About the Studio

We offer many degrees within viola performance from the undergraduate BM to graduate and doctoral level. Conservatory level training combined with excellent academics provides you with everything that you need to succeed. The Bienen School of Music has many large and intimate ensembles as well as a thriving chamber music program, concerto competition and many other performance opportunities. In addition there are opportunities to work on special projects within the studio that provide you with insight and important skills that will help you towards your goals.
The Viola Studio at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University is a diverse program with many choices for study. Although double degrees are very common at NU because of the quality of the other schools within the university, students are able to choose from majoring solely in viola performance, being a double major (graduating with one degree but two majors) or dual degrees programs (two separate degrees from two schools within NU). Some programs are 4 years and some 5 at the undergraduate level but we also offer Master’s degrees (2 years) and Doctoral degrees.
The Bienen School of Music offers some of the world’s most impressive facilities with its brand new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts. Just under 100 practice rooms with state of the art lakefront views, classrooms, studios and administration offices, the new building connects the former music buildings in one large complex that provides students with unprecedented access to world class performance spaces and other facilities.
The Faculty at NU comprises of world renown performers and teachers and many members of the Chicago Symphony within its ranks. Here you have the opportunity to study with leaders in their field of performance and teaching as well as preeminent academic faculty who are an integral part of the experience at Northwestern. The conservatory-level training fulfills the expectation that we must train our students at the highest level to be as competitive as possible for the demands of the profession.
We are focused on you as an individual and cultivating your unique voice. With our programs and faculty working together to create degrees that reflect your interests and abilities, we aim to provide the kind of environment that allows you to develop your own voice but also be challenged to the highest level. Students come to Northwestern from some of the most prestigious schools in the country and graduate to win important positions in orchestras, academia and throughout the musical world.
The Viola Studio offers a very comprehensive program with weekly lessons and studio classes (in addition to weekly joint String/Chamber Music Performance classes), special guest masterclasses, special viola related events and projects as well as a Graduate Assistant and/or Teaching Assistant positions. These are prized positions within the String area that will allow for individuals to get an inside experience to working within an academic environment but also be encouraged to teach and prepare projects that are important to them. They are training positions for the next generation of teachers and performers.
Viola study at Northwestern is a competitive program that requires you work at your very best and participate fully in. You are being trained with the job market in mind and not only your playing will be developed during your time at NU. There are opportunities to work on your professional application materials, learn how to teach a masterclass, apply for a position as well as play at the highest level possible.
To find out more about the NU Viola Studio, please take some time to look around this web site and visit my web site at HelenCallus.com where we are developing a NU resource page for visitors.
There is so much to offer when studying at NU. A great college town, with close proximity to Chicago, beaches and lakefront activities as well as all the artisan boutiques and shops – it is a great place to live!
Dont hesitate to write for more information!
Helen Callus