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Music Academy of the West Fellows to Kick Off Immersion with NY Philharmonic Next Month

In the second year of a four-year partnership between Music Academy of the West and the New York Philharmonic, ten Academy musicians will travel to New York in January 2016 to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program (Jan 2-12), developing their career skills through what President and CEO of the Music Academy of the West Scott Reed called "an extraordinary opportunity to gain valuable experience alongside the musicians of one of the world's greatest orchestras."

During the once-in-a-lifetime immersion experience, described by Music Director Alan Gilbert as "a window into the real life of the orchestral musician," the Zarin Mehta Fellows will take lessons from and shadow members of the New York Philharmonic, rehearse chamber repertoire in preparation for a private performance at The Morgan Library & Museum, perform mock auditions, and join the Teaching Artists of the New York Philharmonic Education program on visits to two New York schools in Queens and the Bronx.

The Fellows will rehearse with and may have the opportunity to perform with the New York Philharmonic for concerts on January 7-9 and 12, in a Strauss and Wagner program led by Alan Gilbert, featuring New York Philharmonic Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence Eric Owens.

The 2016 Zarin Mehta Fellows, selected by audition from 65 Music Academy of the West instrumentalists, are: Carl Anderson, double bass; Benjamin Hoffman, violin; Maki Kubota, cello; Nikolette LaBonte, horn; Jose? Marti?nez, tuba; Rebecca Reale, violin; Rainer Saville, trumpet; Samuel Sparrow, clarinet; Mark Teplitsky, flute; and Naho Zhu, bassoon.

As 2015 Zarin Mehta Fellow Anthony Bellino said: "Playing with the New York Philharmonic was inspiring and intimidating. The first time walking on stage, seeing my seat next to the other members of the trumpet section - it was so unreal for me I couldn't stop smiling the entire time."

Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien also expressed his enthusiasm: "I congratulate the ten impressive Music Academy fellows who have been selected to join the New York Philharmonic in January 2016 as Zarin Mehta Fellows. We truly believe this kind of unique immersion in the life of an orchestral musician is an unparalleled experience, and we're proud to be able to offer it to these and other students through our Global Academy. The Philharmonic's first performance residency at the Music Academy of the West was a magnificent culmination of the first year of this cornerstone New York Philharmonic Global Academy collaboration, and we look forward to several more successful years of partnership."

The Music Academy of the West is the first American partner in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy. The four-year partnership formalizes a long relationship between the institutions; thirteen New York Philharmonic musicians are alumni of the Academy, including newly appointed Philharmonic Concertmaster Frank Huang. The partnership, which began in the summer of 2014, combines training of Music Academy fellows by Philharmonic musicians; biennial performances by the Philharmonic at the Music Academy Summer Festival; and Academy Festival Orchestra performances at Music Academy Summer Festivals led by Alan Gilbert.

The Music Academy's partnership with the New York Philharmonic has been made possible through the generosity of lead sponsors Linda and Michael Keston.

The Global Academy Fellowship Program, in association with the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, is supported in part by The Alec Baldwin Foundation, Inc., an anonymous donor, and other gifts made towards the Zarin Mehta Fund.

The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. This season's projects will connect the Philharmonic with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York City and on its worldwide tours and residencies; digital recording series; international broadcasts on television, radio, and online; and as a resource through its wide range of education programs and the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives. The Orchestra has commissioned and/or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842 - including Dvor?a?k's New World Symphony, John Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning On the Transmigration of Souls, dedicated to the victims of 9/11, and Magnus Lindberg's Piano Concerto No. 2. Renowned around the globe, the Philharmonic has appeared in 432 cities in 63 countries -- including the groundbreaking 1930 tour of Europe; the unprecedented 1959 tour to the USSR; the historic 2008 visit to Pyongyang, D.P.R.K., the first there by an American orchestra; and the Orchestra's debut in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 2009.

The New York Philharmonic serves as a resource for its community and the world. It complements its annual free concerts across the city - including the Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer - with Philharmonic Free Fridays and a wide range of education programs - among them the famed, long-running Young People's Concerts and Philharmonic Schools, an immersive classroom program that reaches thousands of New York City students. Committed to developing tomorrow's leading orchestral musicians, the Philharmonic has established the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, collaborations with partners worldwide offering training of pre-professional musicians, often alongside performance residencies. These include the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership and collaborations with Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. The oldest American symphony orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, the New York Philharmonic has made almost 2,000 recordings since 1917, including several Grammy Award winners, and its self-produced digital recording series continues in the 2015- 16 season. Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009, succeeding a distinguished line of 20th-century musical giants that includes Leonard Bernstein, Arturo Toscanini, and Gustav Mahler. For more information, visit

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the Academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). The Academy's distinguished teaching artists roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk, and current Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for Academy fellows, and Summer Festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians.

The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, nearly half of them free of charge. These include performances by faculty, visiting artists, and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera. The 2016 Summer School and Festival will take place from June 13 to August 7 at the Academy's scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara. For more information, visit

About the Zarin Mehta Fellows:

Carl Anderson double bass ('14,'15), 20, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, is an undergraduate at DePaul University, where he studies with Alex Hanna. Mr. Anderson has obtained both the highest scholarships in music and academics that DePaul University offers. During his freshman year, he won DePaul University's concerto competition and performed with the DePaul Symphony and Opera Orchestra. He is a current substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. This year he also participated in the New York String Seminar at Carnegie Hall. He spent two summers at the Perlman Music Program where he played under the baton of Itzhak Perlman.

