The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, USA
One of the world's most respected music schools, the Curtis Institute is, in addition, also one of the most selective.
It accepts just 165 students per year, with admissions limited to the number of classical musicians needed to fill just one symphony orchestra and opera company. It also offers limited programmes in disciplines including composition, conducting, organ, piano and guitar.
The school is also distinguished from most other music conservatoires in that it is non fee paying - with students selected on their level of musical ability alone.
Previous alumni include: composers Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber, Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn and opera tenor Juan Diego Flórez