Welcome to the HSO Fellowship Program

The HSO Musician Fellowship is designed to provide early-career string musicians from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, with invaluable experience and professional development opportunities within the HSO. Auditions will be held for violin, viola, cello and double bass.

This Fellowship is made possible by a generous grant from The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Program Structure

Through mentorship, rehearsals, performances, and educational workshops, Fellows will receive comprehensive support to advance their careers. The fellowship is to provide musicians from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups with opportunities to gain experience and professional develop with the symphony.

Fellowship Duration

Each Fellowship spans two years, during which Fellows will engage in various activities outlined by the HSO.

Number of Fellowships

Up to four Fellows may be selected for each two-year period. Instruments include violin, viola, cello and double bass.

Program Eligibility

Candidates will undergo auditions and must meet the audition requirements specified by the HSO.

Program Benefits

Professional Development

Fellows will receive support for professional growth, including mock auditions, lessons, and mentoring sessions.


Fellows will be paired with mentors selected through a rigorous process to provide guidance and support.


Housing is available to fellows through the HSO’s “Homestay” program, subject to availability.

The HSO is intentionally committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of symphonic music to ensure the orchestra better reflects the communities it resides in, and serves.

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Performance OpportunitiesMentorships

Compensation for musicians in the HSO Musician Fellowship Program is per the prevailing HSO 2024-25 season wage rate of $156.25 per service, as governed by the Master Agreement between the HSO and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 400.  Fellows are eligible for compensation totaling up to $8,125 per fellow for the 2024-25 season.


These opportunities will provide Fellows with practical experience and exposure to different facets of symphonic music. Specifically, performance opportunities may include:

  • Masterworks Concerts: Participation in classical repertoire performances showcasing the mastery of orchestral compositions.
  • Pops Concerts: Involvement in more contemporary and popular music concerts, catering to a broader audience demographic.
  • Talcott Mountain Music Festival: Engagement in outdoor summer concert series featuring a mix of classical and popular music in a relaxed, outdoor setting.
  • Discovery Concerts: Participation in educational concerts designed to introduce symphonic music to diverse audiences, including students and families.
  • Other Performance Opportunities:  Involvement in educational and community engagement initiatives, such as our annual Gala, Young Artist Competition and Small Ensemble performances, allowing connections to audiences beyond traditional concert settings.

Performance opportunities will be selected in consultation with each Fellow and closely aligned with their individual professional development needs.

Fellows are invited to audition for contracted-player positions during or after their Fellowship. 

Application and Audition Process

The application process for the fellowship program involves several steps to ensure a fair and thorough selection of candidates. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the application process: 

  • Application Submission: Interested candidates are required to submit their application materials, including a resume or CV, a cover letter expressing their interest and qualifications, and any additional documents requested by the Symphony. 
  • Audition Requirement: All applicants must undergo an audition as part of the application process. The audition will be conducted in accordance with the audition protocols outlined in the HSO’s Master Agreement. Specific details regarding the audition requirements and repertoire will be provided to applicants in advance. 
  • Audition Evaluation: Auditioners will be evaluated by a panel consisting of the Music Director of the Symphony, the Principal or Assistant Principal of the relevant instrument section, and a representative of the Symphony’s Orchestra Committee. Each audition will be assessed based on criteria such as technical proficiency, musicality. 
  • Selection: After the auditions, candidates will be selected based on their performance, qualifications, and potential to contribute to the fellowship program. The selection process prioritizes factors such as diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. 
  • Notification: Selected candidates will be notified of their acceptance into the fellowship program. They will receive detailed information regarding the terms of the fellowship, including compensation, expectations, and program requirements. 
  • Acceptance and Commitment: Upon receiving an offer, candidates must confirm their acceptance of the fellowship and agree to adhere with the terms and conditions outlined by the Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 400.