Classical Education

Dallas Symphony scholars program affords young musicians unprecedented opportunity

DSO scholars program affords young musicians unprecedented opportunity

Jaap van Zweden
Students in the new DSO/Jaap van Zweden scholarship program will have a chance to learn directly from the maestro himself. Jaap van Zweden Photo by Robert Bostick

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has announced plans for a first-of-its-kind scholarship program that will allow students from all over the world to get a top-flight education while also learning from a renowned conductor. The DSO/Jaap van Zweden Scholars is a partnership between the DSO and universities and music conservatories around the world, designed to nurture and develop tomorrow’s musical leaders in the orchestra field.

The scholarships were made possible as part of a $10 million gift from Margaret McDermott.

A select number of orchestral string students will be brought to Dallas to rehearse and perform concerts with the Dallas Symphony under the music direction of van Zweden. The students will also attend classes at the University of Texas at Dallas, where they will receive musical instruction and a customized curriculum of leadership and entrepreneurship training.

Each will also receive regular coaching and additional performance opportunities with members of the DSO.

“For our musical art form to grow and remain relevant, musicians must become complete artistic citizens, performing at the highest level and also taking leadership roles not only in their work inside the orchestra, but in community partnerships to advance the cultural literacy of all citizens,” said van Zweden in a release.

Candidates for the scholarships will come from seven schools: The Juilliard School in New York, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Royal College of Music in London, Paris Conservatory, Amsterdam Conservatory and Southern Methodist University.

Recommendations for candidates will come from the participating schools. All chosen for scholarships will begin their residency in January 2015, with each class lasting around two years.