The National Symphony Orchestra
Summer Music Institute
July 2 – July 30, 2018
Deadline Extended: January 29, 2018
Excerpt recording requirements have changed. Please read below. (Updated 1/12/18)
Celebrating 25 years!
Every summer, approximately 60 students (ages 15-20) from all over the United States, as well as a number of other countries, meet in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center to attend the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute (SMI). The program is designed to expose and prepare students for a 21st Century orchestral career.
This 4-week tuition-free program includes:
- Private lessons taught by a member of the NSO
- Chamber music coaching by NSO musicians
- Master classes and seminars
- Side-by-side orchestra rehearsals with the NSO
- Attendance at selected rehearsal and performances of the NSO
- Participation in the NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra conducted by Abel Pereira
- Major works to be performed in orchestra include Dvorak Symphony No. 9 and Brahms Symphony No. 4
- Performance opportunities in DC metropolitan area, including on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage
- Exposure to internationally-renowned conductors, soloists, and musicians
Each student accepted into the program attends on scholarship, which includes housing, lessons, and local transportation; sometimes provided by WC/NSO, during their stay. Round-trip transportation to and from Washington, DC is not included. Additionally, a stipend for cost of food during the institute is not provided.
I know that without the NSO Summer Music Institute, I wouldn't have discovered my passion for music. The program played a pivotal role in my musical development and I believe it has unique benefits that every young musician (whether they want to pursue a career in music or not) should experience. I have yet to see another American Symphony Orchestra with an education department so strongly committed and dedicated to the education/development of young talented musicians. I am extremely grateful and lucky to have been a part of the Summer Music Institute.
SMI Application Deadline Extended
Monday, January 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. (EST)
(Program dates: July 2-30, 2018)
The following materials are required for the SMI application:
- Orchestral excerpts for instrument (Video Recording)
- Solo piece (Video Recording)
- One Recommendation from music teacher or conductor
- Applicant's Musical Resumé
(Sample of Musical Resume)
All application materials are to be uploaded onto the online application, which will be available November 2017. There is a $30 non-refundable application fee. See the Program Description and Application Instructions below for further details.
- 2018 SMI Faculty
- Financial Aid Application (US applicants only)
- Program Description and Application Instructions
- SMI Brochure
- Sample Program Schedule
2018 Orchestral Excerpts by Instruments
Excerpts can be recorded as single tracks or in one continuous track. (Updated 1/12/18)
David and Alice Rubenstein are the Presenting Underwriters of the NSO.
The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is made possible through generous support from Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Small and the National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees.
Support for the Summer Music Institute is provided by
Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
Kennedy Center education and related artistic programming is made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts.
Gifts and grants to educational programs at the Kennedy Center are provided by Sandra K. & Clement C. Alpert; AnBryce Foundation; The Argus Fund; Bank of America; Bender Foundation, Inc.; The Honorable Stuart Bernstein and Wilma E. Bernstein; Centene Charitable Foundation; A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation; CMA Foundation; Crayola; Dalio Foundation; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation; The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.; David Gregory and Beth Wilkinson; The EstÃ©e Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation; Exelon Foundation; Ford Foundation; The Gessner Family Foundation; Harman Family Foundation; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; The Hearst Foundations; Herb Alpert Foundation; Hilton Worldwide; The Isadore and Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc.; iTheatrics; The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; James A. Johnson and Maxine Isaacs; the Kimsey Endowment; The King-White Family Foundation and Dr. J. Douglas White; Natalie and Herb Kohler and Kohler Co.; Laird Norton Family Foundation; Legg Mason Charitable Foundation; Macy's; The Markow Totevy Foundation; Linda and Tobia Mercuro; Little Kids Rock; The Meredith Foundation; The Millennium Stage Endowment Fund; The Morningstar Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Music Theatre International; Myra and Leura Younker Endowment Fund; NAMM Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Newman's Own Foundation; Oath Foundation; The Orlebeke Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Mrs. Irene Pollin; Prince Charitable Trusts; the Embassy of the State of Qatar; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; Rosemary Kennedy Education Fund; Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A. J. Stolwijk; Rosenthal Family Foundation; Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; Share Fund; Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Small; Target; the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates; The Volgenau Foundation; Volkswagen Group of America; Washington Gas; Wells Fargo; Beatrice and Anthony Welters; William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts; and generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.
The content of this program may have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education but does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Watch & Listen
- 7/23/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage
- 7/22/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage
- 7/17/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage
- 7/14/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage
- 7/13/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage
- 7/12/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage
- 7/7/16: NSO Summer Music Institute Performed on the Millennium Stage