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The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a conservatory and preparatory school in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood of northern Baltimore, Maryland, facing the Washington Monument circle at the corner of North Charles and East Monument Streets (also known as intersection of Mount Vernon Place and Washington Place).
George Peabody founded the Institute with a bequest of about $800,000 from his fortune made in Massachusetts and Baltimore (where he lived from 1815–1835).
Completion of the Grecian-Italian west wing building housing the Institute, designed by Edmund George Lind, was delayed by the Civil War; it was dedicated in 1866. Under the direction of well-known musicians, composers, conductors, and Peabody alumni, the Institute grew from a local academy into an internationally-renowned cultural center through the late 19th and the 20th centuries.
The Institute building's 1878 east wing contains the affiliated George Peabody Library, which functioned from 1966 to 1982 for a time as a division of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the city's public library. The library was created and endowed by Peabody's friend and fellow Bay Stater, Enoch Pratt (1808–1896). (In turn, Peabody and Pratt inspired steel industrialist and millionaire Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919), who endowed more than 2,500 libraries.)
In 1978, the Institute began working with The Johns Hopkins University under an affiliation agreement. In 1985, the Institute became a division of the university.
Peabody is one of 156 schools in the United States that offer a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree. It houses two libraries: the historical George Peabody Library established when the Institute opened in 1866, known for its collection of 19th Century books and the Arthur Friedheim Library (named for Russian-born pianist/conductor Arthur Friedheim), a separate music library added to supplement the Institute's original library (now the separate George Peabody Library in the east wing) that includes more than 100,000 books, scores, and sound recordings.
The conservatory was later supplemented by a preparatory school, auditorium/music hall, art gallery, public research library, with lecture series, and gold, silver and bronze medals, and certificates with money prizes for top honor graduates of Baltimore's public secondary schools; the all-male Central High School (now Baltimore City College) and female Eastern and Western High Schools. "Peabody Prizes" are awarded to high school graduates beginning the following year at commencement exercises and continue for 122 years as an honored annual tradition with public announcements to city's media.
Peabody Children's Chorus
The Peabody Children's chorus is for children ages 6–18. It is divided into three groups: Training Choir, Choristers, and Cantate, grouped by age in ascending order. They practice weekly in Towson or Columbia, Maryland, and sing in concerts biannually under the instruction of Doreen Falby, Bradley Permenter, and Julia Sherriff. Cantate, ages 12–18, frequently perform with other groups, such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and have toured both regionally and internationally.
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- Tori Amos — (Prep.) American-born pianist
- Dominick Argento — Composer of lyric opera and choral music.
- Alicia Berneche—Opera singer
- Carter Brey – Principal cellist, New York Philharmonic.
- Richard Cassilly (1927–1998) — Tenor
- Angelin Chang — Grammy-award winning classical pianist
- Martha Clarke — (Prep.) Choreographer and dance director.
- Richard Wayne Dirksen (1921–2003) — Organist-choirmaster at the Washington National Cathedral
- Joshua Fineberg – American composer.
- Virgil Fox (1912–1980) — Concert organist and recording artist.
- Philip Glass — (Prep.) Composer of opera and contemporary music.
- Hilary Hahn – (Prep.) Violinist.
- Ronn McFarlane – Lutenist, Baroque and Renaissance music interpreter
- Michael Hedges (1953–1997) – Composer, Grammy Award-winning (1998) guitarist.
- Michael Hersch — American composer.
- Kevin Kenner — American-born pianist, winner of top prize in International Chopin Competition, bronze in International Tchaikovsky Competition.
- Custer LaRue – American soprano, specialist in music of the Renaissance and vocal soloist of the Baltimore Consort
- Ellis Larkins (1923–2002) — American jazz pianist. First African-American to attend the conservatory.
- James Morris — Wagnerian baritone, Grammy winner and performer with Metropolitan Opera.
- Mem Nahadr — (Prep.) Performance Artist, pianist and singer-songwriter. Attended from age ten to fourteen.
- Tommy Newsom (1929–2007) — Saxophonist for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
- Awadagin Pratt — Concert pianist, violinist and conductor, winner of Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Competition.
- Lillian Smith (1897–1966) — Author and social critic (two enrollments, no degree)
- David Spelman – Founder and Artistic Director of New York Guitar Festival, music supervisor in the film industry.
- Edna Stern (born 1977) – pianist
- John Charles Thomas (1891–1960) – Opera and concert baritone and member of the Metropolitan Opera company in the 1930s and '40s.
- André Watts — Concert pianist, Grammy winner and professor at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music.
- Paul Wells (1888–1927), concert pianist
- Hugh Wolff – Conductor, currently on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music.
- Charles A. Zimmerman (1861–1916) – Bandmaster at US Naval Academy 1887 to 1916, composer of Anchors Aweigh.
- Diran Alexanian, cello
- Manuel Barrueco, guitar
- Garnett Bruce, opera
- Elliott Carter (1946–48), composition
- Jay Clayton, jazz
- David Fedderly, tuba
- Leon Fleisher, piano
- Asger Hamerik, Director 1871–1898
- Michael Hersch, composition
- Nicholas Maw (1935–2009), composition
- Anthony McGill, clarinet
- Gustav Meier, conducting
- Edward Palanker, clarinet
- Marina Piccinini, flute
- Kevin Puts, composition
- John Shirley-Quirk, voice
- Robert van Sice, percussion
- Gary Thomas, Jazz
- Barry Tuckwell, horn
- Frank Valentino, voice
- John Walker, organ
- "GEORGE PEABODY.; Death of the Great Philanthropist—His Last Hours Passed in London—His Career and Benefactions". The New York Times. November 5, 1869. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- "Peabody to Affilliate [sic] With Johns Hopkins". The New York Times. January 1, 1977. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- Wierzalis, Bill and Koontz, John P., Images of America: Mount Vernon Place (2006) p. 60-61. Arcadia Publishing ISBN 0-7385-4238-5
- Holland, Bernard (January 4, 1990). "The Peabody, Ready or Not, Is Pushed to Go Out on Its Own". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2009.