Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Harp

As part of the String Department you will join a longstanding tradition of excellence. Learn from faculty that draw from wide-ranging experiences as soloists, pedagogues, chamber musicians, and orchestral musicians. Take a lesson with our internationally renowned faculty. Get a chamber music coaching with the Grammy award-winning Muir Quartet. Prep for your orchestra auditions with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

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Whatever path you choose, the String Department offers the optimal training ground for students seeking meaningful careers as orchestral and chamber musicians, soloists, teachers, and pedagogues.

Celebrating 150 years of bu school of music

String Faculty

Program of Study

Applied Study

String faculty members provide weekly private lessons for all music majors whose principal instrument is violin, viola, cello, double bass, or harp. Regularly scheduled string department recitals present students in a formal performance setting outside of their required degree recitals. An annual series of guest masterclasses provides students contact with a variety of distinguished artist-teachers and the opportunity to benefit from the insights and approaches of many pedagogical styles.

String Courses

The String Department offers courses in:
String Pedagogy: Covering teaching methods and materials, as well as literature concerned with leading pedagogical approaches.
Solo Literature: Survey of important recital and concerto repertoire from the Baroque to the present.
Chamber Music Literature: Survey of the vast and important string chamber music repertoire from the Baroque to the present.

Orchestral Studies

For Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass

With 9 faculty members playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, BU students learn from some the best orchestral players in the country. Our students focus on mastering the standard orchestral excerpts and learn to prepare for the complete orchestral experience through rep readings and repeated mock-auditions.

Under the direction of Maestro James Burton, BU maintains both a symphony orchestra and a chamber orchestra where students continuously perform both new and standard masterpieces as well as play in the pit for our superb opera productions.

Oh, and about that world-class symphony next door? You can go for free. Being exposed to great performances is crucial to growing as an artist. With the BSO College Card you will gain access to free concerts and open rehearsals at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Chamber Music

BU School of Music is dedicated to the study of chamber music at all levels. The String Department runs a large chamber music program, coordinated and coached by members of the Muir Quartet (in-residence at Boston University), and other string faculty members, our program instills the professional skills and entrepreneurial spirit necessary to have chamber music be a meaningful part of your career.

A series of masterclasses and open rehearsals presented by the Muir Quartet gives chamber groups the opportunity to explore further rehearsal techniques and performance ideas in a public setting.

Muir Quartet

The Muir String Quartet, in residence at BU since 1983, has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s most powerful and insightful ensembles, distinguishing itself among audiences and critics with its “exhilarating involvement” (Boston Globe), “impeccable voicing and intonation” (San Francisco Examiner), and “unbridled musicality” (American Record Guide).

The Muir Quartet presents a series of open rehearsals giving chamber groups the opportunity to explore further rehearsal techniques and performance ideas. As part of their residency the Muir Quartet presents an annual series of concerts on campus in addition to their regular off-campus concert schedule.

Audition Requirements

Thinking of applying? Find out more about prescreening, repertoire, and audition details by instrument.

More About Auditions

Music student playing the violin at concert

Learn more about the performance diploma

Violin student performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City

Performance Opportunities

During the course of their studies, students participate in a range of performance opportunities at a variety of venues at Boston University, in the city of Boston, and beyond. With hundreds of performances per year at the School of Music, students are always just a few steps from taking the stage. From recitals to orchestra concerts, students perform regularly including annual performances at Symphony Hall in Boston and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

BU Symphony Orchestra
BU Chamber Orchestra
Opera Orchestra
Chamber Music
Annual Bach Competition
Annual Soloists’ Competition
BU Baroque Orchestra

Performance Ensembles

Notable Alumni

Zino Bogachek,
Member of Kennedy Center/Washington Opera Orchestra

Stephanie (Larsen) Cathcart,
Member of Kansas City Symphony, formerly member of Utah Symphony

Garrett Fischbach,
Member of Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mannes School of Music faculty member

Daniel Han,
Member of Philadelphia Orchestra, formerly member of Minnesota Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony

Mayumi Hasegawa,
Member of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra

Yevgeny Kutik,
Soloist and recording artist – appearances with orchestras throughout the USA, Germany, and the Czech Republic

ZhongLing Lee,
Winner of the Dan David Prize in the Humanities, winner of Harvard Musical Association’s Arthur Foote Award

Ikuko Mizuno,
Member of BSO, BU faculty member

Dainius Puodziukas,
VMU Academy of Music- Kaunas (Lithuania) faculty member, National M.K.Čiurlionis School of Arts – Vilnius faculty and Head of String Dept, member of Kremerata Baltica Orchestra, former Concertmaster of Lithuanian National Opera

Ari Streisfeld,
Member of JACK quartet, touring and recording artist

Na Sun,
Member of New York Philharmonic

Mira Wang,
Touring and recording artist – soloist with orchestras throughout the world, first prize winner of Geneva International Competition

Mark Holloway,
Member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music from Marlboro, Orpheus, substitute with New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and the American Symphony (guest Principal Violist), Boston Chamber Music Society, the ECCE (East Coast Contemporary Ensemble), the Jupiter Chamber Players, and 92nd Street Y Chamber Music

Katrin Meidel,
Ball State University School of Music faculty member

Esther Nahm,
Assistant Principal of Richmond Symphony

David Nicastro,
Member of Philadelphia Orchestra

Savio Santoro,
Federal University of Pernambuco faculty member, frequent soloist with orchestras in Brazil

Mihail Jojatu,
Member of BSO, BU faculty member, Longy School of Music faculty member, member of Boston Cello Quartet

Alexandre Lecarme,
Member of BSO, member of Boston Cello Quartet

Nina Lee,
Member of Brentano Quartet, touring and recording artist, Yale School of Music faculty member

Ira Gold,
Member of National Symphony Orchestra, Peabody Conservatory faculty member

Brandon Mason,
Kansas City Symphony

Brian Perry,
Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Nicky Schwartz,
Member of Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, winner of Julius Stulberg Competition

Todd Seeber,
Member of Boston Symphony Orchestra, Faculty Boston University and New England Conservatory

Typer Shephard,
Principal, Welsh National Opera

Andrew Stalker,
Copenhagen Philharmonic

Tristan Sutton,
Assistant Principal, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Thomas Van Dyke,
Member of Boston Symphony Orchestra, Faculty Boston University

Max Zeugner,
Member of New York Philharmonic

Next Steps for Applicants

The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources to determine if the program is the right match.

Reach out to our Director of Admissions at with any questions along the way or to request information. We are happy to discuss your educational interests and career goals.

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