Susan Graham—hailed as “an artist to treasure” by the New York Times—rose to the highest echelon of international performers within just a few years of her professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire and genres along the way. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her. A familiar face at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, she also maintains a strong international presence at such key venues as Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet, Santa Fe Opera, and the Hollywood Bowl. She won a Grammy Award for her collection of Ives songs, and has also been recognized throughout her career as one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music. Although a native of Texas, she was awarded the French government’s prestigious “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur,” both for her popularity as a performer in France and in honor of her commitment to French music.
Ms. Graham began the 2022-23 season with Music from Copland House premiering A Standing Witness, a new work written for her by Richard Danielpour with text by Rita Dove. She then sang the role of Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow in Dallas Symphony’s 2022 gala with Fabio Luisi alongside Thomas Hampson. She performs the role of Geneviève in Sir David McVicar’s production of Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande at LA Opera with James Conlon and this summer she reprises Geneviève with Santa Fe Opera.
Her earliest operatic successes were in such trouser roles as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Her technical expertise soon brought mastery of Mozart’s more virtuosic roles, like Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Idamante in Idomeneo and Cecilio in Lucio Silla, as well as the title roles of Handel’s Ariodante and Xerxes. She went on to triumph in two iconic Richard Strauss mezzo roles, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. These brought her to prominence on all the world’s major opera stages, including the Met, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, La Scala, Bavarian State Opera, Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival, among many others.
It was in an early Lyon production of Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict that Graham scored particular raves from the international press, and a triumph in the title role of Massenet’s Chérubin at Covent Garden sealed her operatic stardom. Further invitations to collaborate on French music were forthcoming from many of its preeminent conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, and Seiji Ozawa. More recently, she made title role debuts in Offenbach’s comic masterpieces La belle Hélène and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein at Santa Fe Opera, as well as proving herself the standout star of the Met’s star-studded revival of Les Troyens, which was broadcast live to cinema audiences worldwide in the company’s celebrated “Live in HD” series. Graham’s affinity for French repertoire has not been limited to the opera stage, also serving as the foundation for her extensive concert and recital career. Such great cantatas and symphonic song cycles as Berlioz’s La mort de Cléopâtre and Les nuits d’été, Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Chausson’s Poème de l’amour et de la mer provide opportunities for collaborations with the world’s leading orchestras, and she makes regular appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Orchestre de Paris, and London Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Graham recently expanded her distinguished discography with Nonesuch Records’ DVD/Blu-ray release of William Kentridge’s new treatment of Berg’s Lulu, which captures her celebrated role debut as Countess Geschwitz at the Met. She has also recorded all the works described above, as well as appearing on a series of lauded solo albums, including Virgins, Vixens & Viragos on the Onyx label, featuring songs and arias by composers from Purcell to Sondheim; Un frisson français, a program of French song recorded with pianist Malcolm Martineau, also for Onyx; C’est ça la vie, c’est ça l’amour!, an album of 20th-century operetta rarities on Erato; and La Belle Époque, an award-winning collection of songs by Reynaldo Hahn with pianist Roger Vignoles, from Sony Classical. Among the mezzo’s numerous honors are Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year and an Opera News Award, while Gramophone magazine has dubbed her “America’s favorite mezzo.”
Ms. Graham has been an important presence at LA Opera, where, aside from her frequent appearances on stage, serves as Artistic Advisor to the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program.
We’ve created the Early Childhood curriculum to follow an age-appropriate sequence to help students prosper as they develop.
Our specially trained instructors work with parents and infants to cultivate developmental listening skills with activities to help children absorb music concepts. Teachers design sensory experiences to fascinate and captivate children. As classes progress, infants move from being merely receptive to engaging in an active role.
This family-oriented class encourages toddlers to become actively engaged in making music. Through the use of nursery poems and songs, children explore various musical traditions and styles.
As toddlers gain more motor development skills, they’re more likely to want to move, and this class encourages them to explore movement through music and imagination. Teachers also work with the young students to improve listening skills through play, songs, stories, and games.
Our talented faculty brings nursery rhymes, make-believe stories, and folk tales to life in this class designed for two- and three-year-old children. With the aid of props and small percussion instruments, teachers and students create theatrical experiences through storytelling.
Each week, students experience a musical adventure, with singing, movement, and drama. Oftentimes, the children use small props and percussion instruments to enhance performances.
