Juilliard Names Weston Sprott as Dean of the Preparatory Division, Overseeing Juilliard Pre-College and the Music Advancement Program

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
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NEW YORK –– Juilliard has named trombonist, Pre-College faculty member, and former Music Advancement Program (MAP) faculty member Weston Sprott as dean of the preparatory division. In this role, he will oversee Pre-College and MAP as well as develop and enhance Juilliard’s external collaborations in performing arts training.

Sprott will work closely with President Damian Woetzel, Provost and Dean Ara Guzelimian, Pre-College Artistic Director Yoheved Kaplinsky, and MAP Artistic Advisor Anthony McGill on developing the department’s vision, expanding recruitment efforts, and broadening the reach of Juilliard’s preparatory programming. His appointment will begin May 15, 2019, and he will remain a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, which he joined in 2005. 

“Over the past 11 years Weston Sprott has been a much-valued member of our Pre-College and Music Advancement Program faculty, and I am so pleased to now have him as our new dean of the preparatory division,” Damian Woetzel said. “As a gifted musician, esteemed educator, and thought leader within the music world, Weston is the ideal candidate to guide the continued development of our efforts to create and nurture the next generation of musicians.”

“It is truly an honor to be chosen as Juilliard’s dean of the preparatory division,” Sprott said. “Having the opportunity to impact the outcomes of our talented young musicians is a privilege and responsibility that I take very seriously. Thank you to President Woetzel, Provost and Dean Guzelimian, and everyone in the Juilliard family for trusting me with this position. I am inspired by the opportunity to collaborate with great colleagues and contribute to the ongoing evolution of Juilliard’s tradition of excellence.”

“We are thrilled that Weston will take charge of our preparatory division. I can’t think of a more perfect candidate who embodies all of Juilliard’s values and visions,” said Yoheved Kaplinsky, artistic director of Juilliard Pre-College and chair of Juilliard’s piano department. “I look forward to benefitting from his artistry, deep experience, and commitment to excellence. He will be an invaluable role model for our students, and we are fortunate to have him.”

“Weston Sprott’s appointment is fantastic for Juilliard. He shares the school’s commitment to music education and diversity within the arts,” said Anthony McGill, artistic advisor of the Music Advancement Program, Juilliard clarinet faculty member, and principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic. “I look forward to working with him to ensure more talented youngsters have access to the treasures that Juilliard provides all of its students.”

The cornerstones of Juilliard's Preparatory Division are two Saturday music programs. Juilliard Pre-College, which just celebrated its centennial, offers a comprehensive conservatory-style music program for students ages 8 to 18 who exhibit the talent, potential, and ambition to pursue music study at the college level. The Music Advancement Program offers intermediate students with great musical potential a comprehensive curriculum, performance opportunities, and summer study partnerships that allow them to pursue advanced music studies while developing their talents as artists, leaders, and global citizens.

About Weston Sprott

Weston Sprott (Pre-College faculty 2016-present, MAP faculty 2008-15), who has been a trombonist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra since 2005, enjoys an exciting career that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo performances as well as numerous educational and outreach efforts.

As a soloist, he has performed regularly throughout the U.S., Europe, South Africa, and Asia, making his Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 and appearing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 2017. His debut album, Act I, was released in 2010. He has performed on countless recordings by the Metropolitan Opera and been recognized as “an excellent trombonist” with a “sense of style and phrasing [that] takes a backseat to no one.” Sprott designed and plays the “Courtois Creation–New York" model trombone. He has performed regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra, held a position with the Zurich Opera/Philharmonia, and has appeared with numerous other major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, and Oslo Philharmonic. Previous posts include principal positions with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. Chamber music and festival engagements include Classical Tahoe, Festival Napa Valley, Walla Chamber Music Festival, Chineke!, and numerous others.

A dedicated and tireless teacher, Sprott has served on the faculties of Mannes, Bard, and Purchase colleges and  Rutgers University. During the summer, he is a regular faculty member of the SICMF, PRIZM, Curtis Institute of Music’s Summerfest, Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra-USA (NYO-USA), and NYO2.

Sprott is an active speaker, writer, and advisor for diversity and inclusion efforts in classical music. He is the founder and board chair of the Friends of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF), a member of the Bronx Arts Ensemble’s artistic advisory board, and a recipient of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program (TDP) Aspire Award. Sprott served for seven years as an officer of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra committee and worked to establish the MetOrchestraMusicians nonprofit organization. He frequently works with and supports the Sphinx Organization, Play On Philly, and TDP. He has sponsored educational opportunities and solicited instrument donations for disadvantaged students and contributes frequently as a guest speaker and panel facilitator on the topics of education and inclusion at leading classical music conferences.

Sprott holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. His performances and interviews have been seen and heard on PBS' Great Performances, NPR's Performance Today, MSNBC, and Sirius Satellite Radio.

About Juilliard Pre-College

One of the foremost music preparatory programs in the world, the Juilliard Pre-College Division educates today’s most promising artists. The Pre-College Division at Juilliard offers a complete curriculum of music instruction for highly gifted children up to age 18. Students attend Juilliard every Saturday for 30 weeks during the school year for an individualized course of instruction carefully designed to meet their particular needs. The selective program includes instruction in a chosen major, academic study of music, and solo and ensemble performances. Recognizing the importance of early development and discipline in the music field, the program provides a caring, collaborative, and challenging atmosphere where artistic gifts and technical skills can flourish. Approximately 300 students are enrolled in Juilliard’s Pre-College program. Yoheved Kaplinsky, a Pre-College alumna who also received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate from Juilliard, is artistic director of Juilliard Pre-College; she is also the Susan W. Rose Chair of the piano department in Juilliard’s College Division.

Among the many Pre-College alumni who have gone on to illustrious careers are conductors Marin Alsop, James Gaffigan, Alan Gilbert, and Eric Jacobsen; pianists Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, Conrad Tao, and Joyce Yang; violinists Pamela Frank, Anne Akiko Meyers, Midori, Itzhak Perlman, and Gil Shaham; cellists Matt Haimovitz, Yo-Yo Ma, and Astrid Schween; singers Patti LuPone and Neil Sedaka; and composers Nicholas Britell, Peng-Peng Gong, Marvin Hamlisch, and Stephen Schwartz.

About Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program

The Music Advancement Program (MAP) is a Saturday instrument instruction program for intermediate students from New York City’s five boroughs and the tristate area who exhibit great musical potential. The program actively seeks students from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in the classical music field and is committed to enrolling the most talented and deserving students regardless of their financial background. Through a comprehensive curriculum, performance opportunities, and summer study partnerships, MAP students gain the necessary skills to pursue advanced music studies while developing their talents as artists, leaders, and global citizens.

The Music Advancement Program is generously supported through an endowed gift in memory of Carl K. Heyman.

About The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, The Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. Juilliard’s mission is to provide the highest caliber of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, and actors from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens.

Located at Lincoln Center in New York City, Juilliard offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in dance, drama (acting and playwriting), and music (classical, jazz, historical performance, and vocal arts). Currently more than 800 artists from 40 states and 38 countries are enrolled at Juilliard, where they appear in more than 700 annual performances in the school’s five theaters; at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully and David Geffen halls and at Carnegie Hall; as well as other venues around New York City, the country, and the world. Beyond its New York campus, Juilliard is defining new directions in global performing arts education for a range of learners and enthusiasts through The Tianjin Juilliard School and K-12 educational curricula.

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Weston Sprott
Juilliard Names Weston Sprott as Dean of the Preparatory Division, Overseeing Juilliard Pre-College and the Music Advancement Program (photo by David Finlayson)