Academy Fellowships

The Music Institute of Chicago has announced the establishment of six new Academy Fellowship positions. The prestigious Fellowships will be named for the generous benefactors who have provided full underwriting for the new program: Kathy and Gerhard Bette (Chicago), Susan and Richard Kiphart (Chicago), Betsey and John Puth (Winnetka) and the Sage Foundation of Brighton, Michigan.


Auditions for highly qualified pre-college string players and pianists ages nine and up take place at the end of August. Each Academy Fellow will receive a full tuition scholarship for study in the Academy and have exclusive opportunities to perform and coach with an array of world-class guest artists. Fellowship recipients also will receive benefits such as free professional recording and piano accompanying services.


“Academy Fellowships will offer pre-collegiate students of the absolute highest talent level the necessary tools and opportunities to pursue their professional aspirations,” said Dr. Mark George, the Music Institute’s president and CEO. “Fellows must exhibit an uncommon level of dedication and work on the most advanced repertoire. They will have a realistic chance at professional solo, chamber music, or orchestral careers.”

Academy alumnus Matthew Lipman, who recently completed his first year as a violist at The Juilliard School, reflected on the significance of his Academy experience: “The Academy was an essential part of my musical growth. It taught me how to strive for excellence, which is something I will carry with me throughout my life. Each component of the Academy’s curriculum, including lessons, chamber music, orchestra, and music theory, is at an incredibly high level, and what I learned in each of those fields proved to be invaluable, especially as a student entering a major music conservatory.”

Another Academy alumnus, violinist and Curtis Institute of Music student Benjamin Beilman, captured the Grand Prize at the 2010 Montreal International Musical Competition. Of his Academy experience, he commented, “I consider the time I spent studying with Almita and Roland Vamos at the Academy some of the most formative and important years of my life.”

For more information about the Academy Program at MIC, or contact Sue Polutnik, 847.448.8311.