Founded in 1914 as a school of music, Cornish College of the Arts has a distinguished tradition of educating performing musicians. Our faculty is drawn from the leading musical institutions of Seattle as well as active performers and creators in many different musical disciplines.
Whether your primary interest is jazz, instrumental performance, vocal arts, or composition, you’re free to explore established works and new compositions in a variety of genres—on campus and in the Seattle community—from chamber music to tango, baroque to blues, opera to jazz, and beyond. Our alumni pursue careers or graduate study in virtually every facet of music performance, composition, and education around the globe.
Letter from the Chair
Cornish is more than a conservatory; rather, I like to think of Cornish as a music “exploratory.”
Our distinguished faculty members are talented teachers and skilled interpreters, committed to bringing the past to life. But at Cornish — unlike conservatories — you’ll also find the faculty and your fellow students open to new ideas and experimentation. So, if you like to push the boundaries of what’s possible — musically, technically, artistically — Cornish just might be the place for you.
We’re seeking exceptional students. Talented musicians. Individuals interested in carrying on a tradition that started here when John Cage invented the prepared piano at Cornish seventy years ago, and that’s still alive today thanks to our top-notch faculty in jazz, classical, and world music.
Maybe you’re a classical violinist who likes to improvise, or a jazz saxophonist who wants to take your music in a radically new direction, or simply someone who wants to explore what’s possible. The Cornish Music Department was created for people like you.
We offer Bachelor of Music degrees in instrumental performance, vocal performance and composition with emphases in both classical and jazz traditions. The program is small, with fewer than 150 students, selective, and with a student/teacher ratio of 5 to 1, designed to allow you to connect with the music faculty in ways just not possible at larger, impersonal institutions.
Cornish is a place that feels like home, set in the heart of Seattle, one of America’s most livable cities. A program intended for today’s musician, taught by a faculty of working professionals, designed to prepare you for the future, not the past.
Come play a part.
Professor of Composition
Music Department Chair