Frequently Asked Questions about Historical Performance


Q. Why should I study early music at Juilliard?

A. In addition to our extraordinary faculty, you should study early music at Juilliard for the comprehensive nature of the Historical Performance program as a whole. We offer an extremely structured, integrated approach to education with built-in opportunity for regular lessons, very high-profile performances, chamber music, a network of unrivaled guest artists, a comprehensive curriculum, and the administrative resources to offer perhaps the most ambitious early music program in the world. The intimate size of our program means that we focus on each individual. At Juilliard, you will have a team of teachers, peers, mentors, and administrators all working toward a single goal: to help you reach your fullest potential.

Q. How much does it cost to attend?

A. Juilliard Historical Performance guarantees a full-tuition scholarship for every enrolled student. Students are responsible for covering their living expenses and other non-tuition costs. For further information about funding a Juilliard education, please click here.

Q. How many students do you accept each year?

A. We accept about 12 or 13 students per year, so our total enrollment is usually between 24 and 27.

Q. Where do your students come from?

A. Our students come from all over the world. In any given year, about 30% of our students are from countries outside the United States. Students have come to us from Spain, Korea, France, Brazil, Bulgaria, and Israel, among many others.

Q. Where do you hold auditions?

A. Auditions are held in New York and in Paris, in late February or early March every year.

Q. What majors do you offer?

A. We offer majors in Baroque violin, viola da gamba, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, bassoon, harpsichord, and plucked instruments. We also consider Baroque viola majors by special request.

Q. What degrees do you offer?

A. We offer a Master’s Degree and Graduate Diploma, which require two years of residency, and a Doctor of Musical Arts, which requires two years of residency, with remaining requirements to be completed within five years of enrollment.

Q. Why should I study early music in New York?

A. Unlike in other global centers, the early music scene in New York is not saturated—there are opportunities for creative vision and innovation. And Juilliard, which is a constituent member of Lincoln Center and therefore shares a campus with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic, among other renowned institutions, is at the center of New York’s cultural hub. 

Q. What are the classroom requirements of the HP program?

A. In addition to individual lessons, degree requirements in music theory, history, and ear training, which are determined by qualifying exams, and a choice from among Juilliard’s rich elective offerings, Historical Performance majors take a roster of dedicated classes over the course of their two-year residency:

  • Topics in Historical Performance
  • The Historical and Literature of 17th and 18th Century Music
  • Baroque Keyboard Skills (for non-harpsichord majors)
  • Continuo Skills in Context (for harpsichord majors)
  • Historical Performance Symposium
  • Chamber Music
  • Juilliard415

A full outline of the master’s degree curriculum, with course descriptions, can be found here.

Q. How many lessons will I have?

A. You will have 15 private one-hour lessons each semester of enrollment, for a total of 30 per year. Please click here to read about our renowned faculty.

Q. What can I expect at my audition?

A. We know that auditions are stressful and we really want you to play well! At the audition, you will be able to choose your first piece, and then the panel of faculty will choose from the remaining list of required repertoire. Most first-round auditions last between 5 and 10 minutes. If you are called back, you may be asked to play some more of the repertoire from your list, and/or to sight read or play in a chamber ensemble with members of the faculty. For a list of required audition repertoire, please click here.

Q. What are your alumni doing?

A. Many of our graduates are enjoying rich and varied musical careers. Some are now playing with Les Arts Florissants after having met William Christie at Juilliard. One of our recent grads was named Professor of Double Bass at the Royal College in London, in part because of the connections she made here: Juilliard is a revolving door of who's who in the field. We also have a permanent residency in France, where our some of our students and alumni play alongside members of Les Arts Florissants each summer. Our alumni now play regularly in the major period-instrument orchestras in North America. Many are also competition winners, including most recently of the Leipzig Bach Competition and Telemann Competition in Magdeburg. Some are also founders or members of exciting emerging ensembles, such as The Sebastians and the Diderot String Quartet.

Q. What is an average day like for students?

A. Juilliard Historical Performance students maintain an extremely intensive schedule and are generally at school every day for classes, rehearsals, coachings, performances, and to hang out with friends. While each student’s schedule varies, here are three examples of what a typical day might entail:

10-10:40     Ear training
11:30-1       Historical Performance Symposium
2:30-5:30    Juilliard415 rehearsal
6:30-7:30    Rehearsal for a classmate’s graduation recital
7:30-10       Practice and homework

10-11:30    Music history
12-1           Chamber music rehearsal
1-2:30        History and Literature of 17th and 18th Century Music
2:30-4:30   Baroque Keyboard Skills
5:30-7        Practice
8                Attend a concert at Lincoln Center

9:30-11        Music theory
11:30-1        Historical Performance Symposium
1:30-2:30     Lesson
3:30-4:30     Accompany a friend’s lesson
4:30-6:30     Chamber music coaching
7:30-9          Juilliard415 rehearsal

Q. Can I take outside gigs while I’m a student at Juilliard?

A. Frequently if not always. Our students are ambitious and many of them manage to juggle their course load and performance requirements and increase their professional ties. As a full-tuition scholarship program, Juilliard Historical Performance invests heavily in your education and we expect an equal commitment in return. We offer thoughtful guidance about how to navigate the line between student and professional life.

Q. What is Juilliard415?

A. Juilliard415 is the School’s primary period-instrument ensemble, which replicates the standards of a fully professional orchestra in terms of excellence, breadth of experience, range of repertoire, and associations with guest artists. At some conservatories, there are one or two orchestra programs per year. At Juilliard you will be playing major concert programs at least once per month in New York and on national and international tour, all under the direction of the most esteemed international artists.