The pilot phase of the program (officially called "The Academy — A Program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute") will launch in January with 16 instrumental fellows and finish in June. When the program is fully developed (expected to be within three years), a two-year fellowship will be offered to around 50 Juilliard graduates. Participating Fellows will receive a stipend, along with health benefits and access to rehearsal and performance facilities.
The performance component of the program includes concerts at both Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School as well as chamber music coaching, public master classes and individual private lessons. The Fellows will work and perform in ensembles of various sizes.
An equally important aspect of The Academy is a collaboration with the New York City Department of Education. Fellows will be taught music education skills and assist in music classes in New York City public schools, where they will work one-and-a-half days a week.
The New York Times writes that the city's Education Department is "opening its arms to the new program, seeing an inexpensive but valuable source of teaching for a system deprived of comprehensive music training."
According to the paper, the city school system is contributing almost $200,000 to the first phase of the operation; the total yearly budget is expected eventually to reach $5 million. Carnegie and Juilliard have been raising funds from private donors for most of the costs and have received $2 million in pledges so far.
Clive Gillinson, Carnegie's executive and artistic director, told the Times, "It's essentially about how you nurture and train the finest young musicians." Joseph W. Polisi, Juilliard's president, said the idea is "to change the paradigm" of what it means to be a musician, while encouraging players to make music "that is at the center of society and the life of the individual." Joel I. Klein, the city's schools chancellor, was quoted as saying, "Here you are really talking about first-class musicians who will be working with our teachers and kids."
The second phase of the pilot program, from September through June 2008, will take into consideration feedback from Phase 1 participants. It is envisioned that the second phase will expand on successful aspects of the first phase, and will expand on the relationship with New York City schools and teachers. There will also be more diverse performance opportunities.
At its peak, the Academy will directly serve 14,000 students a year, according to the Times.