Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
Announces Four Musicians Selected for
LA Phil Resident Fellows Program
Los Angeles, CA (May 14, 2018) - The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association announced today the four musicians selected for the LA Phil Resident Fellows program. The program, announced in November 2017, launched this year as a centerpiece initiative of the LA Phil's Centennial with the purpose of creating a pathway towards a more diverse and inclusive orchestra of tomorrow.
"I look forward to welcoming our first four Fellows not only onto our beloved Walt Disney Concert Hall and Hollywood Bowl stages, but also into community settings here in Los Angeles and on tour as members of our orchestra family," said Gustavo Dudamel, Music & Artistic Director of the LA Phil. "We are honored to be able to offer musicians just starting out in their careers the types of opportunities and experiences that will be vital to shaping their futures."
The fellowship is an excellence-based training program for superb early-career symphonic musicians representing or serving historically underrepresented populations. Its goal is to prepare these musicians to compete for, and win, positions in major professional orchestras.
"We are thrilled to welcome our inaugural cohort of Resident Fellows to the Los Angeles Philharmonic," says LA Phil CEO Simon Woods. "We look forward to making music with these exceptional musicians. Just as Gustavo and the orchestra have many hard-won lessons to share with them, we know that they have much to teach us as well. This is the first step on a journey to building a professional orchestral field that is as diverse as the communities it serves."
The cohort of four Resident Fellows will focus on their artistic development through orchestral, chamber music, new music, and education concerts performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and in community settings. They will also have the opportunity to participate in tours with the LA Phil. Mentorship from LA Phil Musicians and assistance with audition preparation are added benefits to prepare Resident Fellows for future roles in major professional orchestras, including the LA Phil.
The LA Phil Resident Fellows program is open to outstanding string players (violin, viola, cello, bass) or percussionists, including those with demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in the arts, learning, and civic leadership, who have earned a bachelor's degree and are from or serve underrepresented populations. The Resident Fellows were selected through a screening and audition process led by musicians of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel.
As the LA Phil imagines the possibilities for its next 100 years, the LA Phil Resident Fellowship will help the organization build on its historic achievements to create a model of a 21st-century cultural institution that both serves and reflects its community.
"I'd like to extend a hearty congratulations and welcome to the LA Phil to these talented musicians, who are the first Resident Fellows," says John Lofton, LA Phil's bass trombonist and LA Phil Resident Fellows Orchestra Chair. "They've earned an opportunity to share and experience music making at the highest level. As they pursue the unalloyed pleasures of professional music, their journey is an inspiration to those who follow. The Resident Fellows have embraced the challenge to represent our community. Their path will create both interest and access for many. Again, congrats, and I wish them all success!"
The LA Phil Resident Fellows program is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Eugene and Marilyn Stein Family Foundation.
The LA Phil Resident Fellows are:
ANDREW FRANCOIS, viola
Born and raised in Kankakee, IL, violist Andrew Francois began his musical studies at the age of ten on violin in his school's string program.
As a chamber musician and soloist, Francois has given recitals throughout the United States and Europe, and has performed with such esteemed artists as Joshua Bell, Alexander Kerr, Jorja Fleezanis, Eric Kim, and Stephen Wyrczynski. He also serves on the artist faculty of the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival. As an avid orchestral player, Francois has played with the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, and New World Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Francois has received Artistic Excellence Fellowships from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University as well as Illinois State University. Francois enjoys teaching and community outreach, and has traveled to Medellín, Colombia to teach masterclasses and lessons at EAFIT Universidad. While an undergraduate student, he was a teaching assistant and private instructor at Illinois State University in their String Project program. As a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music, studying under string department chair Stephen Wyrczynski, Francois held the title of Graduate and Teaching Assistant for the string department, and sat on the Jacobs School of Music Council as a Graduate representative. After his studies, Francois was a Viola Fellow at the New World Symphony from 2014 to 2018.
MICHAEL FULLER, bass
Michael Fuller is a first-year Resident "Bass" Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Born and raised in the City of Brotherly Love, Fuller began playing the bass at the age of 12 with the help of Benjamin Blazer, Nanette Foley and Marjorie Keefe. He attended the city's prestigious High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA).
Fuller is a former member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and Philadelphia's "All-City Orchestra." Prior to his senior year of high school, he began taking lessons with Philadelphia Orchestra bassist John Hood. He obtained full scholarships for two performance degrees: a bachelor's degree from the Eastman School of Music (class of 2013), where he studied with Professor James VanDemark, and a
master's degree from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music (class of 2015), where he studied with Professor Timothy Pitts.
