Eugene Izotov

One of today’s leading wind players, Eugene Izotov was appointed principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas in 2014. He previously served as the principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony, appointed by Daniel Barenboim, principal oboist of the Metropolitan Opera, appointed by James Levine, and as guest principal oboist with the Boston Symphony and New York Philharmonic. Izotov has appeared over 70 times as soloist with Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Metropolitan Opera, Pacific Music Festival, and Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, and has collaborated with Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Valery Gergiev, Nicholas McGegan, Edo De Waart, and Ton Koopman performing works by Mozart, Strauss, Marcello, Haydn, Martinů, Vivaldi, Carter, Hummel, Krommer, and Bach. Eugene Izotov has recorded for Sony Classical, BMG, Boston Records, Elektra, SFSMedia, CSOResond, and was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of John Williams on the Oscar-nominated recording for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln. He has also recently been a guest soloist on NPR’s Live from Here with Chris Thile. Eugene Izotov has collaborated with Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jamie Laredo, Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, André Watts, Itzhak Perlman, and the Tokyo String Quartet. Izotov teaches at the Colburn Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), and at the Music Academy of the West. He has previously served on the faculty of The Juilliard School and DePaul University. One of today’s most active teachers, he presents master classes at conservatories across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia including Juilliard, Cleveland Institute of Music, New World Symphony, Oberlin, Aspen, Manhattan School of Music, Verbier Festival, Glenn Gould School, McGill University, Domaine Forget, HuyndaI Center (Korea), Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Lynn University, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Born in Moscow, Russia, Izotov studied at the Gnesin School of Music. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University, where he continued his education after immigrating to the United States in 1991.

Student and Alumni Accomplishments update

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Conservatory Campus Tours

We welcome visits from prospective students and their families. Tours of the Colburn School campus are available with student tours guides during the school year Monday-Friday. In order to make themost of your visit, consider the following:

  • Email the admissions office ( to make an appointment for a tour. We may be able to recommend dates and times so that you can attend a Performance Forum or recital, in addition to simply touring the campus.
  • If you are already in contact with a faculty member for a trial lesson, schedule your lesson first, and then schedule the campus tour through the Office of Admissions.
  • If you are not acquainted with our faculty and hope to meet them or take a lesson, feel free to email them first. While it is a good thing to meet faculty and have a lesson, we cannot guarantee their availability, so it is wise to have this conversation well in advance of your visit.
  • Unfortunately we cannot accommodate drop-in tours, so please be sure to plan ahead.

If you are driving, please use these directions to find our parking garage.

Our 360 degree Tour of Colburn is available any time on Youtube.


A Message from the Dean

Dean Lee Cioppa
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Colburn School, and to thank you for your interest in the Colburn Conservatory of Music.

As you continue on your path to a life in music, your choice of a school for advanced training is a critical component in your journey. Faculty, performance opportunities, the surrounding arts community, alumni success, peers who become your collaborators and lifelong colleagues—all of these different elements create the ideal atmosphere for developing your craft to the highest level.

One of the most unique characteristics of the Colburn Conservatory is the financial support provided to every student. All of our students receive full scholarships for tuition, grants for the Colburn Residence Hall, and a meal plan in the Colburn Café. We all know the common saying “time is money.” At Colburn, money is time. Without the financial burdens of paying tuition, taking out loans, or working a job while attending school, students have the freedom to focus fully on their studies. This extraordinary gift of time allows for an incredible capacity to achieve at the highest level, to fully recognize the potential for artistry, craft, and communication in every student.

Enjoy exploring and learning more about the Conservatory! I hope to see you at a performance or receive your application for admission.

Lee Cioppa
Dean, Conservatory of Music

Performance Opportunities

Colburn Orchestra on stage

Colburn Orchestra

Participation in orchestra is one of the central elements of the programs at the Colburn Conservatory. Concerts are held in halls around the LA area, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and the Soraya. Each concert features a student concerto soloist, including the winner of the annual Concerto Competition.

Colburn Chamber Music Society

Students collaborate with the guest artists a week before each concert, providing them with a professional chamber experience at a high level.

Performance Forum

Performance Forum is an opportunity for Conservatory students to perform for their peers and teachers, as well as the Colburn community at large, and takes place on a weekly basis.

Chamber Forum

Chamber Forum features Conservatory students performing works for small ensembles. Participation in chamber music is one of the central elements of the programs in the Conservatory of Music and develops skills of listening and collaboration, as well as an appreciation for the challenges of melding unique individuals into a cohesive group.

Private Lessons

Applied study is at the heart of the performance mission of the Colburn School. All such study is done one-on-one with faculty members who have held principal positions with many of the country’s top orchestras, as well as internationally acclaimed soloists and chamber musicians.

Master Classes and Studio Classes

Each year students have the opportunity to work with prominent musicians from around the world in a master class setting. Recent artists include Ray Chen, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Colburn’s Artist-in-Residence. They also perform regularly in studio classes led by Colburn faculty members.

Contemporary Ensemble

This ensemble is open to all students who wish to study and perform music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Baroque Ensemble

This ensemble is dedicated to the performance of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music. Although the ensemble plays on modern instruments, it is geared towards developing an awareness of and sensitivity to the nuances of historically informed performance practices.

Guest Artists

Students have the opportunity to participate in mock auditions with guest conductors, play side-by-side with the LA Phil brass, and learn from orchestral repertoire classes with LA Phil musicians.


