Apply to Ravinia Steans Music Institute

Exterior of Ravinia's John D. Harza Building, the home of Ravinia Steans Music Institute, with trees outside showing autumn colors

Applications for RSMI’s programs are available seasonally through the online platform Acceptd.

Apply Today

Applications Are Closed for Summer 2024

Applications for the Summer 2025 season will open in early fall 2024.
  • Program for Singers – Online application deadline September 30, 2023
  • Program for JazzBy Invitation Only, deadline January 16, 2024
    • Musicians invited to apply must provide their Application Invitation Code to submit the required materials
  • Program for Piano & Strings
    • Cello, Piano, Viola, and Violin – Application deadline January 31, 2024
    • New for Summer 2024: Collaborative Piano Fellowship – Application deadline January 31, 2024
      • Live auditions in New York City: March 1, 2024
  • Bridges Composition Competition – Submission deadline January 31, 2024

Email institute@ravinia.org with questions, concerns, or for clarification.
There is no fee to apply to any of RSMI’s programs.

Bridges Composition Competition

  • Composers must be 18–30 years of age at the time of submission.
  • All nationalities are permitted to submit works for the composition competition.
  • Submissions must be from individual composers — works credited to duos or groups will not be accepted.
  • Composers must be able to attend the full in-person workshop, including the world-premiere performance.
    • Arrival: Tues., June 4, 2024
    • Program: June 5 – 11, 2024
    • Departure: Wed., June 12, 2024
  • Pieces submitted must be composed for string quartet (two violins, viola, and cello) and jazz trio (piano, bass, and drums).
    • Optional: Compositions may include a melodic part for a horn/wind instrument – no vocals – in addition to the string quartet and jazz trio.
  • Submissions must be new compositions that will receive their world premiere at Ravinia Festival.
  • Submissions should be 10 minutes long.
  • Submissions must include score and all parts in a fully legible format. Illegible scores/parts will be rejected.
  • Scores/parts should have only the title printed on the cover in order to allow for blind evaluation. All identifying information (e.g., name, address, email, phone number, biography, photograph, program notes, etc.) must be submitted separately through the application portal.
  • A recording of the work is required with all submissions — MIDI format is acceptable.

The following items must be submitted on Acceptd. Incomplete, mailed, or emailed submissions will not be considered.

  • Composer résumé
  • Original composition (score and all parts — must be legible to be considered)
    • Acceptable formats: PDF, PS, DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPS, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, OPT, SXW, ODP, SXI, ODS, SXC, RTF
    • It is the responsibility of the composer to provide Ravinia with files that can be read. If the composer is unable to provide acceptable files by the deadline listed above, the entry will be disqualified.
  • Recording of composition
    • Recordings are required for all submissions.
    • MIDI format is acceptable.
  • High-resolution headshot
  • Biography (200 words) suitable for printing in a concert program
  • Program notes — a brief description (3–5 sentences) of the composition suitable for printing in a concert program

Program for Piano & Strings

Eligibility and Program Dates
  • Applicants must be 17–30 years of age at the time of attendance.
  • All nationalities are permitted to apply, but must be able to arrange travel to and from Chicago to attend.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the full duration of the program.
    • Arrival: Sat., June 22, 2024
    • Program: June 23 – July 24, 2024
    • Departure: Thurs., July 25, 2024
Application Requirements
  • Three (3) electronic video recordings that fulfill the requirements below must be uploaded on Acceptd. Physical recordings (e.g., CDs or tapes) will not be accepted, nor will recordings sent by email/link. Live auditions are not offered. Be sure to offer selections of contrasting character. Unaccompanied recordings will not be accepted unless the piece was written to be unaccompanied.
    1. Two (2) contrasting movements of a work from the Classical era. Contrasting movements from a concerto by Mozart or Beethoven, preferably performed with orchestra, will be accepted.
    2. Two (2) contrasting movements of a work from the Romantic era. No concerto excerpts will be accepted for this requirement.
    3. A piece of your choice. A movement of a chamber work will be accepted only if you are playing first violin.
  • Applicants will be asked to submit the following:
    • Performance résumé
    • High-resolution headshot
    • Biography (150 words) suitable for printing in a concert program
    • Proposed recital program: During Summer 2024, two (2) fellows will be selected to perform on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (presented by Classical Music Chicago). Specific guidelines are included in the application.
    • One (1) letter of recommendation: Applicant will be asked to provide the email address of their recommender, who will be contacted separately to submit a letter of recommendation.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions by late February.

