New Jersey Symphony Colton Fellowships

The New Jersey Symphony Colton Fellowships are excellence-based programs designed to support early-career Black and/or Latino musicians and early-career conductors representing populations that historically have been marginalized. These initiatives continue the New Jersey Symphony’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

New Jersey Symphony Colton Fellowship

The Colton Fellowship will support up to two fellows per year to participate in New Jersey Symphony performances, receive mentorship and engage with the community. For the 2023–24 season, the Colton Fellowship is held by violinist Jesus Saenz and cellist Max Oppeltz.

To be considered for the Fellowship, eligible candidates must submit an application. Invited candidates will display artistic excellence through an audition and discuss their commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the arts during a short interview. The application window for the 2024–25 New Jersey Symphony Colton Fellowship has since passed. Winning fellows will be announced later this year.

New Jersey Symphony Colton Conducting Fellowship

The Colton Conducting Fellowship is an excellence-based program designed to support early-career orchestral conductors representing populations that have historically been underrepresented on the podium. The selected fellow will work under the Music Director, serving as cover conductor on Classical programs and conducting select programs as assigned. For the 2023–24 season, the Colton Conducting Fellowship is held by Jessica Rivero Altarriba.

Applications for the 2024–25 New Jersey Symphony Colton Conducting Fellowship are now open. Apply at the link below by June 3, 2024; auditions will be held on July 25, 2024 in Newark, NJ.

Apply Here

These fellowships are made possible by a generous gift from Judith and Stewart Colton.

“The Colton Fellowship has offered an incredible opportunity to showcase diverse voices on stage in New Jersey. Our first fellow, Laura Andrade, has been a wonderful addition to our cello section, and we are so thrilled to welcome her back next season and to introduce a new fellow to the Orchestra.”

New Jersey Symphony Music Director Xian Zhang

“It is very gratifying to be part of the process that ultimately enables a young musician to develop into a successful professional artist. Through the New Jersey Symphony Colton Fellowship, this mission becomes even more meaningful as we reach out to the least represented in the classical music world.”

New Jersey Symphony Assistant Concertmaster Adriana Rosin

“The Colton Fellowship has been an essential part of my growth as a musician—not only because of the immersive orchestral experience, but also because of the relationships formed with members of the orchestra and the opportunity to explore my role in the section and in the orchestra as a unit. I think that a fellowship like this is so important because as a cultural and artistic entity, it is our duty to set an example of inclusivity and kindness to the world. That’s why it is so important in our modern day society to have our orchestras represent the people we see in our everyday world, because ultimately that is how we can keep tradition alive.”

Former New Jersey Symphony Colton Fellow Laura Andrade