Student on plaza with violin

Prescreening Video Submission

Auditions are by invitation only. A video recording is required as part of the application in order to be considered for an audition invitation. You must include the listed repertoire for your instrument and upload it directly to your application; please refer to the repertoire page for specific requirements. Professional or studio recordings are not required, but the sound quality should be as optimal as possible.

Live Audition

Live audition invitations are sent in mid-December.  At this time, we do intend to have live auditions on campus in Los Angeles during the month of February.  The process may vary by instrument, and more information will be shared in December in the invitation letter.

After the Audition

Admissions results are released no later than April 1 via the application portal.

Live Audition


Auditions will be held on campus in Los Angeles.

Those applicants invited to participate in the live audition process will be notified by mid-to-late December.

Audition dates are posted below by instrument. For instruments that have multiple dates, applicants will only attend one audition date.

Bassoon: February 15
Cello: February 20, 21, 22
Clarinet: February 15
Conducting: March 25
Double Bass: February 20, 21, 22
Flute: February 13
Harp: February 12
Horn: February 19
Oboe: February 19
Percussion: February 20
Piano: Virtual Auditions January 20 and 21; In-person final round February 13
Trombone: February 12
Trumpet: February 19
Tuba: February 12
Viola: February 21, 22
Violin: February 14, 15, 16

The audition day allows us to become better acquainted with prospective students and includes more than just your audition. Because of this, we ask that you make yourself available from 8 am–7 pm on your assigned date.

Here’s what to expect:

  • An audition before a committee of faculty members
  • A lesson or meeting with a faculty member (for selected students)
  • Assessment testing in music theory for BM and PD applicants
  • A group interview with a senior administrator or faculty committee
  • An interview and an essay writing exam for non-native English speakers
  • Other assessments as determined by the school

There are several hotels within walking distance of the Colburn School. The hotels in Little Tokyo are the farthest, but you can hop on the DASH that runs up 1st Street and walk a block to Colburn on Grand and  2nd Street. Or take a short Lyft or Uber ride to the campus. Feel free to check in with the Admissions Office regarding hotel choices.

Studies in Conducting

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Salonen Conducting Fellows

The Colburn Conservatory of Music’s Negaunee Conducting Program is led by world-renowned composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, who holds the Maestro Ernst H. Katz Chair of Conducting Studies at The Colburn School.

The Salonen Conducting Fellows will pursue either the undergraduate Conducting Diploma or a graduate Artist Diploma with a conducting emphasis. The Fellows will study directly with Salonen and serve as preparatory conductors for the flagship Colburn Orchestra. They also conduct the Zipper Outreach Orchestra, Colburn’s performing ensemble for its community engagement activities, and the Concerto Forum Showcase, an annual public concert that features soloists from the Conservatory of Music.

The Fellows develop their craft and nurture their talent through personal mentorship by Maestro Salonen. Fellows assist Maestro Salonen at the San Francisco Symphony, where they will gain significant real-world experience with a world-class orchestra and also serve as assistant conductors to Salonen for his international engagements with other orchestras, opera houses, tours, and festivals.

In keeping with the Colburn Conservatory model, students will receive a full scholarship to cover tuition, room, and board. The conducting program is made possible by the Negaunee Foundation, created in 1987 to celebrate and support arts and cultural institutions.

Application and Pre-Screening Videos Due: December 1, 2023
A select number of applicants will be invited to a live audition at the Colburn School on March 25, 2024
  • The prescreening videos must consist of the applicant conducting representative works of their choice from the standard orchestral repertoire.
  • Applicants should upload at least three selections.
  • Videos may be from performance or rehearsal.
  • At least one video must be shot from the back of the orchestra, to show the conductor from the front. The applicant must be clearly visible in all videos.
  • The video should represent a variety of musical styles and both artistic and technical challenges.
  • Videos should be unedited.
  • Videos must be representative of recent work.

A select number of applicants will be invited to a live audition at the Colburn School on  March 25, 2024.

The audition day will include:

  • Theory/aural skill/history assessment: Applicants will participate in tiered testing in the areas of music theory, aural skills, and music history. Applicants are not expected to have levels of expertise in all areas; the assessment will provide an individualized picture of each applicant’s current knowledge and abilities.
  • Conducting audition: Applicants will have the opportunity to conduct the Colburn Orchestra. The repertoire for the conducting round will consist of:
    Beethoven Symphony 2, movements 1 and 3

    Caroline Shaw Entr’acte, string orchestra version
  • Interview with Mr. Salonen: Select applicants will have individual interviews after the conducting audition.

Graduate Studies in Chamber Music


Graduate Chamber Ensemble-in-Residence

The Chamber Ensemble-in-Residence program is open to pre-formed groups with significant experience and recognition as an ensemble. The program is two years in length (no extensions granted), and individual ensemble members may enroll in either the AD or MM program-Chamber Music Emphasis. In general, the ensemble should be three or more players; duos should send a letter of inquiry before applying. Only one group will be accepted to the residency program per year.

The Chamber Ensemble will receive primarily group applied lessons, with occasional individual lessons in support of ensemble playing. In addition, there will be weekly chamber coachings with Conservatory faculty and guest artists. The ensemble will perform a minimum of one recital per semester at the school and will be an ambassador for Colburn in the local community as well as mentors for younger ensembles at the Colburn School. Ensemble members may be rotated into Conservatory orchestra cycles.

Interested ensembles should contact Admissions for pre-screening repertoire requirements and additional application details. Groups will submit ensemble recordings for prescreening; the live audition will include an ensemble audition and abbreviated solo auditions for each ensemble member.