Message to the Applicants

Dear Friend,

Michael Tilson Thomas

Thank you for considering New World Symphony as part of your future. So much of our responsibility as classical musicians rests in our performing with energy, insight, and generosity of expression. It is these qualities that can convince even the first time listener that coming back to another performance is worthwhile, and even essential. In this way, the past and future of our art can be preserved and strengthened.

What does it take to do that? It takes playing with confidence and conviction that gets way past the notes and makes the points that composers took the time to imagine and write down. It means recommitting yourself to the powerful musical and communicative goals which you need to have for your own personal success and for the success of this art, which we so love.

To be a successful and happy classical musician, you have to love the process of making music itself. You have to love practicing and studying, and you have to love the idea that you’re going to be doing this your entire life. Through this process something important happens to you which will bring you insight and fulfillment.

Be absolutely sure about your commitment. No one respects more than I the incredible amount of heart, savvy, and virtuosity it takes to be a “large ensemble” player. You yourselves have known veterans of music who were seemingly transfigured, energized, eternally made young by their relationship to the music that they play. That’s what your goal should be: to find the relationship right now that will carry you through your life. The real story in any art is “going the distance” and establishing the habits that will sustain you as your life unfolds.

All of us at the New World Symphony are dedicated to helping you with this quest as well as strengthening your skills as a musician. No matter what unexpected things may happen you will have that powerful inner core to find your own way and to find colleagues who believe as idealistically as you do. With them you can reshape and form the greatest possible future for our wonderful art. To truly be for music and for your colleagues is the greatest responsibility and joy an artist can have.


Michael Tilson Thomas
Co-Founder and Artistic Director Laureate




Dear Applicant, 

Thank you for taking the time to consider applying to the New World Symphony (NWS) fellowship program. As you think about the next step in your career, we hope you will join us as we explore the future of symphonic music. Our mission is to prepare graduates of music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world. Leadership comes in different forms, and we aim to provide as many tools as possible for you to achieve your vision of a successful and fulfilling career 

Before you submit your application, I invite you to take a look at our Vision and Statement of Inclusiveness to better understand the values of our organization.  

NWS was co-founded in 1987 by Ted Arison and Artistic Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas, MTT. MTT’s idea to create space and time for you to explore and enhance your artistry remains central to the offerings of NWS. Our curriculum is divided into three areas: Performance and Musicianship, Community and Audience Engagement, and Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Elements of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging (EDIB), technology and wellness are implemented throughout these core areas.   

The New World Symphony has over 1,200 alumni worldwide. Access to the NWS community of musicians, guest artists, visiting faculty members, your colleagues and the administrative staff is one of the often-unarticulated benefits of our program. 

Please review the application details, the NWS website and speak with your own network about their NWS experiences. We are eager to meet you through the application process and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions. Thank you for your interest.   


Cassidy Fitzpatrick Carlson 
Senior Vice President for Musician Advancement and Dean  

New World Symphony  

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