Eligibility and Program Dates
  • Applicants must be 17–30 years of age at the time of attendance.
  • All nationalities are permitted to apply, but must be able to arrange travel to and from Chicago to attend.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the full duration of the program.
    • Arrival: Sat., June 22, 2024
    • Program: June 23 – July 24, 2024
    • Departure: Thurs., July 25, 2024
Application Requirements
  • Three (3) electronic video recordings that fulfill the requirements below must be uploaded on Acceptd. Physical recordings (e.g., CDs or tapes) will not be accepted, nor will recordings sent by email/link. Live auditions are not offered. Be sure to offer selections of contrasting character. No works for chamber ensemble will be accepted. Unaccompanied recordings will not be accepted unless the piece was written to be unaccompanied.
    1. Two (2) contrasting movements of a work from the Classical or Baroque era, or a suitable substitute. Concertos by Stamitz, Telemann, or Hoffmeister will be accepted.
    2. Two (2) contrasting movements of a work from the Romantic era
    3. A piece of your choice
  • Applicants will be asked to submit the following:
    • Performance résumé
    • High-resolution headshot
    • Biography (150 words) suitable for printing in a concert program
    • Proposed recital program: During Summer 2024, two (2) fellows will be selected to perform on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (presented by Classical Music Chicago). Specific guidelines are included in the application.
    • One (1) letter of recommendation: Applicant will be asked to provide the email address of their recommender, who will be contacted separately to submit a letter of recommendation.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions by late February.

Eligibility and Program Dates
  • Applicants must be 17–30 years of age at the time of attendance.
  • All nationalities are permitted to apply, but must be able to arrange travel to and from Chicago to attend.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the full duration of the program.
    • Arrival: Sat., June 22, 2024
    • Program: June 23 – July 24, 2024
    • Departure: Thurs., July 25, 2024
Application Requirements
  • Three (3) electronic video recordings that fulfill the requirements below must be uploaded on Acceptd. Physical recordings (e.g., CDs or tapes) will not be accepted, nor will recordings sent by email/link. Live auditions are not offered. Be sure to offer selections of contrasting character. No works for chamber ensemble or with orchestra will be accepted, except as noted. Unaccompanied recordings will not be accepted unless the piece was written to be unaccompanied.
    1. Two (2) contrasting movements of a work from the Classical era. Movements from a Haydn concerto will be accepted.
    2. Two (2) contrasting movements of a work from the Romantic era
    3. A piece of your choice
  • Applicants will be asked to submit the following:
    • Performance résumé
    • High-resolution headshot
    • Biography (150 words) suitable for printing in a concert program
    • Proposed recital program: During Summer 2024, two (2) fellows will be selected to perform on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (presented by Classical Music Chicago). Specific guidelines are included in the application.
    • One (1) letter of recommendation: Applicant will be asked to provide the email address of their recommender, who will be contacted separately to submit a letter of recommendation.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions by late February.

Eligibility and Program Dates
  • Applicants must be 17–30 years of age at the time of attendance.
  • All nationalities are permitted to apply, but must be able to arrange travel to and from Chicago to attend.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the full duration of the program.
    • Arrival: Sat., June 22, 2024
    • Program: June 23 – July 24, 2024
    • Departure: Thurs., July 25, 2024
Application Requirements
  • Three (3) electronic video recordings that fulfill the requirements below must be uploaded on Acceptd. Physical recordings (e.g., CDs or tapes) will not be accepted, nor will recordings sent by email/link. Live auditions are not offered. Be sure to offer selections of contrasting character.
    1. Two (2) contrasting movements of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert. Contrasting movements of a concerto by Mozart or Beethoven will be an acceptable substitute only if accompanied by full orchestra.
    2. Two (2) contrasting movements of a solo work from the Romantic era
    3. A piece of your choice. This may be a movement from a chamber work or a sonata with another instrument.
  • Applicants will be asked to submit the following:
    • Performance résumé
    • High-resolution headshot
    • Biography (150 words) suitable for printing in a concert program
    • Proposed recital program: During Summer 2024, two (2) fellows will be selected to perform on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (presented by Classical Music Chicago). Specific guidelines are included in the application.
    • One (1) letter of recommendation: Applicant will be asked to provide the email address of their recommender, who will be contacted separately to submit a letter of recommendation.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions by late February.