Benjamin Hoffman violin ('12,'13,'15), 25, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a student at Yale University. Mr. Hoffman is currently concertmaster of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and recently enjoyed serving as concertmaster of the Yale Philharmonia under John Adams at David Geffen Hall in New York. Equally at home as a chamber musician, he is part of Quartet Orange, based in New Haven, Connecticut. Mr. Hoffman has performed alongside mentors Peter Frankl, Wolfram Christ, Gary Hoffman, and Jorja Fleezanis, as well as with his family as part of the piano quartet Onibatan. In November, he appeared at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing as soloist in the world premiere of a work for bamboo flute orchestra, percussion, cello, and violin. He began studying the violin at age four, initially taught by his mother, and continued his studies with Latica Honda-Rosenberg, Alexander Kerr, and Ani Kavafian.

Maki Kubota cello ('14,'15), 23, born in Santa Monica, California, is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory as a student of Alan Stepansky, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Rice University with Desmond Hoebig. He has been principal cellist for orchestras at the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, National Orchestral Institute and Peabody Conservatory, and is a substitute musician for the New World Symphony and Charleston Symphony Orchestra. As an orchestral and chamber musician he has performed in Disney Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Library of Congress, the Embassy of Singapore, the Rudolfinum in Prague, and Scho?nbrunn Palace in Vienna. He was the winner of the Baltimore Music Club, Kiwanis Club, and Southern Young Musicians Foundation Competitions.

Nikolette LaBonte horn ('14,'15), 20, a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, is currently serving as the Assistant Principal Horn of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. She is on a leave of absence from the Eastman School of Music where she studies horn performance under the tutelage of Professor W. Peter Kurau. She has performed with orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, New World Symphony, and Syracuse Symphoria. She maintains a private studio and serves as a general music educator for Kalikolehua, an El Sistema program. Ms. LaBonte is extremely active in the chamber music scene as a member of the Spring Winds, HardCOR Horn Quartet, and the Winds of Change outreach wind quintet. Outside of the concert hall, Ms. LaBonte promotes classical music throughout the community. She is a horn section coach at the Bak Middle School of the Arts and Dreyfoos School of the Arts, and was the co-creator and coordinator of "Songs of Sochi".

Jose? Marti?nez tuba ('15), 30, born in Chelva, Spain, is completing a doctorate degree in performance at Boston University School of Music under the guidance of Mike Roylance, his mentor since 2011. Mr. Martinez has played principal tuba with the Boston Symphony and Pops, Spanish National Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the European Union Youth Orchestra. He appeared on tour with the Gothenburg Symphony, and received fellowships from Tanglewood Music Center and Spoleto USA. 2015-2016 season engagements include concerts with the Naples Philharmonic, Spanish National Orchestra, Boston Pops, Iceland Symphony, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Rebecca Reale violin ('15), 22, born in upstate New York, is a violin fellow at the New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. She recently finished her undergraduate studies at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, studying with Kathleen Winkler, as a recipient of the Tudor Family Endowed Scholarship. A passionate orchestral player, Ms. Reale performs regularly with the Houston Symphony and Mercury Baroque Ensemble. In the past, she has had the opportunity to lead orchestras under the baton of Nicholas McGegan, Christoph Eschenbach, Larry Rachleff, and Krzysztof Urbanski.

Rainer Saville trumpet ('15), 23, was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. He is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he studied with Leanne Sullivan. He also studied at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne with Dave Elton and Tristram Williams. Mr. Saville performs regularly as a musician with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. He is a member of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, where he performs on period instruments, and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he participated and was a semi-finalist in the International Trumpet Competition "Citta? Di Porcia" in Pordenone, Italy. In 2015, Mr. Saville toured internationally with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Samuel Sparrow clarinet ('15), 20, born in Durham, North Carolina, is an undergraduate student of Mark Nuccio at the Manhattan School of Music. At the Manhattan School, he is the recipient of the Leon Russianoff Memorial Clarinet Scholarship and has performed with the Philharmonia, Chamber Sinfonia, and Opera Orchestra. He served as principal clarinet of the 2014 New York String Orchestra Seminar and the 2013 National Youth Orchestra of the USA's European tour with Valery Gergiev. Mr. Sparrow has appeared as a soloist with the Raleigh Symphony, Garner Sinfonia, and Triangle Youth Philharmonic, and was a finalist in the 2014 Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition at Brevard Music Center.

Mark Teplitsky flute ('14,'15), 23, born in Jerusalem, Israel, is a master's student at Rice University, Shepherd School of Music and a graduate of the Colburn Conservatory of Music. As winner of the Rice University Concerto Competition, Los Angeles Center for the Performing Arts Spotlights Competition, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Competition, Orange County's Stars of Tomorrow Competition, Brentwood-Westwood Concerto Competition, and NPR's "From the Top" Competition, he has performed in halls throughout the United States. He has given solo performances with the San Diego Sinfonietta, San Diego Philharmonia, San Diego Camerata, Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, and Brentwood-Westwood Orchestra. Mr. Teplitsky served as principal flute of the American Youth Symphony and is currently a contracted substitute musician with the Fort Worth Symphony, Mercury Baroque Ensemble of Houston, and New World Symphony.

Naho Zhu bassoon ('15), 22, born in Kyoto, Japan, is currently pursuing a master of music degree at Rice University under the tutelage of Benjamin Kamins. She graduated in 2014 with a bachelor of music from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Patricia Rogers, and was honored with the Peter Mennin Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon graduation. She has performed as principal bassoon in the Shepherd School Orchestras, Juilliard Orchestra, and in Juilliard's contemporary ensembles; Axiom and the New Juilliard Ensemble. In 2013, she was invited to the final round of the International Double Reed Society's Young Artist Competition. In 2014, she was a finalist in the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition.

Pictured: Inaugural Zarin Mehta Fellow with Assistant Principal Timpani and percussionist Kyle Zerna. Photo by Chris Lee.

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