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Princeton Profiles: Berman balances music and academic passions at Princeton

June 24th, 2019

At a conservatory, Berman would be immersed in music 24/7 — with classes on music theory, music history and ear training; private lessons and masterclasses with world-class instructors; and a multitude of performance opportunities — but the breadth of academic experience could be limited. At a college or university, he could focus on a liberal arts education that could lead to an infinite number of intellectual and experiential learning opportunities, but the caliber of music instruction might be limited.

Berman, a highly accomplished violinist with a deep interest in international relations, economics and China, found the perfect balance, he said, by choosing Princeton: “Princeton has given me a world-class education that I really value. … I really wanted to explore my academic interests that were outside of the typical conservatory curriculum. Princeton’s University Scholar Program and proximity to Juilliard allowed me access to violin performance opportunities, unmatched instruction and the international competition circuit while pursuing a top-rate liberal arts education. At Princeton, the broad experience and talent among my peers and mentors has expanded my thinking and shapes my musical interpretation, academic pursuits and worldview.”

With the support of the University Scholar Program — designed for students with exceptional talent in an academic or creative area that cannot be pursued within the regular curriculum — and Princeton’s proximity to New York, Berman was able to travel to New York City weekly for private lessons with his instructor at the Juilliard School. He also worked with his advisers and professors to manage the preparation and travel demands of the international competition circuit.

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