CSO + UC CCM Announce 2018-20 Class of Diversity Fellows
Funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in partnership with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the groundbreaking CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. The program utilizes a broad definition of diversity that encompasses race and culture while also including underrepresented populations like first-generation college students and individuals who took non-traditional pathways to higher education. The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.
Four outstanding string players have been selected for thenext class of the prestigious diversity fellowship program.
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra have selected four outstanding musicians for the next class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows. Born out of a mutual desire to make American orchestras more inclusive, this prestigious performance fellowship program launched in 2015 with a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Foundation approved a renewal grant of $850,000 in 2017, providing funding for the innovative program through June 2021.
With this collaborative Fellowship program, CCM and the CSO hope to provide new opportunities for under-served musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry.
“Orchestras must better reflect the communities they serve, and this program exemplifies our commitment,” said CSO President Jonathan Martin. “We welcome the new class of Fellows, look forward to the artistic contributions of the continuing class, and congratulate the inaugural Fellows who are now graduating.”
The incoming class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows is Camellia Aftahi, 22 (double bass), Yan Izquierdo, 33 (violin), Arman Nasrinpay, 23 (violin) and Alexis Shambley, 22 (violin).
“Thanks to the generosity and support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we can continue to recruit highly qualified CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows candidates,” said CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung. “In turn, these outstanding early-career musicians are helping inspire the next generation of multicultural young artists, which will allow us to continue making American orchestras better reflect the variety of their communities.”
These four exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2018 bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to eight for the 2018-19 academic year and performance season.
The inaugural class of Diversity Fellows, which is comprised of Emilio Carlo, Diana Flores, Vijeta Sathyaraj and Maurice Todd, have recently graduated.
“I have gained valuable experience through my work with the CSO and my graduate work with CCM,” said Flores. “This has been a wonderful experience, and I am excited for what lies ahead.”
“This program positions musicians for a bright future and wish them every success as their careers advance,” said Martin.
“It is a testament to the program’s success that the inaugural class of Diversity Fellows is moving on to next-step career opportunities,” said mcclung.
HOW THE FELLOWSHIP WORKS
The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program is open to exceptional violin, viola, cello and double bass players coming from historically underrepresented populations in classical music.
The program’s tagline — “Bravos Without Barriers” — gets to the heart of its mission: eliminating obstacles that can prevent extraordinary musicians from achieving their full potential.
Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the CSO while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) graduate degree program at CCM. Each class of Fellows is selected through a rigorous series of auditions, which saw hundreds of graduate-level musicians audition for CCM faculty members. Nineteen string players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions judged by CSO musicians at CCM’s Corbett Auditorium on March 24, 2018.
Each Fellow receives full tuition scholarship support from CCM, in addition to a $10,000 per year graduate stipend and a one-time Graduate School Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000. Each Fellow also receives compensation of $8,000 per season while performing with the CSO.
Program eligibility includes string players coming from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music, first-generation college students, those who have followed non-traditional pathways to college and have demonstrated a commitment to including and applying diverse background and perspectives to learning, scholarship, service and civic leadership. String musicians who meet the admissions standards of CCM and are accepted into the program by CSO musicians are flown to Cincinnati for the final Fellowship audition.
Driven by a mutual desire to create a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) have embarked on the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program. The Fellowship provides an opportunity for graduate level musicians from underrepresented populations to participate in a specialized two-year program with the aim of filling the pre-professional gap by moving the needle of diversity in American symphony orchestras on a national scale. This educational opportunity consists of frequent performances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, focused mentorship by professional musicians, and simultaneous enrollment in a Master of Music (MM) or Artist Diploma (AD) degree program. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funds the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program.
Enrollment in CCM as full-time MM or AD student with full tuition scholarship.
Perform the equivalent of five weeks per season in a progressive sequence of concerts with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Community engagement opportunities.
CSO musician mentors to provide intensive guidance in preparation and performance as well as overall mentorship.
Eight monthly career development seminars to be held each year of the Fellowship.
Annual mock audition seminars.
In addition to an unparalleled training experience each Fellow receives significant financial support:
Full scholarship tuition and fees for CCM coverage totaling $27,500 per year.
$10,000 per year as a Fellowship stipend/graduate assistantship.
One-time Graduate Dean’s Excellence Award of $3,000.
$8,000 compensation for services with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.