[ programs ]
The piano department is collaborative and close-knit. While the program focuses on solo performance, it also emphasizes chamber music, accompanying, and teaching. The well-rounded curriculum prepares our graduates to make their way in today’s highly competitive music world.
The close collaboration of piano faculty members working with one another is one of the unique features of Yale’s piano department. Piano students have regular opportunities to play in master classes and receive additional individual lessons, as well as chamber music coaching, by faculty other than their major studio teachers.
Moreover, many internationally acclaimed pianists visit the School as part of the Horowitz Piano Series and give recitals, lectures, and master classes, which are all available to our students. Recent guests have included Alfred Brendel, Yefim Bronfman, Richard Goode, Radu Lupu, and Peter Serkin, among many others.
Each year, every piano student gives at least one solo recital, plays chamber music, collaborates with instrumentalists and/or singers, and performs new music.
Piano students at Yale regularly have valuable opportunities to perform in master classes by our internationally renowned faculty and acclaimed visiting pianists. Recent guests include: Emanuel Ax, Idil Biret, Bruno Canino, Christopher Elton, Leon Fleisher, Anton Kuerti, Ronan O’Hora, Jon Kimura Parker, Matti Raekallio, Pascal Rogé, Mikhail Rudy, Niklav Sivelov, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Boris Slutsky, to name a few.
There are myriad performing opportunities on campus and beyond. Many piano students compete in the School’s annual Concerto Competition, which offers the winners the opportunity to perform with the Philharmonia orchestra in the historic Woolsey Hall. The piano department regularly presents our most outstanding current and former students in concerts in New York City, Washington, D.C., China, and Hong Kong. Yale pianists have been participants and top prizewinners in numerous important international competitions worldwide; most recently, Sean Chen ’14AD placed third in the 2013 Cliburn Competition and Henry Kramer ’13AD, ’15 MMA won second prize in the 2016 Queen Elisabeth Competition.
Students selected for admission to the piano department are first-rate performers. In recent years, the roster has included graduates of Colburn School, Curtis Institute, Eastman, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, and international peer institutions such as London’s Royal Academy of Music, Conservatoire de Paris, Hochschülen of Hannover and Munich, Mozarteum, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Seoul National University, Central Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, and other leading institutions.
An all-Steinway school, Yale School of Music maintains good grand pianos in all concert halls, studios, and practice rooms. Students benefit from magnificent libraries, a collection of early instruments, state-of-the-art recording studio, and excellent practice facilities. Being a part of one of the world’s greatest universities, students of Yale School of Music are able to take advantage of a wide spectrum of classes on campus.
In addition to the full-tuition scholarship and a living stipend given to all YSM students, pianists have multiple employment opportunities such as teaching and accompanying. Students also have access to a fund that offers financial assistance to travel to professional engagements, including performances, auditions, and competitions. The cost of living in New Haven is significantly lower than that of neighboring cultural centers, such as New York and Boston; at the same time, both cities are easily reachable.