The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) are honored to announce the two institutions are the combined recipient of a $900,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will be used to pilot a groundbreaking collaborative fellowship program aimed at developing young, graduate-level musicians from underrepresented populations and preparing them for the professional orchestra world.
The CSO/CCM Diversity Fellowship Program responds to a need among American orchestras and professional music conservatories, which face issues of underrepresentation, and is driven by the mutual desire of the CSO and CCM to foster a more inclusive environment in the orchestral industry. Selected graduate school Fellows from underrepresented populations will participate in a specialized two-year program that is already garnering attention among leaders throughout the music world. This educational opportunity will consist of frequent performances with the CSO, focused mentorship by professional CSO musicians, and simultaneous enrollment in a master’s or artist diploma degree program at CCM where fellows will be guided by CCM’s illustrious faculty.
“We looked at the data and saw that only four percent of American orchestra musicians were African-American or Latino, a figure that is also reflected in conservatory settings,” said Trey Devey, CSO President. “The CSO and CCM felt it essential to address this issue head-on and provide life-changing experiences within a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment for graduate-level musicians across the country.”
“There are many fine programs designed to address underrepresentation in our industry, but none of those experiences include both a major American symphony orchestra and a major conservatory. Together, CCM and the CSO will provide unparalleled experiential learning opportunities for young musicians on the verge of a professional career,” said CCM Dean Peter Landgren.
“CCM and the CSO are perfectly positioned for this initiative. Our organizations’ recent partnership with the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, our joint Conducting Fellowship, as well as the large number of CSO musicians who are CCM alumni and serve as CCM faculty, speak to the deep connections between our two institutions. As the birthplace of cooperative education, the University of Cincinnati also serves as the perfect backdrop for this new approach to professional mentorship for musicians,” said Mr. Landgren.