Students are treated to games and stories that will trigger their imagination, individual expression, and language skills. They engage in exercises to develop body awareness, concentration, group cooperation, coordination, and balance. Activities utilize rhythmic verbalization, pantomime, dramatic play, and creative movement.
Multi-cultural seasonal themes and festivals are the highlight of this class. Songs are chosen to reflect different celebrations around the world.
Super Singers begin working on vocal techniques through games, songs, and stories. Our knowledgeable teachers help students produce good tone quality and improve diction as well as correct vocal placement and singing in the proper register. They also introduce basic elements of music, such as tempo, dynamics, rhythm, phrasing, timbre, and style.
The class provides musical experiences in the development of motor and ear-training skills, hand-eye coordination, a sense of keyboard geography, finger dexterity, and concentration. This course offers pre-reading exercises to develop the child’s keyboard sense. Students must have access to an acoustic piano or keyboard for daily practice. Students will be required to bring their own portable keyboard for use in class. We recommend the following item which can be purchased on Amazon, limited supply will be available at school. Link to purchase roll up keyboard.
Rhythm helps give movement purpose. In this class, preschool-age children learn to direct their energy into basic rhythms and rhythmic patterns while also improving listening and motor skills. They’re also shown proper playing techniques for small percussion instruments used in classroom exercises.
Classes are designed to initiate instrument instruction with a concentration on various rhythmic styles and techniques on Orff and percussion instruments. Teachers work with students to improve muscle and hand-eye coordination as well as a growing awareness of rhythmic and melodic patterns. Students even begin rhythmic notation reading. Creativity is promoted through improvisation activities.
Pre-reqs : Rhythm and Movement AND either Super Singers or Sing a Song of Seasons and Celebrations)
Pre-requisite: Rhythmic Styles and Tech I
Colburn’s Early Childhood Program
Experience great artistry as students from the Conservatory of Music perform solo and chamber works in this weekly recital series.
Music Academy students show off their talents in this intimate recital series featuring a delightful mix of repertoire.
View Previous Livestreams
At the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, we offer a wide range of learning and performance opportunities for students ages 18 and up. Whether you’re looking to join an adult ensemble, take private lessons, or learn about music fundamentals so that you can support your child’s music education, our program is the place for you!
Adult group classes are semester based, running 6 weeks during the summer, and 16 weeks in the fall from August – December or spring from January – May.
Adult group classes are semester based running 6 weeks in the summer and 16 weeks during the fall from August – December or spring from January – May.
This year long course will introduce beginning concepts of music theory: notation, meter, rhythm, scales, modes, and harmony, while exploring various musical styles and periods of music history. Dalcroze learning exercises will be taught as an innovative approach to understanding musical concepts through spatial exploration and vocal awareness.
Dalcroze methods engage students in interactive dynamic learning experiences that can help them develop analytical listening skills and open them up to their own innate musicality. This series of progressive lessons will enable participants to experience Dalcroze methods directly and show how they may apply these methods in their own teaching. Each session will feature a 70-minute session exploration of Dalcroze Rhythmic Solfege and a twenty-minute Q&A session. Designed specifically for music educators regardless of their prior exposure to Dalcroze methods.
At the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts, students of all ages and ability levels can receive one-on-one instruction on any instrument, including voice. Our esteemed faculty share their expertise to help students develop their musicianship, technique, and confidence.
All students interested in private lessons must first submit an inquiry using the form below.
You will be contacted by the appropriate department chair within seven days of submitting your inquiry. For 2022-23 private instruction pricing, please see page three in the Schedule of Classes.
Adult group classes are semester based and will be held eight times for 60 minutes each per fall and spring semester, and five times in summer. Actual meeting dates to be arranged with Ms. Lundgren. Please contact email@example.com for approval to enroll.
Colburn’s Adult Jazz Workshops consist of musicians who are proficient on their instruments and have some experience in jazz studies. We will explore the jazz genre through active listening, discussion, and application of specific elements of jazz performance. All group members are encouraged to contribute to exchange of ideas and apply concepts by recording themselves to share with the class. New students welcome, please contact instructor Liz Kinnon for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Community School’s Musical Theatre program is designed for students ages 9-18 who have a passion for singing, dancing, and acting. This program offers a range of classes, from beginner classes which develop the dance skills needed to progress in Musical Theatre training, to intensive programs which prepare High School students who are serious about musical theatre for a career in this competitive art form.
