Programs

Orchestral Performance

The OP program at MSM prepares students intensively in the orchestral repertoire.

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An exceptional program that produces polished orchestral musicians of the highest artistic caliber, with successful careers as symphonic players.

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Music (MM)

Other Studies

  • Professional Studies Certificate (PS) – one year
  • Professional Performance Diploma (PPD) – two year

Orchestra Performance Majors

Strings:
Violin
Viola
Cello
Double Bass
Harp

Woodwinds:
Flute
Clarinet
Oboe
Bassoon

Brass:
French Horn
Trumpet
Trombone
Tuba

Percussion

Program Details

Inaugurated in 1991, the MSM Graduate Program in Orchestral Performance is the first accredited degree program of its kind in the United States.  Chaired by Glenn Dicterow, the former concertmaster of the NY Philharmonic, the program produces polished musicians of the highest artistic caliber, who are prepared intensively in the orchestral repertoire for careers as symphonic players.

Students are trained to participate fully in both performance and other nonmusical aspects of life in the modern orchestra, such as orchestra governance, artistic planning, community engagement, and audience development.

The program incorporates curricula specifically designed to train the exceptional, advanced student in both performance and non-musical aspects of life in the modern orchestra. In addition to individual instruction with some of the leading players on the classical scene, these young musicians form the core unit of Chamber Sinfonia and Manhattan School of Music Symphony. Students are seated in leadership roles through competitive auditions.

Audition & Prescreening Information

Procedures By Instrument Type

Handbook for Current Students

Orchestral Performance Department Handbook

Plan of Study & Course Descriptions

MSM Academic Catalog

Head of the MSM Orchestral Performance Program

David Chan dchan@msmnyc.edu

Success Stories

See All
  • May 11, 2023 Orchestra Performance Program
    Students
    OP cello student Jessamyn Fry (MM ’24) wins a section cello position with the Delaware Symphony
  • Apr 6, 2023 Orchestra Performance Program
    Alumni
    MSM Orchestral Performance program horn alumnus Andrew Angelos assumes managerial responsibilities at the Spokane Symphony
  • Apr 4, 2023 Orchestra Performance Program, Strings
    Students
    The New World Symphony accepts MSM Orchestral Performance program current cello student and an alumnus

NOTE: Curriculum is subject to change. In case of a discrepancy, the MSM Academic Catalog is the authoritative source of requirements. View the Academic Catalog here.

Sample Schedule for Orchestral Performance Masters Degree

Total Curriculum Hours: 53-61

  • Major Lessons
    5 cr
  • Orchestral Repertoire Coaching
    1 cr
  • Orchestral Music: Baroque to Classical
    3 cr
  • The Musician as Educator
    1 cr
  • Chamber Sinfonia Core
    1 cr
  • Large Performing Ensemble
    1 cr
  • Chamber Music***
    1 cr
  • Concert Attendance
    0 cr
  • Percussion Lab** (Percussion Majors Only)
    2 cr
Total Credits for Year 1, Fall:
15 cr
  • Major Lessons
    5 cr
  • Orchestral Repertoire Coaching****
    1 cr
  • Orchestral Music: Beethoven to the Present
    3 cr
  • Graduate Electives*
    2 cr
  • Chamber Sinfonia Core
    1 cr
  • Large Performing Ensemble
    1 cr
  • Chamber Music***
    1 cr
  • Concert Attendance
    0 cr
  • Percussion Lab** (Percussion Majors Only)
    2 cr
  • Jury
    0 cr
Total Credits for Year 1, Spring:
16 cr
  • Major Lessons
    5 cr
  • Orchestral Repertoire Coaching****
    1 cr
  • Graduate Electives*
    3 cr
  • Chamber Sinfonia Core
    1 cr
  • Large Performing Ensemble
    1 cr
  • Chamber Music***
    1 cr
  • Percussion Lab** (Percussion Majors Only)
    2 cr
Total Credits for Year 2, Fall:
14 cr
  • Major Lessons
    5 cr
  • Orchestral Repertoire Coaching****
    1 cr
  • Graduate Electives*
    3 cr
  • Chamber Sinfonia Core
    1 cr
  • Large Performing Ensemble
    1 cr
  • Chamber Music***
    1 cr
  • Orchestral Entrepreneurship
    2 cr
  • Percussion Lab** (Percussion Majors Only)
    2 cr
  • Graduation Jury
    0 cr
Total Credits for Year 2, Spring:
16 cr

NOTE: Curriculum is subject to change. In case of a discrepancy, the MSM Academic Catalog is the authoritative source of requirements. View the Academic Catalog here.

*The requirements for the Master of Music degree program and the Postgraduate Diploma program are exactly the same with the exception of the 6 credits in graduate electives, which are not required for the Diploma program.

**Graduate Percussion majors are required to participate in Percussion Lab each semester enrolled, thus requiring these students to register for one additional credit each semester. Additionally, partici- pation in the Percussion Ensemble is required every semester.

***Except for doublebass and harp.

****Except percussion.

“Lessons and coaching with my private teacher are the most exciting part of my education at MSM. They allow me to focus on preparing for the extremely competitive audition process for tenure track positions, in top-tier American and European orchestras.”

Orchestral Double Bass

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