RSMI is introducing a fellowship for a collaborative pianist for the 2024 season. During their residency, the accepted fellow will:

  • arrive fully prepared to rehearse and participate in lessons, coachings, and performances;
  • rehearse, coach, and perform four (4) sonatas with RSMI fellows — two (2) violinists, one (1) violist, and one (1) cellist;
  • be assigned two (2) additional pieces that may be used in lessons or performed during master classes and/or public concerts;
  • have one (1) offsite 40–70-minute performance at a partner institution;
  • have two (2) private, one-on-one coachings focused on the assigned repertoire with RSMI staff collaborative pianists; and
  • have one (1) one-on-one lesson with one of the piano faculty members on either a solo sonata or duo repertoire collaborating with a string fellow.
Eligibility/Ideal Candidate Profile and Program Dates
  • Applicants may be up to 35 years of age at the time of attendance.
  • All nationalities are permitted to apply, but must be able to arrange travel to and from Chicago to attend.
  • Applications are open to all, including alumni of the RSMI Piano & Strings Program, regardless of the number of years attended as a fellow.
  • An ideal candidate will have some previous duo collaborative experience and demonstrate a high degree of technical and artistic achievement and standards.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the full duration of the program.
    • Arrival: Sat., June 22, 2024
    • Program: June 23 – July 24, 2024
    • Departure: Thurs., July 25, 2024
Round 1 — Online Applications
  • Three to five (3–5) electronic video recordings that fulfill the requirements below must be uploaded on Acceptd. Physical recordings (e.g., CDs or tapes) will not be accepted, nor will recordings sent by email/link. Recordings must have been captured within the last two (2) years. Applicants must indicate if recordings are unedited or edited. Be sure to offer selections of contrasting character.
  • Recordings Option 1 — Upload three (3) video recordings according to these guidelines:
    1. One (1) complete solo work
    2. One (1) complete duo work with violin, viola, or cello from the Classical period
    3. One (1) complete duo work with violin, viola, or cello from any period
  • Recordings Option 2 — Upload up to five (5) video recordings according to these guidelines:
    • One (1) complete solo work
    • Selections of movements from no more than four (4) different duo works with violin, viola, or cello. One (1) selection must be a substantial work or movement from the Classical period.
  • Applicants will be asked to submit the following:
    • Curriculum vitae (CV)
    • High-resolution headshot
    • Biography
    • Repertory of duo works with strings
    • Proposed recital program: During Summer 2024, two (2) fellows will be selected to perform on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (presented by Classical Music Chicago). Specific guidelines are included in the application.
    • Two (2) letters of recommendation: Applicant will be asked to provide the email addresses of their recommenders, who will be contacted separately to submit a letter of recommendation.
Round 2 — Live Auditions
  • Applicants selected for live auditions will be notified in mid-February.
  • In advance of the auditions, applicants will be assigned two to four (2–4) duo works with violin, viola, or cello to present in the audition.
  • String collaborators will be provided at the audition.
  • Live auditions will take place in New York City on March 1, 2024.
    • Dates, times, and locations may be added or removed at Ravinia’s discretion.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions by early April.

Program for Singers

  • All nationalities are permitted to apply, but must be able to arrange travel to and from Chicago to attend.
  • Applicants must be able to attend the full duration of the program.
    • Arrival: Tues., July 30, 2024
    • Program: July 31 – August 24, 2024
    • Departure: Sun., August 25, 2024
  • All applicants must upload four (4) electronic recordings (video preferred) and supplemental materials to Acceptd for pre-screening.
    • Selected applicants will be asked to attend live auditions.
    • Applicants unable to attend live auditions will be considered based on the recordings submitted with the application, with an opportunity to submit additional audition videos.

Applicants are notified of admissions decisions by mid-January.

  • Each applicant must submit electronic recordings (video preferred) covering the following requirements:
    • One (1) art song in English
    • Two (2) additional art songs of contrasting style and language
    • One (1) aria
  • Additionally, each applicant will be asked to submit:
    • Performance résumé
    • High-resolution headshot
    • Biography (150 words) suitable for printing in a concert program
    • A sample recital program: This may be either a program that you have performed, or a prospective recital that you have not performed. If offering a prospective recital, please take care to craft a program that you would feasibly be able to present. It does not have to be the same repertoire offered for study during the summer.
    • Three (3) references: Applicant will be asked to provide names, phone numbers, and email addresses of their references.
  • Selected applicants will be asked to attend live auditions. Applicants unable to attend live auditions will be considered based on the recordings they submit with the application.
  • Live Audition Repertoire:
    • Singers granted a live audition will be asked to offer at least three (3) art songs of contrasting style and language and two (2) arias from operas and/or oratorios.
    • This does not have to be the same repertoire offered for study during the summer, nor the same repertoire submitted in application recordings.
  • A pianist will be provided at the auditions, but you are welcome to bring your own.
  • Live auditions will be held on multiple days in the following cities:
    • New York City: November 20 & 21, 2023
    • Highland Park, IL: December 2 & 4, 2023
    • Dates, times, and locations may be added or removed at Ravinia’s discretion.