Professional Partnerships

School of Music

Boston University School of Music is affiliated with numerous organizations that provide an exciting and creative extension of its core programs.

Alea III is the contemporary music ensemble in residence at Boston University, a group devoted to promoting, playing, and teaching music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Founded in 1978, Alea III is the third such group organized by Music Director Theodore Antoniou. The ensemble is consistent with the music it embraces—flexible in size, open to experiment and to exploration. Over the years, Alea III has offered world-premiere opportunities for dozens of contemporary composers, often under the composer’s direction, and with extended program notes or comments. The group has performed more than 1,420 works by 810 composers—most of them living. Frequent international touring has enhanced the relationships of American performers with their colleagues and composers from other parts of the world. With its inspiration, several other contemporary groups have been formed, offering growing opportunity to young composers and musicians to play and comprehend contemporary music. Learn More

The Greek word alea taken from Homer, means “to wander.” In Latin, it refers to “a die or dice used for playing at games of chance.” The term aleatoric music indicates music based upon the principles of indeterminacy as evidenced by certain random and/or statistical procedures of composition. In regard to the ensemble, aleatoric is concerned with the expression of a multiplicity of musical directions, historical styles, and performance practices.

Widely regarded as one of the country’s finest youth orchestra programs, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO) is recognized as a model organization in music and arts education. BYSO serves nearly 500 students from more than 120 communities throughout New England. Since 1958, BYSO has been in residence at Boston University.

The mission of BYSO is to encourage musical excellence in a professional and supportive environment by providing the highest quality orchestra training and performance opportunities to qualified musicians, grades K–12, and making its programs accessible to underserved communities through financial assistance and outreach.

Under the leadership of Music Director Federico Cortese, BYSO has become one of Boston’s most prestigious arts organizations with a programmatic scope that includes three full symphonic orchestras, six chamber orchestras, two string training orchestras, a preparatory wind ensemble, a chamber music program, and the Intensive Community Program, a nationally recognized string training program for underrepresented communities. Learn More

In its 35th season, the Muir String Quartet 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 has been in residence at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts since 1983, and gives annual summer workshops at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI). The Muir Quartet has also given master classes at schools worldwide, including the Eastman School of Music, the Curtis Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, China. Since 1989, the quartet has presented the Emerging Quartets and Composers Program in Utah with eminent composer Joan Tower. This program is now part of the Muir’s role as resident chamber ensemble with the Deer Valley Festival, in partnership with the Utah Symphony/Opera. Learn More

School of Theatre

The School of Theatre has a long tradition of embracing the value of the professional theatre’s participation in the education of our students. We have now arrived at a landmark number of professional theatre ventures that embrace the possibilities of building strong bridges between the study and practice of the theatre arts.

The Boston Center for American Performance serves as the professional production extension of the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre. Expanding the definition of the College as an “artistic home,” BCAP is designed to foster significant interaction between members of the professional performing arts world and the College. Creating productions in one of our many venues in our home city, BCAP employs professional artists to collaborate directly with student artists in a way that encourages intergenerational learning not only through the forging of strong teacher/student relationships, but through the creation of artistic collaborations between artists of differing levels of experience.

This initiative encourages interaction among professional faculty artists, alumni, students, and other affiliated artists both locally and nationally. It is the College’s conviction that such collaborations will have a profound impact on our educational mission, become a significant source of inspiration for the creation of new work and/or new approaches to existing work, and provide the College with a professional extension of its expanding and diverse aesthetic.Learn More

The Boston University Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI) reflects our belief in the necessity of strong artistic relationships with the theatre profession. PTI provides opportunities for stimulating, creative interactions between participating theatres and the BU School of Theatre community. Our hopes for the future are nothing short of creating models or producing relationships that deepen the educational experience, providing a special path for professional experimentation, and creating new possibilities for the creation of new plays for the theatre. Many of our students, faculty and alumni are linked with a variety of professional theatres of many kinds, sizes, and missions to provide experience and interaction that serve both the participant and the theatre company itself.

In recent years, theatres as varied as the Huntington Theatre Company, previously in residence at Boston University, as well as Company One Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, National Players, Potomac Theatre Project, Vineyard Playhouse, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Pendragon Theatre, among others, have joined this initiative. Project-based interactions have been successfully forged with theatres such as the Guthrie Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Primary Stages, and the Arden Theatre. In 2012, School of Theatre Director Jim Petosa was named Artistic Director of PTI member New Repertory Theatre.

Often, PTI member theatres provide professional opportunities in acting, directing, and design and/or career development opportunities through internships. In some cases, our interactions with these companies result in new play development and opportunities to conceive new approaches to existent works.
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The BU New Play Initiative (NPI) expresses our commitment to the School’s participation in the development of new work. This special initiative provides playwrights, directors, designers, and actors with a variety of developmental options to support the collaborative creation of new work for the theatre. Students, faculty, alumni, and guest artists are given the opportunity to utilize the creativity of the rehearsal room to develop their plays, which are then presented through workshop productions. But the life of these new plays doesn’t end on the BU stages. Many New Play Initiative productions are often later fully produced by member companies of our Professional Theatre Initiative. Learn More

Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre invites you to explore our annual Performance Showcase and Design & Production Exhibit. Join us as we celebrate the graduating students’ accomplishments and formally introduce them to the professional theatre industry and the New York area alumni. Showcase is made possible by the Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley Fund for Career Development and the Jonathan M. Scharer Fund for Career Development in Theatre Arts, through the generosity of Seymore and Vivian Scharer. Learn More

School of Visual Arts

Boston University has a student group affiliation with the Boston chapter of AIGA, the American professional association for design. AIGA connects students to the professional world of design through lectures, portfolios reviews, competitions, and exhibitions. More on AIGA Boston can be found here:

TransCultural Exchange is an award-winning 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting international art and the understanding of world cultures, through high-quality art exhibitions, cultural exchanges, and educational programs in Boston and throughout the world. Boston University is the partner and host site for the TransCultural Exchange Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, which every two years brings together curators, gallerists, funders, critics, residency directors, and artists from around the world for a unique cross-disciplinary platform to network, showcase, support, and promote artists’ work. More info here:

For nearly a decade, Boston Young Contemporaries has brought together emerging artists from across Boston and New England, fostering dialogue across the region. The annual juried exhibition, organized by Boston University students and hosted in 808 Gallery each summer, showcases work from current and recently graduated MFAs from over a dozen graduate programs throughout the area. More information available here: