When 10 chosen musicians from the Music Academy of the West arrive in New York next week, they will be looking down a schedule the likes of which no one has ever have seen before. That’s because they are the first group of Zarin Mehta Global Academy Fellows to go through a new fellowship program with the New York Philharmonic, a program which represents an all-new approach to training world-class musicians for successful careers. New York Philharmonic director Alan Gilbert has invested a great deal of his own time and energy into the design of the project, which he describes as “a window into the real life of an orchestral musician.”
On Saturday, January 3, 2015, the fellows will attend an evening performance of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. The next day, there’s an introductory brunch with Philharmonic President and Executive Director Matthew VanBesien and the musicians of the orchestra, a group that will include 12 Music Academy alums. From there, it’s off on a whirlwind ride through every imaginable aspect of an orchestra musician’s life, from private lessons, auditions, rehearsals, and public performances to lectures and consultations with experts on the physiology of maintaining a musician’s body. The fellows will help with the Philharmonic’s outreach program to elementary schools on some days, and on others, they will spend time with Philharmonic boardmembers, learning how top orchestral musicians engage with the boards and administrators that manage them. And who is the N.Y. Phil boardmember whose foundation supports the fellowships? Alec Baldwin, and he will be there, too.
These 10 musicians were selected by audition from among the 68 instrumentalists at the Music Academy last summer. The Philharmonic has put together a video in which the fellows introduce themselves and talk about their hopes for the program here.They are Douglas Aliano, bass; Anthony Bellino, trumpet; Matthew Cohen, viola; Sean Krissman, clarinet; Simon Michal, violin; Charlie Rosmarin, percussion; Michael Severance, bassoon; William Shaub, violin; Genevieve Tabby, cello; and Jennifer Zhou, flute. They have studied at the top music schools in the country, and they come from all over the Unites States, as well as the Czech Republic and China.
Scott Reed, the president of the Music Academy of the West, describes the program’s goal in two questions: “How do you become the ultimate musical citizen? That’s what Alan Gilbert has encouraged us to embrace as our mission with this partnership. What would it mean to create a beautiful window through which young musicians could see everything about the career and the musical world they are entering, and yet at the same time feel that they are coming from a place that provides the ideal environment within which to develop their talent?”
For more about the Music Academy of the West’s students and programming, visit musicacademy.org.