2023 Cello Fellowship Search

The Montgomery Symphony Association announces the 2023 Cello Fellowship Search. The MSO Cello Fellowship is a 2-year residency program in Montgomery, Alabama. This program is designed to support and enrich early career symphonic musicians, providing opportunities in orchestral, solo, and chamber music performance. Fellows also maintain a visible presence in the Montgomery community and actively participate in education and community engagement initiatives and performances. Each season includes a nine-month residency beginning in August and ending at the end of May.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2023, 11:59pm CST

Contact: montgomerysymphony@gmail.com

Michael Zyzak, cello fellow 2020-2023 by Jennifer's Photobox
Position Details

Title: The Senator Larry D. Dixon Cello Fellow

Compensation: $35,000 stipend per nine-month season.

Duration: 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 seasons

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serve as Principal Cellist for the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. The MSO currently performs four classical concerts, three pops concerts, and one education concert per season.
  • Perform a concerto as soloist with the MSO on one classical concert per season.
  • As a Recitalist, perform three scheduled solo/chamber music recitals each season in Montgomery. The MSO provides funding to hire a collaborative pianist for each fellow recital.
  • Participate in education and outreach initiatives of the MSO, including occasional work with the Montgomery Music Project and Montgomery Youth Orchestra and performing community concerts in the Montgomery area.
Candidate Profile
  • Candidates for the 2023 Cello Fellowship should have completed their formal musical education and be at the beginning of their professional performing careers. Candidates may be enrolled in a degree program where the residency requirement is complete (i.e. DMA candidate who is ABD).
  • Candidates must be authorized to work in the United States at the time of application and during the period of the residency (the MSO will not sponsor visas for fellows).
Application Process:

I. Preliminary Round

Submit a one page resume, contact information for 3 professional references, and a link to audition recording (unlisted YouTube link with no password requirement preferred). These items should be combined into one pdf document, clearly labeled with the applicant’s name (i.e. “First name_Last name_MSO Fellow Search). Submit via email to montgomerysymphony@gmail.com. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Recording Requirements: An unedited video recording of the applicant performing the following repertoire in a single take. Please use one single camera angle with the applicant clearly visible for the duration of the recording.


  • Solo Bach movement of the applicant’s choice
  • Dvorak Cello Concerto, 1st movement exposition- 1st solo entrance to reh. 8 (unaccompanied)
  • The following orchestral excerpts: Brahms Symphony No. 2, Second Movement (Beg.-ms. 12); Mendelssohn Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (pickup to 1 after letter C to downbeat of letter D; Strauss- Ein Heldenleben (Beg.-5 bars after reh. 6)

II. Final Round

A limited number of finalists will be invited to perform a live round in Montgomery, AL, April 17-18, 2023 (travel dates April 16th and 19th). Finalists will perform in a recital format for the search committee and a public audience. Interviews with the committee will also be scheduled during the visit. Travel expenses for the final round including round trip airfare and accommodations will be paid by the Montgomery Symphony Association. A collaborative pianist will also be provided. Repertoire requirements will be included with invitations to the final round.


In 1989, the Montgomery Symphony Association’s Board of Directors established a program to promote the concert careers of promising early-career musicians through its Fellowship program. The program began with a Violin Fellowship and expanded to include a Cello Fellowship in 1996. For a list of former Fellows, click here.

The MSO Cello Fellow is encouraged to perform solo engagements, enter competitions, and accept significant outside performance opportunities that may further their career during the Fellowship period. The Association Board requires, however, that the Fellow establish a residence in Montgomery, Alabama, and that any absences from Montgomery Symphony Orchestra (MSO) performances or rehearsals be approved in advance by the Music Director. The Fellow’s engagement is subject to renewal each season.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2023

The Montgomery Symphony Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is strongly committed to cultivating an environment which promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and in its community of musicians.