Certificate in Musical Performance
The backbone of any course of musical study is bringing music to life by performing it, and Princeton welcomes advanced student performers into the Music Department. The study of performance, allied with strong academic courses in theory, history, and composition, together are a rich path to deeper musical understanding. The Program in Musical Performance is designed to serve qualified students seeking to develop their skills as musical performers in college within a liberal arts context.
After being selected by audition, Program students have the opportunity to take courses from the department curriculum, many of which are either performance-oriented or have a significant performance component, and combine them with private study under the distinguished professionals of Princeton’s performance faculty. This is rounded out by participation in University instrumental and vocal ensembles. “We want to attract students with a variety of musical interests, from classical to jazz to electronic media,” says Director Michael Pratt. While the primary purpose of the program is not to provide conservatory-style training, it can help aspiring performers prepare for professional study while receiving the benefits of a superior liberal arts education. Over the years, Program students have entered conservatories such as Juilliard, Eastman, New England, Royal Academy (among others) for graduate study.
Princeton offers several outstanding performing ensembles. Over the past seasons local audiences have heard performances of Mahler symphonies (1,2,3,4,5,6,9), Stravinsky ballets (Petrouchka, The Rite of Spring), Bach passions and masses (St. Matthew, St. John, B minor mass) and jazz artists such as Jon Faddis, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, and the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble. Each of these groups also enjoys an ambitious international touring schedule.
The teaching staff at Princeton includes highly respected performers from the New York-Philadelphia area, allied with such institutions as the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and the Metropolitan Opera. The award-winning Brentano Quartet is in residence. Master classes have been taught by pianists Lang Lang and Emmanuel Ax; jazz artists Terence Blanchard, Phil Woods, and Bob Mintzer; and, in 2009, baritone Thomas Hampson.
Students in the program receive a full subsidy for the cost of private lessons with Princeton teachers. Some funds are also available for summer music study.