Northwestern University Bienen School of Music



Biography

The Northwestern University School of Music is one of the oldest degree-granting music institutions in the United States. Founded in 1895, the school combines conservatory-level training with the academic rigor of a world-class research university. Students are encouraged to grow as musicians, as scholars, and as individuals who will be productive citizens of the 21st century.

Located 12 miles north of downtown Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, the School of Music campus is home to 575 undergraduate and graduate students and a distinguished faculty of 125, many of whom are members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestras. Students hail from all 50 states, with all entering freshman ranking in the top 10 percent of their high school class. In addition to the traditional bachelor of music, bachelor of arts in music, master of music, certificate in performance, doctor of music, and doctor of philosophy programs, the School of Music offers double degree programs that combine an undergraduate music degree with a degree in arts and sciences, engineering, or journalism. Each year the school presents more than 300 concerts, including three artist series: a winter chamber music festival, a spring festival devoted to a specific instrument family, and a classical guitar series. Performance opportunities for students include 16 major ensembles.

The school has achieved special stature in the area of contemporary music. The music library boasts the world’s largest collection of contemporary music scores, including John Cage’s manuscript collection. In 2003 the school established the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition, a $100,000 award of international scope that honors significant achievement in composition; the inaugural winner was John Adams. Some of the most celebrated composers of our time are School of Music alumni, including Ned Rorem, Joseph Schwantner, and Augusta Read Thomas. Other distinguished alumni are active throughout the world in performance, teaching, and arts administration.

Watch Past Performances

Video 4/21/2015: Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University

Students perform songs and arias for mezzo-soprano by Strauss, DuParc, & Rossini; and classical works by Lutoslawski, Ravel, Schumann, Strauss, and Liszt.

Video 4/22/2014: Northwestern University Bienen School of Music

Students play Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces, Kovács’ Hommage à De Falla, Respighi’s Sonata in B minor for violin and piano, Carter’s Three Poems of Robert Frost, Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12, Mozart’s Turkish March from Sonata K. 331, and selections from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Handel’s Rinaldo, and Messiaen’s Chants de terre et de ciel. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 4/15/2013: Northwestern University Bienen School of Music

Students play works by Paganini, Wieniawski, Copland, Ravel, Korngold, Gershwin, Zimbalist, Rachmaninoff, and Kreisler. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 2/20/2012: Northwestern University Bienen School of Music

Students perform a brass recital featuring works by composers David Sampson, Verne Reynolds, John Stevens, and Jan Bach. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 4/25/2011: Northwestern University Bienen School of Music

Students play works by Liszt, Poulenc, Mozart, Offenbach, and others. Part of the Conservatory Project.

Video 3/8/2010: Northwestern University Bienen School of Music

Students Nolan Pearson and Olga Ridgway, piano; Sean Patayanikorn, saxophone, Margaret Mascal, mezzo-soprano; Paul Jenkins, trombone; and Henry Wang, violin, perform works by Wieniawski, Hindemith, Verdi, Strauss, Rossé, and Schumann. Part of the Kennedy Center Conservatory Project.

Northwestern University Bienen School of Music