Diversity Fellowship Program
Institution to welcome Diversity Fellows through new Cincinnati partnerships
Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce the establishment of the Chautauqua Diversity Fellows Program, an expansion of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) groundbreaking Diversity Fellowship Program for pre-professional underrepresented musicians. Through the new partnership, up to five fellows will be selected each year from within the Cincinnati Diversity Fellowship Program to participate in an eight-week summer residency at Chautauqua, beginning with the 2018 season.
“Inclusiveness — of race, gender, sexuality, ideas — is the Chautauqua ideal. We aim to be a leading force in evolving the field of symphony orchestras by diversifying the makeup of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and investing in inclusion,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of performing and visual arts at Chautauqua Institution. “By making it a priority to help musicians from underrepresented communities early in their careers, the Institution hopes to be instrumental in their ability to compete for and win jobs in American orchestras. Diversity in the arts changes lives not only for the artist but also for audiences.”
Launched in 2015 with a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Cincinnati Diversity Fellowship Program is open to violin, viola, cello and double bass players from populations that are historically underrepresented in classical music. Fellows perform the equivalent of five weeks per season with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra while enrolled in a two-year Master of Music or Artist Diploma degree program at CCM. Each class of fellows is selected through a rigorous series of auditions by hundreds of graduate-level musicians for CCM faculty members.
As many as five Cincinnati Diversity Fellows will be selected annually to participate in the summer residency with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, with frequent performance opportunities in the Institution’s 4,400-seat Amphitheater. The fellows will be mentored by the orchestra’s professional musicians, who come to Chautauqua each summer from a variety of home ensembles around the world. In addition, fellows will mentor minority student musicians in Chautauqua’s Music School Festival Orchestra, and offer performances designed to engage the broader Chautauqua community. Chautauqua Diversity Fellows will be provided housing and receive a stipend to offset their expenses.
“The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and CCM are determined to advance diversity on orchestra stages and this new partnership will provide a significant boost to efforts both here and at the Chautauqua Institution,” said Jonathan Martin, president of the orchestra. “We are so pleased to now be working together with them in addition to CCM, on this important initiative.”
According to CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung, “The Chautauqua Institution partnership provides the opportunity for our fellows to continue playing alongside and being mentored by professional musicians during the summer months, thereby enhancing the experience-based education that is at the heart of the Cincinnati Diversity Fellowship program.”
2022 Diversity Fellows
Recipient of the CCM/CSO Diversity Fellowship, violinist Maalik Glover is an active orchestral musician and private teacher. He has received recognition at competitions such as winning Omega Psi Phi’s Talent Hunt, receiving an Honorable Mention at the Schwob School of Music Concerto Competition, as well being one of the winners of the 2021 CCM Violin Competition.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Glover has studied the violin since the age of 11. He has an unyielding advocacy of promoting diversity in classical music. Glover’s first significant accomplishment was his acceptance into the Talent Development Program, an initiative launched by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra that targets gifted African-American and Latino music students to further develop their future careers as accomplished classical musicians. Since then, he has held private studios of his own, collaborating with the Schwob Preparatory Division, LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Strings Attached, as well as Musicbuk.
Glover has performed in Italy, Canada and throughout the United States. He has spent two summers performing with the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy in Powell River, British Columbia. Glover has subbed for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in addition to regularly performing with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
In 2019, Glover graduated summa cum laude from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in. He later completed his Master’s at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music in 2022.
Michael Martin is a second year double bass fellow in the New World Symphony from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Acting Principal Bass of the Hilton Head Symphony in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Formerly, he was a Diversity Fellow with the Cincinnati Symphony, and an Associate Member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
He holds degrees from Northwestern University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music in double bass performance. Michael lives in Miami Beach, Florida, with his girlfriend Rose, their tuxedo cat named “Tofu”, and an ever-growing collection of houseplants. Michael began his study of the double bass with Suzuki teacher Domenick Fiore in early high school, and quickly discovered a deep love of the double bass in all its musical capacities. He has since studied with renowned bass professors Joseph Conyers, Tracy Rowell, Andrew Raciti, Owen Lee and Alexander Hanna.
Throughout his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Michael developed a passion for string pedagogy and has worked with legendary cello pedagogues Hans Jørgen Jensen and Cornelia Watkins-Dyer. Michael is a Teaching Artist at VIA Academy, a weeklong summer intensive based in Miami Beach focused on reaching underserved and underrepresented communities. He has also taught semi-private lessons and group classes through the International Society of Bassists Young Bassists program, in addition to masterclasses with the composer-performer collective Bass Players for Black Composers and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
In addition to orchestral playing, Michael found an appreciation of contemporary music in his time at Oberlin Conservatory, and can be heard on the album Songtree performing the music of Ricardo Zohn Muldoon alongside faculty of the Eastman School. Recent concert appearances have included playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Florida Orchestra, as well as a production of the Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten with the Miami-based vocal chamber music ensemble Illuminarts. Michael is also the creator of Black Reflections, a three-part panel discussion series on racial justice in music, featuring Black luminaries of classical music and jazz such as Chi-chi Nwanoku, Christian McBride, and Dr. Tammy Kernodle.
Michael plays a modern instrument made for him in 2019 by Christopher Savino, and a bow by celebrated French archetier Jean Grunberger.
