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About The New World Symphony

The New World Symphony has gained an international reputation for the quality and style of its multifaceted performances. Under the artistic direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, the New World Symphony regularly performs to sold-out halls at the New World Center in Miami Beach and the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. The New World Symphony fellowship program consists of an in-depth course of performance and instructional activities designed to expand the musical and professional horizons of NWS Fellows. In the last 28 years, over 1,000 musicians have participated in the fellowship program. To date, 90% of NWS alumni have embarked on careers in music, a great many in full-time orchestra positions. The New World Symphony's 2015-2016 academic program season will begin in early September 2015 and extend until early May 2016. NWS is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Orchestral Activities

The fellowship program places major emphasis on the study, rehearsal and performance of the orchestral literature, ranging from the earliest works composed for orchestra to works commissioned for world premiere by the New World Symphony. Under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas and leading guest conductors, NWS presents a full season of orchestral performances at the New World Center in Miami Beach and the Knight Concert Hall at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. In addition, NWS holds frequent reading sessions of major orchestral repertoire to provide its Fellows with additional exposure to this literature. In addition to orchestral performance and musicianship, NWS offers a series of speakers and workshops in audience engagement and leadership. Some require attendance by all Fellows, some only first-year Fellows, some require attendance once during a three-year Fellowship, and others are optional.

Audience Engagement

At NWS, Fellows have multiple opportunities to engage with audiences in the hall before, during, and after their performances through pre-concert emails, spoken communication from the stage, video presentations, technological innovations involving audience participation, lighting design, post-concert talkbacks, and audience surveys. These opportunities exist in conjunction with all chamber music series, such as Solo Spotlights, Inside the Music, Percussion Consort, Musical Xchange, and Musician’s Forums. Specialists in communication and stage-presence training will be scheduled to coach those Fellows who take part in these series and generally advise and train Fellows in matters of communication skills, stage presence, and onstage commentary.

Audition Training

An intensive four-day audition preparation seminar, involving visiting coaches from major orchestras, is held each year. This seminar consists of a series of audition training exercises and private audition coaching, as well as a panel discussion of the audition process from the perspective of the orchestra audition committee. In addition, Fellows organize monthly mock auditions intended to replicate the conditions of professional orchestra auditions, with the occasional participation of guest conductors and coaches. To assist Fellows in achieving optimal performance in audition and performance settings, NWS presents an annual series of workshops with psychologist Dr. Noa Kageyama. Their groundbreaking work with NWS Fellows includes individual training and group exercises.

Baroque Music

NWS annually presents a week-long Baroque music project with diverse programs of orchestral, chamber, vocal and dance music, offering NWS Fellows the opportunity for in-depth study of Baroque performance practice with renowned period-practice specialists. These have included Ton Koopman, Bernard Labadie and Nicholas McGegan.

Chamber Music

NWS Fellows are afforded multiple opportunities to study and perform chamber music under the guidance of Michael Linville, Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music Activities. Among these are a season-long series of performances by NWS Fellows together with leading chamber music artists. Chamber music activities also include the innovative Musical Xchange series, which serves as a vehicle for the development of public speaking and stage presence skills. At these casual, somewhat improvisatory events musicians speak informally from the stage. Lighting, audio and video effects and props are often used to add immediacy and atmosphere. Musical Xchanges offer a variety of solo and small ensemble repertoire, and Fellows work with a drama coach or stage director in creating and developing their presentations.  Musicians' Forums afford NWS Fellows valuable experience in concert promotion and production.  An exciting part of the South Beach scene, Musicians' Forums programs have included solo, chamber, and chamber orchestra repertoire, as well as Fellows' own jazz, rock and pop compositions.

Community Engagement

New World Symphony provides a comprehensive array of Community Engagement programs, which include individual instruction, interactive chamber music presentations, and participation in the Side-by-Side Orchestra, as well as other large ensembles.  A critical component of musical and artistic development is to allow oneself engagement and experience in these kinds of opportunities, many of which create musical interactions among the underserved and disenfranchised of the community.  The inspiration and transformation that occur through musical engagements are profound.  As much as an artist gives to society at large, the personal benefit can be of even greater and/or higher value.  At NWS, you will expand your horizons, expand your humanity and participate without reservation.

