About the Partnership with Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music

The New York Philharmonic Global Academy partnership with the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University, in Houston, Texas — one of the nation’s foremost orchestral training programs — brings Zarin Mehta Fellows to New York City as part of the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program. The visit offers comprehensive and far-reaching career preparation through an unparalleled window into the real life of the orchestral musician. The partnership also includes visits by Philharmonic musicians to Houston to coach rehearsals.

In April 2018 six students from the Shepherd School’s string studios will participate in a week of immersive activities in New York. Chloe Yeseul Gam (violin), Andrew Keller (bass), Andrew Laven (cello), Samuel Pedersen (viola), Erica Schwartz (viola), and Siyu Zhang (violin) were selected after auditions at the Shepherd School November 26–28, overseen by Philharmonic musicians who also played with and coached a Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra rehearsal during their visit.

The upcoming New York immersion includes training and playing alongside Philharmonic musicians; mock auditions; individual lessons and chamber music sessions coached by Philharmonic musicians; and participation in the Philharmonic’s educational programs. The program culminates in a chamber music concert featuring the Fellows alongside Philharmonic musicians.

This builds on the first year of the partnership, in which six young instrumentalists from the Shepherd School’s wind, brass, and percussion studios came to New York as Zarin Mehta Fellows. 

View slideshows and more about the partnership

When the Shepherd School was announced as the first U.S. conservatory Global Academy partner, Shepherd School dean Robert Yekovich said: “The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University prides itself on the exceptional quality of its orchestra program. The invitation to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy is recognition of our success in preparing orchestral musicians at the highest professional level. The Global Academy’s intensive week filled with performing, auditioning, and mentoring experiences is an ideal blend of educational activities for young musicians aspiring to win positions in major symphony orchestras. We feel privileged to partner with the Philharmonic as they endeavor to broaden the impact of their educational efforts.”


The Global Academy Fellowship Program, in association with the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, is supported in part by The Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, Inc., an anonymous donor, and other gifts made toward the Zarin Mehta Fund. Additional support provided by Shirley Young / US–China Cultural Foundation.

Support for Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music partnership with the New York Philharmonic Global Academy Fellowship Program is provided by Phoebe and Bobby Tudor.