Summer Performance Workshops

Taught by the prestigious Bienen School faculty and a host of renowned guest artists, these intensive experiences are designed to challenge musicians to achieve the next level in their career. Participants have the opportunity to network with musicians from around the world while visiting Chicago, one of the world’s greatest musical cities.

Summer 2018 Performance Offerings

Conducting and Wind Music Symposium
with Mallory Thompson* and Eugene Migliaro Corporon
July 8-13, 2018 (one-week session)

Duo Piano Master Class
with Sylvia Wang*
July 23-28, 2018 (one-week session)

Guitar Workshop
with Anne Waller*, Mark Maxwell and guest artist Oscar Ghiglia
June 24-29, 2018 (one-week session)
Full Program Youth Auditors and Per-Day Auditors welcome

Intensive Vocal Performance Seminar
with Pamela Hinchman*
July 23-27, 2018 (one-week session)
Full Program and Per-Day Auditors welcome

Oboe Workshop
with Robert Morgan,* Michael Henoch,* and Scott Hostetler*
June 29–July 1, 2018 (three-day session)

Percussion Symposium
with She-e Wu*
July 30-August 4, 2018 (one-week session)
Full Program and Per-Day Auditors welcome

Trombone Master Classes
with Michael Mulcahy*
July 1-6, 2018 (one-week session)

Full Program and Per-Day Auditors welcome

Violin Institute
with Blair Milton*
June 25-July 6, 2018 (two-week session)
Full Program, Per-Day and Per-Session Auditors welcome

Voice Institute: The Naked Voice for Singers and Teachers
with W. Stephen Smith*
June 24-30, 2018 (one-week session)
Full Program Auditors only

*indicates Bienen School of Music Faculty

A list of non-major music courses offered through Summer Session can be found here.


Applying to Summer Session Performance Programs at the Bienen School of Music

Registration for Bienen School of Music Summer performance institutes, master classes, seminars, symposia and workshops, either for credit or non-credit, must be done through the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music Office of Admission and Financial Aid. All tuition amounts listed are for non-credit registration. There is an additional charge for registering for any performance program for university credit. For registration materials and special instructions, contact the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 847-491-3141 or

Applications for Bienen School of Music summer performance institutes, master classes, seminars, symposia and workshops must be submitted via the Summer Application. Upon creating a file in the Application, applicants should select “Summer Session” as their application type, and then select the workshop to which you are applying. This will ensure that your file is distributed to the correct reviewers. No separate application form is necessary--do not submit an application to Northwestern University via the Common Application or Graduate Music Online Application. Applicants will be asked to upload a detailed resume as well as all audition requirements for the performance offerings. NOTE: No paper applications will be accepted. Do not mail recordings to the Bienen School of Music or to faculty, as these will not be reviewed or returned.

Detailed audition requirements, deadlines and participation dates for all summer performance offerings can be found on the individual program pages, linked above.

Applications submitted via the Summer Application will be reviewed in a timely manner. Students who are accepted to participate in a performance program will be notified via email, and will receive payment deadline information, enrollment paperwork, and other admission materials. Participation in a performance program is not guaranteed until full payment has been received by the Bienen School of Music. 

Please note that auditors to summer performance programs are not required to apply, but we encourage you register in advance by emailing to ensure you have a seat in the class.

The offering of any summer program is dependent on a minimum number of registered participants and subject to cancellation if the required registration does not materialize by the registration deadlines.

Auditing a Summer Session Performance Program

Auditors are welcome in many of our summer performance workshops.  In some cases, the option to audit the entire program is available, while in others you can audit on a per-day basis (Note that the Violin Institute is the only program that offers per-session auditors). Those who wish to audit the full program should complete the Summer Application and select “Auditor” in the Application Information section. Daily auditors are not required to apply in advance, but we encourage you to register by emailing to ensure you will have a seat in the class.  

Auditor fees should be paid at the door of the program venue. Do not mail payments to Northwestern University, and do not attempt to pay online via the Office of Student Accounts. The Bienen School cannot guarantee a refund of auditor fees that are sent to the wrong office.

Q.  What if I was originally accepted as a full participant, but now wish to audit the program instead?

A.  If you let us know before the cancellation deadline, we will be able to refund any payments in full, and then you can pay the auditor fees at the door. If the cancellation deadline has passed, the Bienen School is unable to refund any payments made via CAESAR. Contact for more information.

2017 Tuition, Cancellation, and Refund Information


Participant Tuition

Full Program Auditor

Per-Day Auditor

Per-Session Auditor

2-week session






1-week session






3-day session






2-week w/NU credit (1/2 unit)





1-week w/NU credit (1/2 unit)





Please refer to each program’s webpage for detailed information on tuition and payment deadlines. University credit is only available for sessions lasting at least one week in length. Full participants may receive ½ unit of Northwestern undergraduate credit for these programs, and will be asked to submit written work for evaluation and grading. Auditors are not eligible to receive Northwestern credit.

Note that special tuition rates for educators are available from Northwestern Summer Session for academic coursework, but these rates are not available for performance programs through the Bienen School of Music. CPDU credits, however, may be available; email for more information.

Cancellations that are processed before the stated deadline will receive a full refund. Cancellations after the stated deadline are not eligible for full or partial payment refunds. Admitted participants who accept a space in a Summer Performance Program will be enrolled as a non-degree student at Northwestern University, and will be registered in the appropriate summer offering. Payments can then be made via credit card or online check through the Northwestern University CAESAR billing system. Failure to pay balance in full by the enrollment deadline will forfeit an offer of admission to any summer program.  Information on accessing CAESAR will be sent with admission materials. For payment and cancellation deadlines, please refer to each summer program’s webpage (above).