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Rice University Students Set for New York Philharmonic's 2016 Global Academy Fellowship Program

Seven Rice University students have been selected to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program, part of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy partnership between Rice's Shepherd School of Music and the New York Philharmonic.

The students selected for the new class of Zarin Mehta Fellows were from the string studios of the Shepherd School. They are Jae-Won Bang, violin; Abraham Feder, cello; MuChen Jessica Hsieh, violin; Laura Liu, violin; Andrew Pedersen, double bass; Caleb Quillen, double bass; and Sergein Yap, viola.

They will participate in a week of immersive activities in New York in May 2016, including training and playing alongside Philharmonic musicians, conducted by David Robertson; mock auditions; individual lessons and chamber music sessions coached by Philharmonic musicians; and some participation in the Philharmonic's educational programs. The program will culminate with a chamber music concert featuring the fellows May 29.

Auditions were held November 1-3 at the Shepherd School by a panel of four New York Philharmonic musicians, who also played with and coached a Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra rehearsal.

The Global Academy Fellowship Program offers opportunities for Academy participants to travel to New York City to train and play with Philharmonic musicians. The program is a key component of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, which features collaborations with partners worldwide offering training of pre-professional musicians. It represents a new approach to preparing the next generation of world-class musicians for successful careers. The Shepherd School is the first U.S. conservatory program to partner with the New York Philharmonic in this innovative initiative.

"The Philharmonic congratulates the seven extremely talented musicians who were selected for our Global Academy Fellowship Program in New York," said Matthew VanBesien, President of the New York Philharmonic. "We look forward to having them in the city this May for an immersive experience in the world of an orchestral musician. We are proud to be able to offer this experience as part of the Global Academy and truly believe that with great partners like Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, the Philharmonic can play a unique and integral role in shaping the musicians of tomorrow."

About the 2016 Zarin Mehta Fellows:

Bang, 29, was born in Vancouver, Canada, and is a second-year master's student of Cho-Liang Lin. She has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician and ensemble player on stages across the world, such as Weill Hall and Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. She has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts master classes and chamber music residency, ChamberFest at Juilliard, Atlantic Music Festival, Maestro Foundation's Chamber Music Series in Santa Monica, Da Camera Houston Young Artist Program, Encore School for Strings, Sarasota Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Festival, Mozarteum Summer Academy in Austria and the New York Strings Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall.

Feder, 30, was born in Chicago and is a second-year master's student of Desmond Hoebig. He joined the Sarasota Orchestra as Principal Cellist in 2008 and was a featured soloist in 2010 and 2011. He made his Canadian debut in 2009 under the baton of Carlos-Miguel Prieto with the Orchestra of the Americas. As a member of the Chroma Quartet, he successfully founded a new concert series in Sarasota, "Tuesdays with Chroma." Feder has performed chamber music with artists of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Hsieh, 22, was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and is a first-year master's student of Kathleen Winkler. Hsieh is a recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Scholarship in Violin. She has participated in the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Sarasota Music Festival and Music Academy of the West, where she was coached by the Taka?cs Quartet. Outside of the United States, Hsieh performs regularly in Taiwan with friends, including solo appearances, recitals and chamber music concerts.

Liu, 23, was born in Plano, Texas, and is a first-year master's student of Cho-Liang Lin. She has been a soloist with the Meadows Symphony, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Plano Symphony Orchestra, San Angelo Symphony, Lewisville Lake Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic. Liu has been a featured artist on the National Public Radio show "From the Top" and was guest artist on the internationally broadcasted CCTV for the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. She has participated in the Heifetz International Music Institute, The Great Wall Academy, Montecito Music Festival, Summit Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival and Music Academy of the West.

Pedersen, 22, was born in Aurora, Ill., and is a first-year master's student of Timothy Pitts. He is the recipient of the John E. Guida Foundation Full-tuition Scholarship. He has been a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, serving as assistant/co-principal bass (2012-14) and working intensively alongside Yo-Yo Ma. Pedersen has participated in multiple summer programs, including the Aspen Music Festival and Music Academy of the West, and is a frequent substitute bassist of the New World Symphony, having joined them on a tour to Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2014.

Quillen, 24, was born in Houston and is a second-year master's student of Paul Ellison. He has participated in the Texas Music Festival and the Wabass Institute for the 21st-Century Bass Player; in the summer of 2015 he was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he worked side by side with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Quillen has performed in the Houston Symphony bass section and has worked with conductors Andris Nelsons, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Ludovic Morlot.

Yap, 27, was born in Miami and is a second-year master's student of Ivo-Jan van der Werff. A recipient of the Florida First Lady's Arts Recognition Award, he was appointed as a Youth Arts Ambassador to Rome. His summer festival appearances include the Banff Centre for the Arts Chamber Music Residency, ENCORE School for Strings, the Heifetz International Music Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School, Music Academy of the West, the Perlman Music Program and the Sarasota Music Festival. Among the conductors with whom he has worked are Christoph von Dohna?nyi, Alan Gilbert, Nicholas McGegan, Tito Mun?oz and Osmo Va?nska?.

"The magnitude of this opportunity for our students is enormous," said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School. "To partner with the oldest and most prestigious of the nation's elite orchestras in the Global Academy Program is a testament to the caliber of student that the Shepherd School cultivates."

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