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

Alea III

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.

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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.

Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras (BYSO)

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.

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Muir String Quartet

For over three decades, 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.

New Partnerships

CFA Partners with Boston Public Schools

The partnership provides BPS employees with a discounted tuition rate scholarship for CFA’s online and on-campus master’s programs in Music Education.

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SOM and RI Phil Create Fellowship Program

The graduate-level fellowship program is designed for exceptionally talented BU violinists and violists who come from underrepresented backgrounds.

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