Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellowship & Residency Program


Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellowship & Residency Program

The National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F) in partnership with the National Philharmonic and The Sphinx Organization announces a new fellowship and residency program that combines arts administration, orchestral performance, music curation and community engagement.  

Building on NOI+F’s existing Orchestral Futurist Fellowship, the National Philharmonic will offer each fellow the opportunity to expand their work into a second year through a professional residency with the National Philharmonic.   

Year 1 (Orchestral Futurist Fellowship):

The fellow will work with the Director of the NOI+F on the planning, recruitment and execution of the festival over a 13-month period to advance their careers as orchestral musicians and provide a creative platform for shaping the orchestra of the future. The fellow is accepted by application and chosen jointly by NOI+F, National Philharmonic and The Sphinx Organization.  

The Orchestral Futurist Fellow begins with a summer fellowship at the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. Following their first summer at NOI+F, they will begin a year-long artistic and administrative collaboration with the Director of NOI+F and staff of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center to plan an artistic project centered around community engagement. This project will be the basis for continued mentorship throughout the entire two-year program.   

The fellow will work remotely with general responsibilities ranging from 10-12 hours per month, excluding participation in the festival and two retreats. The fellowship provides a monthly stipend of $300, tuition remission from NOI+F and domestic travel and housing during the festival and retreats. 

Fellowship Components

  • Orchestral: As musicians of extemporary talent, each fellow will receive orchestral leadership assignments during their two summers at NOI+F, performing as principal players in one or more concerts.
  • Arts Administration: The fellow will receive real-world arts administration experience as they work with the NOI+F and Clarice staff to provide creative input on shaping future seasons of the festival. Each fellow will be mentored by The Clarice’s management team to gain additional perspectives in the field of arts administration, including the areas of development, marketing, finance, community engagement, production and entrepreneurship. Fellows will design and implement a project focused on the future of the orchestral world.

Year 2 (Orchestral Futurist in Residence):

Following the conclusion of their first year with NOI+F, the fellow will be offered a professional residency with the National Philharmonic where they will be an important member of the NatPhil team. During the residency, the Orchestral Futurist in Residence (OFIR) will have the opportunity to grow their focused project in the communities served by the National Philharmonic.

The OFIR’s season tenure with NatPhil focuses on growing their artistic project into a sustainable effort through customized mentorship and training opportunities that align with their project focus and goals, while integrating their project into the NatPhil season. 

Residency Components

  • Performance: The OFIR will have orchestral or chamber ensemble performance opportunities that will be customized during the season to best boost their focused project.  

  • Arts Leadership: The OFIR will work as an embedded member of the National Philharmonic administrative and artistic team, working to shape the education and community engagement programs throughout the season as well as contribute to a more equitable future in arts and culture. Mentorship and training will include arts entrepreneurship and leadership, fundraising/sustainability, marketing and community engagement.  

  • Community Engagement: The OFIR will have the opportunity to grow their project or organization within the Washington, DC region, increasing their impact and reach through NatPhil’s partner communities.  

  • Sustainability: At the conclusion of the residency, the OFIR will have the opportunity to pitch their project or organization to a panel of funders to further support their project or organization’s impact.  

The OFIR will work remotely with general responsibilities ranging from 10-12 hours per month in addition to the on-site residency during the season. The residency structure and timing will be customized to best fit OFIR’s project impact. The OFIR will receive a monthly stipend of $300, performance fees when applicable and domestic travel and housing during their on-site residency periods.

Apply + Audition

Application Procedure and Audition Requirements

  • November 1, 2021: Sphinx Fellowship application opens

  • February 14, 2022: Sphinx Fellowship applications are due

  • March 2, 2022: Applicants will be notified of audition results

  • This fellowship is open to Black and Latinx classical musicians. 

  • All applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 on May 24, 2022.

  • All NOI+F participants are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Applicants must complete and upload a video audition. Audition repertoire requirements can be found here.

  • Applicants must submit a project proposal:

    • As part of your fellowship, you will be guided in the creation of a project of your choosing that addresses the future of symphony orchestras. Submit a project proposal that outlines one possible idea for your project, its goals, desired impact and budget. Some examples of projects applicants may focus on include innovation in K-12 programming, commissioning of work by BIPOC composers, new marketing strategies or unique partnerships or activities to broaden audience participation. (750 words maximum)


Sphinx Orchestral Futurist Fellowship & Residency General Outline