Skip Navigation

Performance Academy for Strings

Christian Tremblay, Director

The Performance Academy for Strings brings together serious string students in grades 7-12, playing at the upper intermediate and advanced level, who will develop musically and socially in a mutually supportive and challenging environment. The Performance Academy is a vibrant program which offers individual instruction, small and large ensembles, performance opportunities, master classes, enrichment activities, rehearsal time with a designated pianist, special events, and career guidance and feedback.

The Performance Academy fosters the development of young string players by offering them a curriculum that prepares them for professional studies. This program is for students who want to pursue a career in music, and for students with other professional aspirations, playing and working seriously, and for whom music is their major non-academic endeavor.

Program Overview

PP.200.014 01 $1,273 per semester

The Performance Academy schedule consists of six components:

  • Small Ensembles/Musicianship Class — Students are assigned to one of the following small ensembles and/or musicianship class by the PA faculty committee (Saturdays, 8:30-10:30 am):
    • Peabody Violin Choir
    • Performance Academy Chamber Music
    This musicianship class is interactive, and will include weekly work in eurythmics, ear-training, solfège, and basic theory for string players.
  • Academy Performance Class — The signature component of the program is this weekly class, led by Christian Tremblay, PA Coordinator. This class meets during the fall/spring academic year on Saturdays from 10:30 am-12:00 pm. It provides an opportunity for students to perform for both Peabody faculty and guest artists. Students will also receive training in master classes with guest artists on a variety of enrichment topics including movement, injury prevention, theory/history, improvisation, and mpre. In the past, guests artists have included Richard Aaron, Jonathan Carney, Daniel Heifetz, Sara Caswell, Nicholas Kendall, Mimi Zweig, the Biava String Quartet and Peabody Conservatory faculty Victor Danchenko, Pamela Frank, and Herbert Greenberg.
  • Peabody Orchestras — Performance Academy students will be assigned and must also register for one of the following ensembles (cost included in Academy tuition):
    • Peabody Youth Orchestra (PYO)
      PP.200.018 01 SAT, 1:00-3:00
    • Young Artists Orchestra (YAO)
      PP.200.020 01 SAT, 1:00-2:45
  • String Orchestra Festival — The Performance Academy will collaborate with the Preparatory’s Pre-Conservatory Violin Program (PCVP) for a special String Orchestra Festival in January 2015. This string orchestra will take place for three weeks in lieu of Academy Chamber Music class, Violin and Cello Choirs, Musicianship, and Academy Performance class. The event will conclude with a concert.
  • Rehearsal Accompanist — Each student will be provided with an accompanist for Academy master classes and events. Each student receives 6 hours of private rehearsal time per year, and the pianist is available to perform with the student in most recitals, concerts, and area competitions.
  • Individual Instruction — Students study privately for either 60 minutes ($1,552 per semester) or 90 minutes ($2,328 per semester) weekly with Peabody faculty (cost is not included in Academy tuition per semester).

Performance Academy students are expected to practice 2-4 hours per day, prepare their ensemble music independently, and participate in all special events, including travel. Since PA classes and ensembles take place on Saturdays, students should expect to have their individual instruction on a weekday.

Additional Opportunities through PA

Students in PA may also take advantage of the other outstanding opportunities available to Preparatory students, as recommended by their teacher. These include studio recitals, signature recitals, Part-Recital and Concerto competitions, music theory, and the Music Certificate Program. Please refer to the current Fall/Spring 2014-2015 Preparatory catalog and the Preparatory Music Student Handbook for more information. Program Director Christian Tremblay or Student Services Coordinator can advise the student on the best course of study at the Preparatory.

Partial scholarships are available for those accepted into the Performance Academy and students are encouraged to apply.

2014-2015 Auditions

Acceptance in the Performance Academy is by audition.

Auditions are held once each year in August. There are no auditions for the spring semester.

Audition Requirements 

  • Three-octave scales: 3 major scales in student’s choice of keys.
  • Bowings: Slur 4, 6, 8, 12 per bow legato, quarter note=72; Spiccato, 1 bow per note, 16th notes, quarter=60-72
  • Arpeggios (violin and viola): Flesch arpeggio series, slur 3, in the selected keys
  • Arpeggios (cello): Three-octave major arpeggios, slur 3, in the selected keys
  • Sightreading and Interview
  • Repertoire–performance of two contrasting pieces: fast concerto movement or similar showpiece, and (violin and viola): a contrasting piece; (cello): one movement from Bach Cello Suites
  • For students auditioning for the Peabody Youth Orchestra, the performance of these orchestral excerpts is also required.


Audition Accompanist

Pianist Dr. Li-Tan Hsu, will be available to play Performance Academy auditions on Saturday August 23, and the auditions will be paid for by Peabody.

Peabody will also pay for one 30 min. rehearsal, and students who are interested should contact her directly to arrange this. If they want to rehearse longer than 30 min. they will pay her directly.
Dr. Hsu:
c 443-415-2077


Recommended Minimum Repertoire (examples):

  • Violin: Concerti by Bach, Bruch, Haydn, Kabalevsky, Lalo, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Saint- Saëns, Viotti, Tchaikovsky, Wieniawski, etc. and pieces of similar difficulty.
  • Viola: Concerti by J.C. Bach, Bartók, Handel/Casadesus, Hoffmeister, Hindemith, Stamitz, Walton, etc. and pieces of similar difficulty
  • Cello: Concerti by J.C. Bach, Boccherini, Haydn, Dvorák, Saint-Saëns, Lalo, Elgar, etc. and pieces such as Saint-Saëns’ Allegro Appassionato and Fauré’s Elegy, and pieces of similar difficulty

Application and Audition Information

  • Playing at the stated repertoire level does not ensure acceptance into the Performance Academy for Strings.
  • Please complete the application form and submit by the Friday, August 15, 2014 deadline.
  • Please call the Preparatory Office at 410-234-4630 to schedule an audition.
  • Please also fill out and submit a PA Audition Information Form online, or call the Preparatory Office to obtain an Audition Information Form.
  • Please note: Students who audition for Pre-Conservatory Violin Program (PCVP) will automatically be considered for the Performance Academy for Strings and do not need a separate audition for the Performance Academy. PCVP auditions also serve as auditions for Performance Academy Chamber Music and Peabody Youth Orchestra. Returning Performance Academy students do not need to audition.


Make a Gift