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Handel and Haydn Society launches fellowship for minority musicians

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Handel and Haydn Society launches fellowship for minority musicians
PHOTO: ROBERT TORRES

The Handel and Haydn Society has launched the H+H Stone Fellowship, a fellowship for emerging musicians working with period instruments in baroque and classical genres. The fellowship will specifically foster the careers of musicians whose socio-cultural identities are underrepresented in the industry, in an effort to create more equity and representation in the Boston classical music scene. 

Fellowship participants will receive a two-year experience that includes performances, mentorship from senior H+H musicians, and training with both H+H musicians and partners at the New England Conservatory. The fellows will be active participants in the H+H orchestra and experience what a career in Boston’s classical music field is like. They will be compensated for rehearsals and performances as well as audition travel expenses. Anyone living outside of Boston will receive a housing stipend as well. Musicians will be fully integrated into H+H, not just observing from the sidelines.

“Our goal is for the resident fellows to become part of the fabric of the ensemble,” said David Snead, Philip and Marjorie Gerdine President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “We hope the fellowship will allow for dedicated time to advance mastery of their instrument and to do so in a welcoming and engaging environment.”

The H+H Stone Fellowship is part of a larger effort to bring diversity and equity into classical music, a space historically devoid of both. The goal is to integrate musicians into the fabric of Boston’s classical and baroque music scene so that they can easily continue their careers in the field after the fellowship. The fellowship joins other H+H equity efforts, including playing music by diverse composers and providing free and accessible community concerts to the public.

The inaugural cohort will begin work during the 2023-2025 season. College graduate or post-graduate early-career musicians are encouraged to apply. For the first fellowship, two string players (violin, viola, cello or double bass) will be chosen for the opportunity. The deadline for applications is April 1, 2023, and auditions will proceed from there for viable candidates.

The fellowship is made possible by a $1 million gift from the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation and additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“H+H is a special Boston institution with a unique history, and the music connects with audiences in profound ways,” said Jim and Cathy Stone in the press release. “We encourage H+H’s efforts to be more inclusive and welcoming, through all its programs in and around Boston, for every generation.”