Our weekly classes focus on developing good vocal technique, acting skills, and versatility in dance through jazz, modern, and ballet, with the goal of empowering students to connect with and perform stories in their own unique way.
Auditions are required for all classes except Youth Musical Theatre Dance. Submit an inquiry to schedule an audition!
Designed for young students who are needing dance skills to deepen their Musical Theatre training. The triple-threat art form requires dance as a regular component of the artist’s study. This class uses Jazz dance technique to strength and develop strong alignment and dance skills needed for Musical Theatre. This class meets once weekly for ages 9-13 years.
This class is for High School students who are on the path to a Musical Theatre career. It provides the training that is not available in their school programs to help connect and build skills. A weekly dance class that rotates Jazz, Modern, and Ballet throughout the year gives students the versatility needed for this competitive art form. Voice and choreography are brought to life with acting that connects the song and movement to the story. Auditions are required for new students.
For students who are NOT enrolling in the full Musical Theatre Program.
A weekly dance class that rotates Jazz, Modern, and Ballet throughout the year gives students the versatility needed for this competitive art form. Auditions are required for new students.
Ages 14 – 20. Singing and acting techniques often seem to be “at odds” with one another, but are they really? Learn to connect with the text and perform the song in your own unique and affecting way. This class will include basic instruction on vocal technique and focus on learning and performing solo repertoire, as well as, basic acting technique and strategies for combining the two in an understandable way that will help you with current and future auditions and performances. Audition interviews and pre-approval required, please contact email@example.com for further information.
Colburn Chamber Music Society
Trudl Zipper Dance Institute
Community School of Performing Arts
Conservatory of Music
Parties with a Purpose
Colburn Conservatory of Music’s flagship ensemble brings stages to life across Southern California
OCT 1, 2022 · Ruth Reinhardt conducts Brahms, Bartok, and Desenclos*
OCT 29, 2022 · Courtney Lewis conducts Dvořák, Ligeti, and Elgar
NOV 19, 2022 · Yehuda Gilad conducts Brahms, Shostakovich, and Coleridge-Taylor*
JAN 28, 2023 · Simone Menezes conducts Tchaikovsky, Crusell, and Guarnieri
FEB 25, 2023 · James Conlon conducts Beethoven and Schubert*
MAR 26, 2023 · Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky, and Boulanger
APR 23, 2023 · Stéphane Denève conducts Ravel, Strauss, Korngold, and Frank
*Ambassador Auditorium concert
The Colburn Orchestra is generously underwritten by Eva and Marc Stern.
Renowned guest artists are joined on stage by Conservatory of Music students and faculty for a series of intimate performances.
SEP 18, 2022 · David Rejano, Trombone
OCT 16, 2022 · Tessa Lark, Violin
NOV 6, 2022 · Andy Akiho, Percussion
DEC 4, 2022 · Sang Yoon Kim, Clarinet
FEB 12, 2023 · Marc Coppey, Cello
APR 2, 2023 · Jon Kimura Parker, Piano
The Colburn Chamber Music Society series is generously supported by the Henry Family.
The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute is dedicated to developing the talent and ambitions of its students, from beginners in Youth Dance to aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy. Performers of all levels receive sequential training in ballet, tap, and modern genres in a cohesive curriculum that emphasizes the joy of dance through artistic and technical accomplishment.
NOV 5, 2022 · See the Music, Hear the Dance
DEC 18, 2022 · Joy! A Winter Dance Celebration
MAR 18, 2023 · Tap Fest
MAR 25, 2023 · Counterpointe
APR 29, 2023 · Student Choreography Workshop
MAY 20, 2023 · Spring TapWorks
MAY 27, 2023 · Spring Dance Festival
The Community School of Performing Arts is committed to making the highest quality music education available to all. Passionate, dedicated students of all ability levels and ages come to Colburn’s campus each year to play in ensembles and to study instruments, voice, music theory, drama, and more with world-class teachers.
