The College of Music continues to build partnerships with some of the most legendary music institutions on the planet.
This summer, the college’s music abroad program moves 25 miles south from Florence to Siena, Italy, where students will live and study at the world-famous Accademia Musicale Chigiana
“This is one of the most important musical institutions in Italy,” says Assistant Professor of Violin Charles Wetherbee. “It was founded in 1932 and is held in a wonderful palace with an incredibly beautiful concert hall, rehearsal rooms, classroom space and meeting rooms. It’s an amazing conservatory.”
Wetherbee takes over as music director of the program this year; he’ll lead students in a six-week immersion renamed the Siena International Music Program. Professor Emerita Judith Glyde founded the program in 2012 as Music and the Performing Arts: Renaissance in the XXI Century.
The opportunity to study at the Accademia Chigiana—housed largely in a palace dating back to the 15th century—was too good to pass up. Students will learn from some of the top music faculty in the world amid centuries-old artwork and instruments. The name recognition of the school has added perks, as well.
“The list of alumni is a who’s-who of people in classical music. Claudio Abbado, Sarah Chang, Hillary Hahn, Peter Serkin," Wetherbee says. “We’re also sending students to perform in Rome, Cremona, Alba and possibly Venice. These opportunities are coming up in part because of our association with the Chigiana. People are asking us if we have students who want to perform. It’s almost like we’re being recruited.”
Members of the Takács Quartet will be on hand to teach for part of the program, which runs from May 20 through June 29. Wetherbee is expecting around 15 College of Music students, along with a like number from outside CU.
“They’ll be learning with an international group of faculty, from here in the U.S. and from Italy. That means students not only get to work with new teachers and mentors, but they’ll also be making these connections that could open up grad school or career opportunities down the road.”
In his first year at the helm of the program, Wetherbee is thrilled to be able to provide these kinds of international experiences for students. “It’s kind of a dream come true to be able to give students an opportunity to perform and study abroad. This could be life-changing for the students and for me as director.
“The world is ever shrinking. Offering students a study abroad experience—the richness of being in Europe, learning a foreign language, having this cultural immersion—is extremely valuable.”
The Siena International Music Program is still accepting applications for non-degree students. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.