Pittsburgh Symphony expands program for pre-professional Black musicians

Posted on: December 22, 2021

“The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in December announced a significant expansion of its pre-professional fellowship for Black or African American musicians,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Tuesday’s (12/21) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Since 2007, the program has provided one musician with two years of performance opportunities and professional development training. Now multiple young musicians will be accepted and provided more extensive developmental support…. The program will support four new fellows each season by the year 2025, making it one of the larger fellowship opportunities in the country…. The fellowship now provides: annual pay equivalent to minimum orchestra weekly scale for 21 work weeks (about $43,000) … full benefits of PSO insurance plans and up to $8,000 in reimbursements for audition and professional development expenses each season … candidates will be considered for Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra substitute musician opportunities…. A breakdown from 2014 by the League of American Orchestras showed that about 2% of professional American orchestra members are Black, 2.5% are Hispanic or Latino and about 9% are Asian/Pacific Islander. Orchestras across the country are trying to increase racial and ethnic diversity…. The League of American Orchestras also published a report in 2016 about diversity fellowships, Forty Years of Fellowships.”