The Colburn School of Performing Arts provides the highest quality music, dance, and drama after-school instruction to some 1,300 pre-college-age students. The school has recently added a highly selective post-secondary program offering the Bachelor of Music in performance, an Artist Diploma, and a Professional Studies Certificate program. From famous alumni such as Michael Tilson Thomas to classes of three- and four-year-olds playing "Twinkle" on tiny violins, students are encouraged to achieve their individual potential and to enjoy the process. The Colburn School has gained international acclaim for developing highly gifted students from around the world. In addition to close to 70 faculty/artists, world-famous performers regularly visit, including Isaac Stern, Wynton Marsalis, Emanuel Ax, Leon Fleisher, and many others.
The COLBURN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA was founded in 1987, based on the conviction that an elite string ensemble performing repertoire spanning the baroque period through the contemporary is an ideal and necessary educational vehicle for young musicians. The orchestra has provided rich educational opportunities for young musicians at the Colburn School, including special rehearsal sessions with such musicians as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Neville Marriner, Lynn Harrell, and Iona Brown. The CCO toured the United Kingdom in 1990 to considerable acclaim. Many members are also active as chamber music and solo performers; several have won major musical competitions. The orchestra has been featured on radio broadcasts in New York and Los Angeles and on television programs for ABC. Its Young Composer video for PBS won a Los Angeles area Emmy Award in 1994. It currently has a compact disc, Metamorphosen, in national release.