Aspen Music Festival And School

String Fellowship Opportunities

Center for Orchestral Leadership

Ten exceptional string players will be appointed to Aspen’s Center for Orchestral Leadership and receive intensive training throughout the summer toward becoming section leaders of an orchestra. These players, who receive fellowships plus a $500 travel stipend, play in the all-student Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra and spend half of their summers as principal and half mentoring their peers by sitting within the section. Center participants are individually coached and mentored in section leadership by seasoned principal players from major American orchestras and, in addition, meet in small groups with guest conductors to discuss leadership skills and strategies. The professional mentors will be present to support the Center participants and entire ensemble for select first full orchestral rehearsals of each of seven programs, as well as select strings sectionals. Center participants will also lead their own sectionals. The ten Center participants will form a chamber music ensemble and will receive weekly coaching from artist-faculty as well as a highlighted performance opportunity. Note that this is a rigorous program for those with high-level orchestra experience and an interest in honing their leadership skills.

These positions are appointed by the AMFS Faculty, and not via the standard application process. Candidates should demonstrate high-level orchestral skills, along with the maturity required of a role model, and an aptitude for leadership. Previous attendance at the AMFS is preferred.

Funded by the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative (TSAI) in combination with the Doris Duke Foundation

Aspen Conducting Academy (ACA) Orchestral String Fellowship

This all-fellowship orchestra is guided by both master conductors and the next generation of up-and-coming conducting talents. Ideal candidates for the ACA orchestra fellowship positions are preparing for professional life and will benefit from exposure to a great deal of standard repertoire. The ACA orchestra provides string players with principal opportunities and these opportunities can be rotated to make them available to multiple individuals. 

Note: The ACA orchestra has seven services per week and is the only orchestra to have a scheduled week off. Students must be age 18 or older to play in this ensemble.

String Fellowship

There are a number of fellowships available to well-rounded string players who demonstrate a high level of accomplishment on their instrument. These individuals should be solid players, and will be expected to make a strong contribution in their ensemble. These fellows will audition for orchestra placement and seating assignment upon arrival in Aspen. Past practice shows these candidates have had successful seating auditions and have typically played in the front of the section. Students may be placed in or may rotate through any of the five orchestras previously described.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO