Press Room

Music Academy of the West is now represented by 21C Media Group

21C Media Group is pleased to announce that it now represents the Music Academy of the West for national public relations. Hailed as “a magnet for some of the country’s most gifted young musicians” (Santa Barbara News-Press), the Academy ranks among the nation’s pre-eminent summer music schools and festivals, and is the only one of its kind on the West Coast. Highlights of the 2013 Summer Season include a new production of The Magic Flute, an innovative string quartet seminar with the Takács Quartet, and special guests: conductor James Gaffigan, violinist Midori, baritone Vladimir Chernov, pianist Jeremy Denk, and composer/conductor Matthias Pintscher.
As Scott Reed, President of the Music Academy of the West, observes:  “The choices we make at the Music Academy – the atmosphere we cultivate, the guest artists we engage, the works we select to perform, the faculty we hire, the facilities we build, the Summer Festival we design, everything we do – must answer this question affirmatively: is it good for our Fellows? Our commitment to providing the best possible experience for the young musicians who spend eight weeks with us each summer includes cultivating discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences. This intention is the defining characteristic of the Music Academy of the West.”
Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West sprang from the collective vision of a group of Southern California arts patrons and musicians that included Lotte Lehmann and Otto Klemperer. Fulfilling their dream of supporting the development of gifted young classical musicians, the Academy is located on Santa Barbara’s idyllic Miraflores campus, where it offers eight weeks of advanced study and performances, all under the auspices of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists.
Admission is strictly merit-based and highly competitive; this season only 138 musicians, ages 18 to 34, were selected from among the record 1,660 applicants who auditioned. All Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room and board) in one of the Academy’s five programs: Instrumental, Solo Piano, Collaborative Piano, Vocal Piano, and Voice. The renowned Voice Program has been headed since 1997 by mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, whose honors include the National Medal of the Arts, while the Instrumental Program was shaped by the late conductor Maurice Abravanel during his 25-year tenure. The Music Academy’s intimacy, abundant performance opportunities, world-class coaching, supportive audiences, and beautiful surroundings on the Pacific coast contribute to a uniquely transformative experience for Academy Fellows.
Marking the Music Academy’s 66th season, the 2013 Summer Festival opens on June 17. High points of the eight-week season will include The Magic Flute – Santa Barbara’s first fully staged production of Mozart’s masterpiece in 15 years – and conducting turns by James Gaffigan, Leonard Slatkin, Nicholas McGegan, Matthias Pintscher, Bernard Labadie, Tito Muñoz, and Larry Rachleff, all of whom will work with and lead the Academy Festival Orchestra. Violinist Midori, baritone Vladimir Chernov, and pianist Jeremy Denk will be three of the summer’s four distinguished Mosher Guest Artists, following in the footsteps of last year’s guest artists, Colin Currie, Ingrid Fliter, Gil Shaham, and Kiri Te Kanawa. The 66th season will also see the launch of a new, week-long String Quartet Seminar with the Takács Quartet, under whose expert guidance 16 string Fellows, housed and dining together in one residence, will enjoy intensive rehearsals, coaching, master classes, and public performances.
Altogether the Academy presents more than 200 public events each year: orchestral and chamber music concerts, recitals, a fully staged opera, opera scenes, master classes, and vocal and concerto competitions.
Music Academy of the West alumni number more than 6,000, representing a veritable “who’s who” of the classical music world. They include Metropolitan Opera stars Marilyn Horne (’53), Grace Bumbry (’56), Thomas Hampson (’78), Juan Diego Flórez (’95), Isabel Leonard (’05), and Alek Shrader (’08); pianist Orion Weiss (’00); Lotfi Mansouri (’57), General Director Emeritus of the San Francisco Opera; Cynthia Phelps (’79 & ’83), Principal Violist with the New York Philharmonic; clarinetist David Shifrin (’68), former Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and Laurence Lesser (’53), former President of the New England Conservatory.
Their success owes in part to the Music Academy’s incomparable training. Cellist Joshua Roman, a 2002 alumnus who will return as the Academy’s first Alumnus-in-Residence this summer, remembers his experience as both “invaluable and inspiring,” explaining: “The rigorous schedule gave me my first glimpse of the life to come, the life I now lead. No other festival provided me with so many performance opportunities.  Not even close. Best of all,” he added, “the Music Academy presented me with a model for living a well-balanced life,” citing its innovative “Live Well, Perform Well” wellness curriculum.
More information about the Music Academy of the West is available at the websites listed below, and full details of the 2013 summer season will be announced this spring. 
Acclaim for the Music Academy of the West
“The spirit of music comes alive every time the Music Academy of the West brings together some of the world’s most talented young musicians.” – Santa Barbara Independent

“The Academy’s vocal program, which is run by Marilyn Horne, trains singers on the verge of a professional career. The two or three top ones might be expected to be ready for the next step, yet I was won over by everyone.” – Los Angeles Times

“The Music Academy of the West has served as an elite summer program perhaps comparable to New England’s Tanglewood.” – Bloomberg

“The Music Academy of the West’s ostensible purpose is to provide a friendly environment for emerging classical artists to intensely study their instrument, perfect their skill, and hone their craft. But for local music lovers, it’s not hard to see how we are the ones reaping all the benefits.” – Daily Sound

“Some of our very happiest times are spent at the Music Academy. The full-time faculty here achieves an unusual mixture of informality and music-making of the highest quality.”
Edward Dusinberre, first violin, Takács Quartet

“Hahn [Hall] is the new centerpiece of the West Coast’s elite summer music academy, hidden away in a plush neighborhood of Montecito, a block from a glorious coastline. … With 350 seats, it is perfect for chamber music and recitals. The acoustics are unobtrusive; nothing gets between music and the ear.” – Los Angeles Times
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Music Academy of the West Media Contact
Tim Dougherty, Communications Manager: [email protected]; 805-695-7908
© 21C Media Group, February 2013

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