Frequently Asked Questions

If I am accepted into the Academy program ...

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. on the first day of the Academy, so all participants must arrive no later than the Sunday evening before.

The final concert on the Sunday of the second week concludes at 6:30 p.m., followed by a closing reception for Academy Participants, Faculty, Board, and Staff. We recommend that you do not book departing flights before 10 p.m. on that day.

Almost every domestic airline flies into San Francisco International Airport (SFO) or Oakland International Airport (OAK), many of them direct from other major US cities. Both airports can be accessed via BART, our metro system. Please visit for schedules, pricing, and more information. The BART station in San Francisco you’ll most likely be using is Civic Center/UN Plaza. 

In order to ensure an optimal Academy experience, we strongly encourage you to begin exploring housing options immediately. With the abundance of tech companies in San Francisco hosting summer internship programs, temporary housing in the city has become more difficult to secure. While there are plenty of good options available, waiting too long to arrange your housing can lead to problems of expensive accommodations and/or less than desirable locations. Here, you will find a few options that former Academy participants have used to great success.

Inn @ Market, 1412 Market Street, San Franciscco, 94102
415-703-9988 • • 900 feet away

Yotel, 1095 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
415-829-0037 • • 0.6 miles away

Vantaggio Suites, 505 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
415-771-0525• • 1.2 miles away

HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel, 312 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
415-788-5604 • • 1.3 miles away

The Monroe, 1870 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
415-474-6200 • • 1.5 miles away

Columbus Residence, 112 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
415-500-4950 • • 2.8 miles away

Useful websites for other options: 

Academy participants are involved in rehearsals, classes, and other activities every day during the Academy from 9am until the evening hours. Accordingly, we recommend finding accommodations in San Franciso proper or close to the Bay Bridge in the East Bay (Oakland and Berkeley) near Muni and BART lines. Staying across the Golden Gate Bridge in the North Bay, too far east in the East Bay, or too far south of San Francisco will likely not afford the ease of transportation you will need to commute on a daily basis.

The Academy takes place at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street (near the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Market Street), San Francisco CA 94102.

The Academy is tuition-free. But participants must arrange for their own travel to and from San Francisco as well as their housing while at the Academy.

Many participants have been very resourceful in creating opportunities to raise funds from within their own communities for their travel and housing expenses . Among these are soliciting a scholarship foundation in their hometown, asking members of their social organizations, presenting house concerts, or creating YouTube and crowdfunding opportunities. We are happy to provide you with any information that you might need to fulfill one or more of these endeavors. Additionally, organizations such as Early Music America ( offer travel grants for summer study programs.

Steven Lehning, ABS Artistic Administrator, will consult with the individual faculty members about repertoire assignments. In addition to major works (including Bach's Mass in B Minor), you will be assigned a number of chamber works. All of this music will be mailed June 1, so the ABS office will be sending an email to you in May asking for a mailing address that will be valid from June 1 through June 15. By the time you arrive at the end of July, there will also be digital copies available for you to study (these files will include scores as well as individual parts). At the conclusion of the Academy, parts for the large works must be returned, but the chamber music copies will be yours to keep.

Every participant will receive a ticket request form prior to your arrival in San Francisco. Participants are eligible for one complimentary ticket (for themselves) to every performance in which they are not performing.

Regarding my application ...

Letters of recommendation should come from professionals who can thoughtfully comment on your musical abilities with appropriate acumen. Choose, if possible, a professional in the field who knows your current level of playing or singing, and who functions in a supervisory (or directorial) role.

The list of Audition Repertory Guidelines is quite specific. But also consider carefully that, in most cases, we will know your musical interests and aptitude only by the materials that you submit. In light of this, submit a range of repertoire that will show your abilities in various genres. For example, if most or all of your submitted materials primarily represent a focus on a particular period, style, or technique, our faculty may not be able to assume that you are also proficient in other periods, styles, or techniques.

Absolutely not. Recordings must be without any digital editing, other than the removal of silence or unimportant audio or video data before or after a complete musical selection. We cannot stress this point enough. Our faculty are experienced recording artists, and any departure from this policy may affect the consideration of your application.

There are no "pre-qualifications" for re-admission into ABS Academies for subsequent years. You must file a new online application. We strongly suggest that you also submit new audio/video examples of your work to show your current levels of proficiency. If you have questions regarding this, please contact the faculty member(s) for your instrumental or vocal studio.

Notifications about acceptances, wait listing, etc. will be sent during the month of March, with final notices being sent by March 31st.

Upon submitting your application, your referee will receive an email from Acceptd with instructions on how to submit their letter of recommendation. Please use this link for Help with Recommendation Letters. For further assistance with your application, you may contact the Acceptd Support Team via email or by phone: 1-888-725-2122


PO Box 421986
San Francisco, CA 94142-1986


Phone: +1 (415) 621 7900 
Fax: +1 (415) 621 7920