Emerging Artists Program

Emerging Artists Program 2023

The Mendocino Music Festival offers 12 string players ages 18–28 full scholarships for the Emerging Artists Program. The program includes chamber music coaching, masterclasses, and participation in the Festival Orchestra alongside professional musicians from the Bay Area and beyond, in one of the most spectacular spots on the Northern California coast.

The Program

The 2024 Mendocino Music Festival Emerging Artists Program dates are: July 11–28, 2024. Emerging Artists will perform in a chamber music recital and three orchestral concerts, each one with a different program. Host families will provide participants with housing.

Director: Tyler De Vigal, cellist
Assistant Director: Nao Kubota, violist

Chamber Music Coaches

Terry Baune is concertmaster of the North State Symphony and the Eureka Symphony, co-concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony, and a member of the new-music chamber ensemble Earplay and the Temporary Resonance piano trio. She is Music Director of the TBAM chamber music festival in Trinidad, CA, and director of the Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop at Cal Poly Humboldt. Her other professional credits include two years in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, where she performed with the Gabrielli Trio as a Radio New Zealand National Ensemble, four years as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra, and over twenty years as concertmaster of The Women’s Philharmonic. She has participated in numerous world premieres and has had solo works written for her by Chen Yi, Libby Larsen and Pablo Ortiz.

Susan Freier, an internationally known violinist and violist and longtime member of the Ives Quartet at Stanford University, performs with the S.F. Contemporary Chamber Players. She earned degrees from Stanford and Eastman School of Music and was asked to join the Chester Quartet, which went on to win the Evian, Munich International, Portsmouth and Chicago Discovery competitions. She has been a participant at the Aspen Grand Teton and Newport festivals, and has recordings on a number of prestigious labels. Formerly an artist-faculty member of the Pacific Music Center, she now teaches and performs at the Orfeo, Telluride, and San Diego music festivals.

Stephen Harrison has been a member of the Stanford University faculty since 1983, when he returned to his native Bay Area to co-found the Stanford String Quartet. In 1998 he became the founding cellist of the Ives Quartet and is now co-Artistic Director of the Ives Collective. These ensembles have commissioned works from composers such as William Bolcom, Ben Johnston, Elinor Armer, and Dan Becker. Cellist of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players since 1986, he has performed internationally and recorded for the Naxos, Music and Arts, CRI, New Albion, Newport Classics, AIX, New World and Bridge recording labels.

Application Deadline: April 15, 2024.

Audition Requirements:

  • One movement each from two contrasting pieces of applicant’s choice.

Apply Online

You’ll receive an immediate email confirmation of your application.

Meet the Directors

Tyler DeVigal, cellist, is an orchestral and chamber musician in the Bay Area. He regularly plays with several orchestras, including Symphony San Jose, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Opera San Jose, Marin Symphony, Modesto Symphony, and Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera. In 2024, Tyler joined the Grammy-nominated Quartet San Francisco. Tyler is also a dedicated teacher and is on faculty at the Crowden School. He received his musical training at the Crowden School, San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he earned his M.M. Prior to CIM, he attended Stanford University, where he earned his B.A. in Human Biology, with an emphasis on mental illness in the arts. Tyler’s mentors and teachers include Milly Rosner, Jonathan Koh, Stephen Harrison, Mark Kosower, Robert DeMaine, and Bonnie Hampton.

Violist Nao Kubota is an active chamber and orchestral musician based in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. A passionate chamber musician, Nao was the Gold Prize Winner of the 9th International Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, and has worked closely with the Juilliard, Pacifica, St. Lawrence, Borromeo, Cavani, and Danish String Quartets. As an orchestral musician, Nao has performed with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Symphony, Modesto Symphony, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and the Ojai Music Festival. A graduate of New England Conservatory, Nao earned her Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance studying with Dimitri Murrath, then received her Master of Music and Graduate Certificate at the USC Thornton School of Music, studying with Karen Dreyfus. Nao is a member of the award-winning chamber ensemble, Delirium Musicum, and on faculty at the Crowden Music Center.

Program History

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 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.

Learn about the recital