Concerto Competition and Solo Recital Series

Each season, NWS Fellows take the spotlight performing as soloists in two types of programs. Winners of NWS’ annual concerto competition perform center stage with the orchestra in one of two Concerto Showcase programs. Fellows may also compete for a chance to perform a recital in the Solo Spotlight series. Taking place in the New World Center’s SunTrust Pavilion, these intimate presentations allow Fellows to conceive and design their own content and structure.

Contemporary Music

In addition to the frequent presentation of 20th- and 21st-century music on chamber and orchestral programs, a series of three performances are dedicated exclusively to contemporary repertoire for orchestra and ensembles of varying size.  Conductors and composers who have led these concerts include John Adams, Thomas Adès, Reinbert de Leeuw, HK Gruber, and Oliver Knussen.  Guest composers who have worked with NWS include Louis Andreissen, Henri Dutilleux, John Harbison, Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Steven Mackey, Kevin Puts, Steve Reich, Joan Tower and Dan Welcher.

Domestic & International Touring

The New World Symphony has performed around the world, appearing on tour in such prestigious venues as New York's Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, London's Barbican Centre, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Paris' Opéra Comique, Bastille Opera and Cité de la Musique, Rome’s Santa Cecilia and the Vienna Konzerthaus. Such tours accustom NWS Fellows to maintaining peak levels of performance in the face of intensive travel and performance schedules, and are designed to include vital training components.


The New World Symphony has pioneered the use of Internet2, an advanced broadband technology, in the field of arts education. Musicians give and receive lessons, work with composers, and share musical insights with specialists in related fields through this real-time, digitally brilliant medium.


The purpose of New World Symphony’s leadership curriculum is to prepare Fellows to be self-confident, deliberate, influential “artist-leaders” in whatever professional endeavors they pursue, including as members of professional orchestras. The curriculum is designed with the following assumptions in mind:

  • The artist’s voice and influence is an essential element in helping to shape a vibrant future for orchestras
  • Musicians can influence both formally and informally in a wide variety of ways if they possess the skills to do so
  • Musicians with strong leadership skills are more likely to become intrapreneurs (catalysts for innovation and change within existing orchestras and institutions) and entrepreneurs (creators and advocates of new ventures through which music is created and experienced)

During the course of the season we will utilize different learning formats and offer varied environments in which the Fellows will acquire and practice skills in peer leadership, facilitation, negotiation, committee work, conflict resolution, entrepreneurship, building influence, managing people, networking, understanding orchestral finances, etc.

Musical Coaching

Each season over 100 instrumental coaches visit NWS in brief instructional residencies, offering an intensive schedule of master classes and private lessons. In addition, these coaches regularly participate in the preparation of performance repertoire, lead sectional rehearsals, coach within ensemble settings, and play side-by-side with NWS Fellows in rehearsal. On occasion, a team of principal players from a top-rank professional orchestra participates in a coaching residency, lending a cohesive approach to the development of ensemble and musical style.

Patron Engagement

NWS is dependent on charitable contributions and on ticket sales to offer its educational program on a Fellowship basis. Patrons are the lifeblood of financial stability, and NWS Fellows have the opportunity to work with our development, marketing, and communications departments to more fully understand the roles these departments play in supporting an orchestral institution and how artists can make a meaningful difference in fundraising efforts. Throughout the season, Fellows will be requested to perform and speak at various patron events and support both acquisition and stewardship activities. These requests are made with a Fellow’s other NWS activities and responsibilities in mind. Every effort is made to approach Fellows on an equitable basis to take part in these events. Once a Fellow has agreed to participate in such an event, he or she is expected to fulfill this obligation.

Professional Development

The NWS fellowship program encompasses not only a wide range of musical experience but explores issues of concern to Fellows in all aspects of their developing professional lives. Seminars and workshops address an array of issues in career and personal development, while roundtable discussions offer insider perspectives of the music world from critics, orchestra managers, record company executives and other industry leaders. In addition, NWS’ Executive Vice President and Provost, John Kieser, is available to advise Fellows on issues relating to their professional development, as are NWS' visiting coaches.

