The Emerging Artists Program began in 1991, the Mendocino Music Festival’s fifth season, when the Young Musicians Scholarship Program was inaugurated to nurture young classical musicians in the community and beyond, and to reinforce orchestral resources. Every year 8 – 12 instrumentalists—talented wind and brass players, string players and pianists—were chosen to play in the Festival Orchestra and to present chamber music programs, coached by professionals. By combining the best features of a music camp with a rigorous professional festival, the program enabled young players to grow musically while enjoying camaraderie with fellow participants and the festival musicians. Like all visiting musicians, the students were housed with local families, allowing them to interface with the broader community.
Beginning in 1998, the program focused exclusively on string players. In 2007, Karl Goldstein, who served as director of the program for many years, changed the program’s name to “Emerging Artists.” Other directors and coaches have included Anne Crowden, Bonnie Hampton, Susan Waterfall, Burke Schuchmann, Christina Mok, Eric Sung, Jill Brindel, Roy Malan, Susan Freier and Julie Feldman, the current Program Director.
The Program Alumni Page gives an impressive peek into the value of this program with personal statements from many of the more than 160 alumni since 1991 on the importance of the Festival experience in their development as musicians, and on their achievements and career paths. The alumni represent an international community of young musicians who came together for a magical summer experience, most of whom have gone on to have successful professional musical careers as players, teachers and administrators who nurture young people themselves.
The Festival is proud of the Emerging Artists Program and remains committed to encouraging, nurturing and showcasing young artists each season to enable them to make significant contributions to the communities where they live and play.
This program is free to participants thanks to the generosity of the donors of the Mendocino Music Festival.