DEC 10, 2022 · Honors Chamber Recital
DEC 11, 2022/MAY 21, 2023 · Honors Recital
MAY 20, 2023 · Year-End Chamber Recitals
NOV 20, 2022/FEB 19, 2023/MAR 5, 2023/APR 30, 2023 · Youth and Chamber Orchestra
DEC 10, 2022/MAY 6, 2023 · Choral Concerts
APR 2, 2023 · Collaboration Concert
The Conservatory of Music opened in 2003 with one goal: to train the very highest level of classical instrumental performers for careers in music. Outstanding performance opportunities; unparalleled faculty; and full scholarships covering tuition, room, and board for all students have allowed the Conservatory to produce dynamic young soloists, chamber groups, and orchestra musicians.
THURSDAYS ALL YEAR · Performance Forum
JAN 13, 2023 · Concerto Forum
NOV 6, 2022/APR 6, 2023 · Colburn Contemporary Ensemble
JAN 17, 2023/APR 7, -2023 · Colburn Baroque Ensemble
SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS ALL YEAR · Colburn @ St. Paul
The Music Academy brings exceptional pre-college students from around the world to Colburn, where they take their training to the next level. Young musicians ages 14–18 balance performance, musical instruction, and academics in a comprehensive program that allows them to flourish and develop their artistry.
SATURDAYS ALL YEAR · Music Academy Young Artist Performances
DEC 18, 2022/APR 16, 2023 · Academy Virtuosi
APR 29, 2023/APR 30, 2023 · Senior Recitals
An insider’s look at performance preparation, master classes offer a rare glimpse into the artistic, creative, and learning processes.
The careers of artists of color are celebrated through on-campus residencies that include masterclasses, performances, panel discussions, podcast recordings, and more.
NOV 12, 2022 · Thomas Mesa, Cello
FEB 8, 2023 · Alonzo King, Dance and Choreography
MAR 19, 2023 · Kris Bowers, Piano and Composition
Experience the talent and creativity of Colburn’s distinguished faculty artists as they perform their own curated performances with friends and students.
SEP 25, 2022 · SchubertFest
OCT 15, 2022 · Community School Faculty Showcase
OCT 22, 2022 · Margaret Batjer, Violin, and Fabio Bidini, Piano
NOV 3, 2022 · Tatjana Masurenko, Viola, and Fabio Bidini, Piano
NOV 13, 2022 · Keren Schweitzer, Flute
FEB 5, 2023 · Hui Wu, Piano
MAR 17, 2023 · Teng Li, Viola, and Fabio Bidini, Piano
APR 15, 2023 · John Hallberg, Saxophone
APR 30, 2023 · Michael Zonshine, Trumpet, and Shelly Suminski Mahpar, Trombone
The Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices is a unique Colburn resource that encourages greater awareness and more frequent performances of music by composers whose careers and lives were disrupted—or worse— during the years of the Nazi regime in Europe.
OCT 12, 2022 · Album Launch: Shapeshifter
JAN 29, 2023 · Shostakovich and Weinberg: A Story of Loss and the Healing Power of Friendship
APR 10, 2023 · Recovered Voices: Colburn Orchestra
APR 11, 2023 · Recovered Voices: Chamber Ensembles
APR 12, 2023 · Recovered Voices: Colburn Orchestra
Acclaimed guest artists and ensembles are spotlighted in unique performances offering something for all musical tastes.
OCT 28, 2022 · Fortissima in Concert
OCT 30, 2022 · Film Screening: ¡Viva Maestro!
MAR 14, 2023 · West-Eastern Divan Ensemble
Colburn alumni return to campus to share their unique repertory visions through curated programs that span solo works, chamber pieces, and original arrangements.
MAR 9, 2023 · DuoSkope
APR 27, 2023 · SAKURA Cello Quintet
Evocative and ethereal, the music of Claude Debussy conjures stories and landscapes with every phrase. Curated by LA Opera Music Director Maestro James Conlon, this celebration of Debussy examines his solo and chamber compositions in-depth.
Full Series Subscription Available
MAR 1, 2023 · Music and Dance
MAR 3, 2023 · Chamber Works
Mar 8, 2023 · Conversations
The whole family is invited to experience Colburn, engage with faculty and staff, and get a taste of the performing arts at one of our many free on-campus events.
SATURDAYS · Office Hours: Colburn Community Pop-Up
OCT 22, 2022 · Grand Avenue Arts: All Access
Show-stopping performances and exclusive parties with like-minded individuals who support Colburn’s education and on-stage activities help provide access to the best performing arts training regardless of a student’s ability to pay.
