Colburn School campus with logo graphic

The Colburn Young Artists Academy

Piano Festival: Highlighting Piano Sonatas

July 2–July 16, 2014

Ory Shihor, Director

About the Festival
Student Life
Application and Eligibility
Tuition and Fees


About the Festival

The Colburn Young Artists Academy Piano Festival provides gifted, pre-college age pianists with two weeks of conservatory-level instruction each summer at The Colburn School. Thirty young pianists from around the world will have the opportunity to study with a roster of world-renowned artist faculty and visiting artists.  

Highlighting Piano Sonatas

This year's Festival will feature the wide-ranging piano sonata literature as its centerpiece. One of the pillars of the classical music genre, the sonata form serves as the foundation for numerous compositions, including symphonies, chamber works and instrumental sonatas. During the Festival, students will explore the defining characteristics of sonatas through private lessons, master classes, lectures, performances, and theoretical studies


While the Festival centers on piano sonata literature, students are welcome to refine and explore their non-sonata repertoire in lessons, master classes and student recitals. Repertoire performed in master classes and recitals throughout the competition must be performance-ready.

Private Lessons and Master Classes 

Students receive four 50-minute private lessons, and will participate in at least two master classes.


In addition to performing in master classes and the culminating sonata marathon concert, students will have the opportunity to perform repertoire of their choice in student recitals throughout the Festival.

The Steinway Prize

A $1000 Steinway Prize will be awarded for the best performance of a sonata during the festival's culminating sonata marathon competition concert, as determined by the Festival faculty. Prize generously sponsored by Steinway Piano Gallery, West Hollywood.

Practice and Facilities

The Colburn School offers state-of-the-art teaching facilities and equipment as well as clean, safe and contemporary dormitory accommodations. Students will have unlimited access to the Colburn School’s 40+ practice rooms, which feature Steinways, Faziolis and Shigeru Kawai grand pianos.

Festival Schedule

Festival activities typically begin at 9:00 am each day, and continue until 6:00 pm; in addition, concerts and/or social activities are scheduled most evenings. All master classes, lectures and recitals are free admission and open to the public. Click here to view this year's public schedule of events (PDF). Please note: the 7/7 Faculty Recital: Roberta Rust has been cancelled. 

Artist Faculty 

Eight distinguished teaching artists, selected from conservatories both around the U.S. and abroad, will be in residence in 2014. Festival faculty and guest master class artists will be announced in December 2013. Click here to see last year's faculty.

  • Lucinda Carver (University of Southern California)
  • Angela Cheng (Oberlin Conservatory)
  • James Giles (Northwestern University)
  • Myong-Joo Lee (Colburn Academy)
  • Roberta Rust (Lynn University)
  • Graham Scott (Royal Northern College of Music)
  • Ory Shihor (Colburn Conservatory, Academy)

Guest Master Class Artist
Jerome Lowenthal (Juilliard)

Additional guest faculty to be announced. 


Student Life

Room and Board 
Students and may choose to reside in the Colburn School residence hall, in fully furnished, single-occupancy bedrooms within two, three or four-bedroom suites. Students will receive a meal plan from the Colburn Café for the festival’s duration. Room and board is also available for parents of participating students. Students 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent in the residence hall for the Festival's duration

Laundry and gym facilities, as well as a student lounge with a ping-pong table are available for students’ use.

Students will be supervised by a staff of qualified Colburn counselors, chaperones and a resident advisor. Colburn counselors are present on the Colburn campus during the entire festival. Students are not permitted to leave the campus without staff, faculty or parent supervision. In addition to the Festival staff, the Colburn campus provides onsite 24-hour security personnel service.

The Colburn Academy Festival will provide van service for a fee on designated departure and arrival days to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). 

Social Activities 
Students will have the opportunity to participate in numerous social activities, both on and off campus. Activities may include supervised trips to concerts, museums, movie theaters, or other cultural events. 

Observers may attend master classes and performances. Private lessons may be observed with permission from individual faculty members. The Festival is not able to provide or arrange housing for observers.

Application and Eligibilty

Open to all pre-college age pianists, elementary through high school, including graduating high school seniors who have not yet entered college.

How to Apply
Applicants are required to complete an online application and upload an audition video. Enrollment closes after the first 30 qualified applicants who are accepted enroll. As such, early application is strongly encouraged.

Step 1: Click here to submit the online application form. 

Step 2: Click here to upload your audition video and supporting documents to DecisionDesk. 

  • Upload video
    • Repertoire: Two pieces, solo and/or concerto, representing different styles. There are no time limits on submissions, and applicants may submit more than two pieces, if desired. 
    • Instructions
      • The following file formats will be accepted: mpeg, mpg, mp4, mov, avi, wmv, m4v, vob.
      • A movement must be recorded in its entirety; each movement must be a complete take with no editing.
      • Each piece must be uploaded as a separate file, with composer and composition included in the file name (ex.: Chopin Scherzo No. 4); the applicant's name does not need to be included in the file name.
      • Sound quality is important. Please make every effort to use high quality audio equipment with an audio feed directly into the video camera, if possible.
      • There is no time limit.
  • Upload the following supporting materials to DecisionDesk*:
    • One letter of recommendation from a professional musician able to attest to your musical background.
    • A list of the following information:
      • Major public performances, and the dates (month/year) they occurred. Include venue and event information.
      • Any music scholarships, prizes or awards won, beginning with the most recent. Include the year, prize amount, and name of the award/competition.
      • Solo repertoire learned and memorized since June 2013.

* While it is strongly suggested that supporting materials be uploaded via DecisionDesk, applicants may also submit via fax (213-680-1028), email (PDF format only) to or mail to The Colburn Young Artists Academy, Attn: Academy Admissions, 200 S. Grand Ave., L.A., CA 90012. Recommendation letters may be submitted by the applicant, or sent directly by the recommender.


Tuition and Fees

Tuition, room, and board: $2800
Commuter (tuition only): $1500
Application fee: $110 ($80 online application fee, $30 video upload fee)
Parent room and board: $1300

Parents are welcome to accompany their children in the residence hall, and may freely attend all master classes, concerts, and lectures, as well as attend applied lessons with the approval of the instructor. Students 14 and under must be accompanied by a parent in the residence hall for the Festival's duration.

*Tuition & fees are subject to change.

About The Colburn Young Artists Academy
The Colburn Young Artists Academy is an intensive music program designed to nurture pre-college age musicians and to refine, enhance and develop their performance skills and musicianship at the highest of levels. Academy students receive instruction and guidance from its distinguished faculty, and are provided with numerous performance and enrichment opportunities throughout the year. For more information about the Academy,

Colburn Academy Student with violin scroll
Young Artists
Colburn Academy Student with cello

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