Following his time at Rice, Fuller was invited to join the New World Symphony, where he spent three seasons performing under Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Over the years, he has also worked closely with bassists Joseph Conyers, Harold Robinson, and Paul Ellison. During his time at the New World Symphony, Fuller performed on a "Luigi Chiericato" model bass constructed by Barrie Kolstein in 2008, a loan made possible with the generous support of Mr. Kolstein, for winning the Doublestop Foundation's 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.
Fuller has performed with various ensembles across the country, such as the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Houston Latin Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic, Palm Beach Opera, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, and Roundtop Festival Orchestra. He has enjoyed his experiences performing in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Verizon Hall, and Carnegie Hall. He has also attended the Wabass Institute for the 21st-Century Bass Player, a one-week intensive workshop where he had the opportunity to work with Ranaan Meyer, Eric Larsen, and Harold Robinson.
Fuller has been invited as an Alumni Fellow on a performance tour of Italy with the Philadelphia All City Orchestra, touring cities including Rome, Assisi, Montecatini, Perrugia, Siena, and Lucca. The tour concluded in Florence with a performance at the Loggia del Lanzi, overlooking the Piazza del Signoria during the annual Festival delle Orchestre Giovanili.
Fuller currently spends his summer months performing with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Charleston, SC and will be coaching the brilliant young musicians of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA-NYO2) as an Orchestral Fellow.
EDUARDO RIOS, violin
Winner of the 2015 Sphinx Competition, 21-year-old violinist Eduardo Rios was born and raised in Lima, Peru. Eduardo began playing the violin at age ten and made his solo debut at age 14 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru. He made his American solo debut with the Houston Symphony and has also performed with the Nashville Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Colburn Orchestra, Brevard Concert Orchestra, and the National Repertory Orchestra. He has worked with world-renowned conductors, including Carlos Kalmar, Tito Muñoz, Andrew Grams, Ken Lam, Geregely Madaras, and David del Pino.
Rios has participated in tours and festivals around the globe including the New York String Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall, Aspen Music Festival, Festival de Música de Santa Catarina (Brazil), and Trav-eling Notes in Armenia. Upcoming festivals include a European Tour with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas where he will be concertmaster and featured as a soloist. Rios is pursuing an Artist Diploma with Robert Lipsett at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where he is co-concertmaster of the Colburn Orchestra.
WESLEY SUMPTER, percussion
Wesley Sumpter is a percussionist and drummer from Atlanta, GA. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Georgia under the love and guidance of former Pittsburgh Symphony timpanist Timothy Adams Jr. and former Tucson Symphony timpanist Kimberly Toscano. Wesley is currently pursuing his master's degree at the University of Southern California under the LA Phil's own James Babor and Joseph Pereira. Wesley has performed as percussionist and timpanist with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He recently accompanied the Louisiana Philharmonic during their inaugural tour to Carnegie Hall, highlighting the music of Philip Glass and Silvestre Revueltas.
As a member of the percussion trio Lineage, Wesley and his friends Lauren Floyd and Trevor Barroero made history in May of 2016, winning the bronze medal in the Wind Division at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. They became the first percussionists in the 43-year history of the competition to be selected as a senior-division finalist. Before this, Lineage was a semifinalist of both the Coltman Chamber Competition and the 2015 Fischoff Competition and was a third-place winner at the Percussive Arts Society's Chamber Competition.
Wesley was a semifinalist in the 2014 and 2015 Atlanta Modern Snare Drum Competition and has also attended the Eastern Music Festival and Aspen Music Festival and School. He was a drummer on VH1's feature film, Drumline 2: A New Beat in 2014. An avid drummer, Wesley has performed as a studio drummer and freelancer throughout Athens and Atlanta, GA. He has played with artists such as Macy Gray and frequently with his band, Misnomer (formerly known as Mister Tie Dye), who just released their debut album, Neighborhood, on Spotify and Apple Music. In the summer of 2018, Wesley will be featured on Alfred Music's new instructional DVD entitled Sound Percussion. When in Atlanta, Wesley teaches at Benjamin E. Mays and Tucker High Schools and the Allegro Music Camp under the direction of Leon Daughrity. Wesley would also like to attribute his growth and success to his life-long mentors Robert Jeffrey, Sr., William Earvin, Sr., William Oliver, and his father, Alfonza Sumpter, Jr.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres - orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop - at two of L.A.'s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil's season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.
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