DEC 17, 2022 · Joy! A Winter Dance Celebration: Performance and Party
APR 23, 2023 · Celebrate Colburn Gala
To Be Announced · Space and Sound
Thank you for joining us for Colburn’s 2022 Open House. Please fill out the form below. Enjoy your class!
Thank you for your donation to the Colburn School. Please fill out the form below.
The Community School is excited to announce that choral ensembles have returned! Students ages 6–18 can develop their musicianship, vocal technique, and ensemble skills in one of our three choirs directed by our new Director of Choral Programs, Adrian Dunn.
Adrian Dunn is an accomplished singer, composer and conductor. Mr. Dunn holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Voice from The Music Conservatory at Roosevelt University with additional musical studies in opera at The Sibelius Academy of Music in Finland.
Mr. Dunn is a MacArthur grant recipient for this original work, Hopera: A Hip Hop Opera. He has opened for international Hip Hop Recording Artist, The Roots, at Indiana University, and he served as principle vocal coach for Kanye West’s artist development program, Donda’s House. He was a featured artist and vocal coach for the live DVD recording of the Higher Ground Gospel Choir in Helsinki, Finland. He has toured throughout the United States, South Africa, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia.
This ensemble introduces young singers to choral singing. The group will focus on fundamentals of singing, solfeggio, listening, and basic music theory concepts. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs on one major concert per semester.
Weekly on Saturdays, 12–12:50 pm
This ensemble prepares students for the Colburn Concert Choir and is ideal for youth who enjoy singing and exploring music with a supportive group of peers. Students will explore the fundamentals of singing, breathing, sight-reading, and solfeggio, and will rehearse and perform diverse choral repertoire. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs on one major concert per semester.
Weekly on Saturdays, 1–2:30 pm
The Colburn Concert Choir is the highest-level choral ensemble offered. Students will be challenged with advanced choral repertoire that spans multiple genres. Additionally, students will develop their sight reading, ear training, and music theory knowledge. The ensemble rehearses weekly and performs on one major concert per semester.
Weekly on Saturdays, 3:30–5:30 pm
Auditions for spring semester remain open. Limited merit scholarships are available for new students.
To schedule an audition, please complete the form below. If you have any questions, please contact the Ensemble Coordinator, Ron Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choral Audition Sign-Up Form
*We encourage students to audition even if they do not have a song prepared.
The Colburn Concert Choir is inviting singers to join them onstage to perform “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Collaboration Concert on April 2. If you have ever wanted to perform in a choir alongside a full orchestra and dancers, now is your chance!
Free and open to singers ages 13 and above, including adults. Audition required.
Sign Up Here
The Colburn Community School welcomes students of all ages and ability levels. Learn from renowned faculty at Los Angeles’ premier performing arts school, located in downtown. Registration is open for Choral Ensembles, Early Childhood, Music Theory, Adult Classes, and more!
Registration for the Spring Semester is currently open for all students.
Students can register online or by email.
2023 Spring Schedule of Classes (PDF)
Register By Email (PDF)
To register by email, please send the completed PDF form to email@example.com.
Please see the COVID-19 Protocol page for the latest information on online and in-person instruction.
We recommend that students and parents regularly review our academic calendars for updates. The Colburn School only observes holidays noted on our calendar. We do not follow the Los Angeles Unified School District calendar or that of other districts.
2022-23 Academic Calendar (PDF)
Students enrolled in private lessons also gain access to additional performance opportunities at Colburn, including Friday Night Recitals, the Winter and McAllister Honors Recitals, and master classes with renowned guest artists. Additionally, these students qualify for a 50% tuition discount on any music theory group class – these classes are instrumental in any young musician’s development as it helps them explore and understand the inner workings of their craft.
The Community School accepts new private lesson students at any time throughout the year. All students interested in private lessons must first submit an inquiry using the form below.
Approximately 7 days after submitting your inquiry, you will be notified by the appropriate department chair to set up an interview and/or audition in order to determine placement.
For 2022-23 private instruction pricing, please see page 3 in the Schedule of Classes. Need-based scholarships are available for qualifying students.
The Community School is proud to offer a wide selection of student ensembles, giving students of varying ages and ability levels the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and develop their musicianship.
Auditions for the 2022-23 academic year are open for the following ensembles:
All other ensembles may accept auditions depending on ensemble needs. Please submit an inquiry for more information.