Peabody Institute

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For the other Peabody Institute, see Peabody Institute (Danvers, Massachusetts).
Peabody Institute
Type Private conservatory
Preparatory school
Established 1857
1985 (became part of JHU)
Parent institution
Johns Hopkins University
Dean Fred Bronstein, DMA
Location Baltimore (main campus), Maryland, US
Campus Urban/Suburban
Newspaper The Peabody Post
Peabody Institute, c. 1902
Peabody Library

The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a conservatory and university-preparatory school in the Mount Vernon-Belvedere neighborhood of northern Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 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).

The Peabody Institute was founded in 1857 by philanthropist George Peabody (1795–1869), and is the oldest conservatory in the United States.[1] Its association with JHU allows students to do research across disciplines.[2]


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 to 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.[3] 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.[4]

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 offers 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 Preparatory offers instruction and enrichment programs for school-age children across various sites in Baltimore and its surrounding counties: "Downtown" (Baltimore, main campus), Towson, Annapolis (Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts) and Howard County (in cooperation with three schools).[5]

Peabody Children's Chorus[edit]

The Peabody Children's Chorus is for children ages 6 to 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 to 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.

Notable students[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "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. 
  2. ^ "Peabody to Affilliate [sic] With Johns Hopkins". The New York Times. January 1, 1977. Retrieved February 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Wierzalis, Bill and Koontz, John P., Images of America: Mount Vernon Place (2006) p. 60-61. Arcadia Publishing ISBN 0-7385-4238-5
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Preparatory Campuses

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°17′50″N 76°36′54″W / 39.2973°N 76.615°W / 39.2973; -76.615