CSO Fellowship Program

Launched in spring 2022, the CSO Fellowship Program has been developed with full support from Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti as part of his ongoing commitment to training the next generation of musicians, as well as with the approval of the CSO Members’ Committee and the Chicago Federation of Musicians.

The program builds on the longstanding mission of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association to train and develop musicians, a commitment born more than 100 years ago with the founding of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the preprofessional training ensemble affiliated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The CSOA has gone on to create or participate in programs that support young musicians from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the orchestral field, specifically those talents interested in attending top conservatories and post-secondary music schools as they seek a career in classical-music performance. These programs include the Percussion Scholarship Program, Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative and Sphinx Orchestral Partners Auditions.

The CSO Fellowship Program is currently open to early-career string players (violin, viola, cello, double bass) who have graduated from a college, university or conservatory and are from populations traditionally underrepresented in American symphony orchestras, including, but not limited to, those who identify as Black, Latino or Indigenous. Candidates must have U.S. citizenship, permanent U.S. residency or an 0-1 or OPT visa at the time of application and must be a member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians or be willing to join the AFM if accepted to the CSO Fellowship. If accepted, a Fellow may be invited to remain in the program for up to three years.

Violinist Gabriela Lara to become first CSO Fellow

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association welcomes Venezuelan-born violinist Gabriela Lara, the first CSO Fellow, who will take up her post in September for CSO’s 2022-23 Season.

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