Recordings and Broadcasts

The recording studio is an important component of professional orchestral life, and NWS Fellows gain invaluable exposure to the challenges and demands of the medium. The New World Symphony has produced a catalog of eight recordings for the BMG Classics, London/Argo, and CRI labels, receiving a Grammy nomination for Tangazo, Music of Latin America.  NWS Fellows also gain experience in appearing before television cameras in both performance and interviews. In addition to such projects as the PBS telecast Beethoven Alive!, NWS has been profiled by CBS’s Sunday Morning and London's South Bank Show, and has appeared with pop star Gloria Estefan in a special for Univision. NWS Fellows have also been featured on CNN's Showbiz Today, NBC's Today Show, and on John Adams’ profile in The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.  With  the opening of the New World Center, WALLCAST™ concerts are broadcast on the exterior of our building allowing our audience to experience select events throughout the season at Miami Beach SoundScape through a striking use of visual and audio technology on a soaring, 7,000-square-foot projection wall.

Fellowship Benefits

New World Symphony fellowships are awarded on a season-to-season basis for up to three seasons. The package of fellowship benefits outlined below is offered to allow Fellows to fully benefit from the extensive array of educational and performance activities offered by NWS. The NWS fellowship program is in no way to be considered as professional employment. The benefits described are current as of the printing of this brochure and are subject to change.

NWS Fellows receive a living allowance, referred to as a stipend, during the NWS academic program season. The weekly stipend is intended to cover basic living expenses aside from the NWS-provided housing. All Fellows receive a weekly stipend of $495. Fellows who join NWS after the beginning of the season receive a stipend from their first day of participation in the program.

Travel Grant
New Fellows receive a one-time travel grant of $350. This grant is intended to assist new fellows with their relocation expenses.

Fellowship Housing
The New World Symphony owns and operates a complex of residences in Miami Beach. These beautifully appointed apartments serve as housing for NWS Fellows. A large furnished studio or one-bedroom apartment with central air-conditioning, private bath, kitchen facilities, and private washer/dryer is provided to each Fellow. The residences are located less than a mile from both the beach and the New World Center. The complex features a spacious patio area, outdoor pool, grilling area, indoor recreation area with large-screen TV, and on-street parking as well as interior bicycle parking. Pets of any kind are not permitted. A one-time security deposit of $250 is deducted from the stipend of all new Fellows (in increments of $25). This deposit is held until the Fellow, upon leaving the New World Symphony, has vacated the apartment in a satisfactory manner, at which time the deposit (with accrued interest, less any deductions for damage) is returned to the Fellow.

Time-Off Policy
NWS Fellows periodically need to take time off for auditions and to participate in other activities intended to enhance their professional development. A Fellow may take time off at any time subject to approval by NWS. The exceptions to this policy are periods of critical artistic importance (e.g., preparing for and producing recordings and tours), known as "blackout" periods. All NWS Fellows may take up to three occasions per season for auditions without loss of stipend. Fellows may also use one of these audition time-off periods to pursue a significant non-paying performance activity or career-development opportunity outside NWS (e.g., to appear as a soloist with another orchestra). Fellows may also take additional time off (without stipend) for professional engagements and auditions in excess of three per season subject to the approval of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Health Insurance
Beginning in 2014, all Fellows are required to carry a health insurance plan. In addition, NWS Fellows are covered for $10,000 in accidental death and dismemberment insurance and up to $2,500 in medical insurance for accidents that occur during, or while traveling to and from, any scheduled NWS activity in the Miami area.

Instrument Insurance
The New World Symphony, through a policy with Frank Crystal & Company, covers the cost of insuring each Fellow's primary instrument (e.g., violin and bow; flute and headjoint; trumpet and mouthpiece). If appropriate, the New World Symphony also covers the cost of insuring a Fellow's auxiliary instrument (e.g., piccolo, English horn, E-flat or bass clarinet, flugelhorn or cornet). Fellows may purchase coverage for additional instruments for $35 per instrument per year. The policy provides full coverage at all times anywhere in the world.

Instrument Loans
The New World Symphony has a limited pool of funds available to extend low-interest loans of up to $10,000 to Fellows for the purchase of new instruments. Full details are available upon request.

Student Loan Deferments
Fellows may be eligible for student loan deferment during their period of participation in the New World Symphony.