CSO + CCM Announce New Class Of Diversity Fellows
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) have selected five 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 was 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 underrepresented musicians, while simultaneously fostering a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry.
"Reflecting our community and the world around us at every level - on stage, around the office, in the board room, and in neighborhoods throughout the region - is one of our highest priorities," 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 Fellows who are now completing the program after two years."
Here is the incoming class of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows:
- Magdiell Antequera, 23 (violin)
- Jordan Curry, 24 (violin)
- Cristian J. Diaz, 28 (viola)
- Michael Martin, 24 (double bass)
- Denielle Wilson, 23 (cello)
"The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship embodies the University of Cincinnati's commitment to experience-based learning and community partnerships," said CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein. "Our five newest Fellows possess enormous talent, and we are delighted to welcome them to Cincinnati. Once you have an opportunity to see the Fellows perform, you will understand why we boast that 'Next Lives Here.' We are grateful for the ongoing generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through which CCM and the CSO can continue to work together to make the arts more inclusive."
These five exceptional string players will officially join the two-year fellowship program in August 2019 bringing the total number of CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows to nine for the 2019-20 academic year and performance season.
The second class of Diversity Fellows, which is comprised of Anita Graef (cello), Ian Saunders (double bass), Weiyi Shao (violin), and Dan Wang (viola) recently completed the program at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season.
"The combination of performing with a major professional orchestra while getting a graduate degree from a top conservatory provides the ideal combination of educational and professional development," said Yan Izquierdo, who will begin his second year in the CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship in the fall. "I believe this Fellowship has significantly enriched my career and I highly recommend it to any music student, particularly those seeking opportunities in American orchestras."
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. Select players were invited back to Cincinnati for a final round of auditions judged by CSO musicians in Springer Auditorium at Cincinnati Music Hall on March 16, 2019.
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.