The USC Thornton Strings department is an internationally recognized, distinguished top-tier program. Its eminent artist-teachers are exceptionally qualified in both individual instruction and in coaching for chamber music. Outstanding standards of professionalism in performance and teaching have been upheld for more than a century by a faculty that has included Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Primrose. More recent faculty have included Donald McInnes, Midori Goto, Glenn Dicterow, and the chair of the Strings department, Ralph Kirshbaum.

Strings students will have the opportunity to participate in the varied, professional-level performance groups on campus, including the USC Thornton Symphony, the USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra and many prize-winning chamber ensembles.

USC Thornton, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) have joined forces to offer the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, which offers rigorous training to top-tier string musicians in the Graduate Certificate (GCRT) program at USC Thornton, as well as a generous financial package covering full tuition and living expenses. See more information on the Graduate Certificate page.

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Midori Goto holding violin

Midori named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2021

January 15, 2021

Celebrated violinist Midori, who served on the USC Thornton faculty for 14 years until 2018 and is currently a Judge Widney Professor of Music at USC, was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for 2021. This year’s award, which celebrates a lifetime of artistic achievement, also includes Debbie Allen, Joan Baez,… read more

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