Emilia Mettenbrink, a violinist, is a rotating Principal Second Violin of the Sphinx Virtuosi and a member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. In addition to her work with the Opera and Sphinx Virtuosi, she plays often with both the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. A Minneapolis native, Emilia began violin studies at the age of three and won the Minnesota Sinfonia Young Artist Competition at the age of nine. She went on to study violin performance with Paul Kantor at the University of Michigan and received a graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with David Perry. While in Madison Emilia served as the Assistant Concertmaster for the Madison Symphony Orchestra as well as playing for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. She received her orchestral training with the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami Beach, FL as a rotating section leader and soloist. Emilia has a love for chamber music and enjoys dividing her time between large and small ensemble performance opportunities. Her summer endeavors have included chamber opera performances with the Mill City Summer Opera, orchestral performances with the Lakes Area Music Festival, and broadway shows. During the pandemic in 2020, Emilia began a concert series from her balcony in St Paul, Minnesota. She loves connecting with audience members, offering notes from the stage, and features both solo violin works and collaborations with dancers and other local Twin Cities artists. tinybalconyConcerts will finish its 3rd summer season just before Emilia’s arrival at Chautauqua.
Max Oppeltz started playing the cello at the age of four as a student of El Sistema in Caracas, Venezuela. As a part of the world-renowned music program, Oppeltz played in the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, the Chacao Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Caracas Municipal Orchestra. He studied with Cesar Noguera, Marek Gajzler and German Marcano. He also participated in numerous master classes with cellists such as Natalia Gutman and Phillip Muller.
In 2014, Oppeltz moved to the U.S. to study at the Juilliard School with Professor Richard Aaron. As an undergraduate student, Oppeltz participated in several lessons and master classes with cellist Franz Helmerson and studied chamber music with musicians such as Roger Tapping, Sam Rhoades, Sylvia Rosenberg and Jerome Lowenthal. In 2016, Oppeltz was fortunate to attend the Music Academy of the West, the highlights of which were taking lessons with Lynn Harrel and performing alongside faculty Warren Jones and Kathleen Winkler.
In 2018, Oppeltz moved to Denver to study at the Lamont School of Music as a Newman Graduate Fellow under Matthew Zalkind. While in Denver, he was fortunate to perform alongside faculty both at the University of Denver Lamont School of Music and at the Denver Chamber Music Festival. For this last year, he has been fortunate to be a part of the CCM/CSO Diversity Fellowship, receiving the highest quality orchestral training playing for and along members of the CSO.
Oppeltz is extremely grateful to be playing on a 1880 French cello from the Caussin School, generously loaned by the Virtu Foundation.
Colombian-American Javier Otalora is an enthusiastic orchestral, chamber, and contemporary music player. He has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony, the Lansing Symphony, the Aspen Conducting Orchestra, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and University of Michigan’s Contemporary Directions Ensemble. He is also a substitute violist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Otalora has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School, Red Rocks Music Festival, the Dali Quartet International Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival (USA).
Otalora is a passionate music educator with violin and viola studios in Oberlin, Ann Arbor, and Cincinnati. As a recipient of the Martin L. King Career Grant, Otalora was able to travel to Panama and lead a chamber program at the University of Panama for two summers.
Otalora began his music studies when he was six years old playing the violin. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied violin with Gregory Fulkerson and Sibbi Bernhardsson, and viola with Kirsten Docter and Peter Slowik. He received his master’s degree from University of Michigan where he studied viola with Caroline Coade on full scholarship.
When Otalora is not practicing his quarter notes, he is eating pizza with friends or eating pizza with beer.Otalora is very grateful to be playing on a viola by David Carón and bow by Paul Siefried, on generous loan from the Virtu Foundation.
Matthew Peralta began his musical journey at the age of eight when he began to takepiano lessons at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. These lessons continued until he reachedthe age of thirteen, where during his first year of high school he found a deep appreciation forthe role of the double bass in orchestra and began to actively practice the instrument. During hissenior year of high school, Matthew was accepted into the New York Youth Orchestra where hewould make his Carnegie Hall debut performing in the section of said orchestra. Matt wouldeventually move on to study under the tutelage of Mr. Timothy Cobb at the SUNY Purchaseuniversity. Right before the senior year of his undergraduate degree, Matt participated in theDouble Stop Foundation competition and won a spot among others as a 2018 Ambassador forthe Foundation. Upon gaining the Ambassador title, Matt would also bring home the prize of aJacob Schmidbauer ¾ double bass made in the late 1800’s. After his final year at Purchase,Matt would go on to receive his Masters degree at the Yale School of Music where he studiedwith Professor Donald Palma. Matthew has also attended music festivals such as Roundtop andSarasota where he studied with prestigious teachers such as James VanDemark and PaulEllison respectively.
Samantha Powell is currently a Cincinnati Symphony OrchestraDiversity Fellow and is getting her Artist Diploma at the College-Conservatory of Music. Since starting the CSO Diversity Fellowship, she has advanced in the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra Audition and is a finalist for the Sphinx Orchestral Partners Audition (SOPA).Through her advancement in the SOPA excerpt competition, she has been contacted to perform/audition for many different orchestras such as the Spoleto Music Festival which she will attend this summer. Samantha is also involved in a piano trio which whom recently won the College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Competition and were featured in a final recital.
Patricia Quintero Garcia
Patricia Quintero Garcia was born in Havana, Cuba, and started playing the violin at the age of eight. She graduated in Music Violin Performance from The Superior Institute of Arts, University in Havana, Cuba. Since then, she performed as a soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana and the Philharmonic orchestra of Caracas, worked as a Concertmaster at the Opera and Ballet Symphony Orchestra in Cuba, and played in orchestras conducted by renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado and Gustavo Dudamel.
Patricia as a member of the Sphinx Virtuosi has toured around the country in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Library of Congress dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in classical music.
Patricia holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from University of Southern Mississippi, as well as a Diploma in Solo Performance, and Chamber Music from the Jacobs School of Music where she studied with Professor Mauricio Fuks and Pacifica Quartet.
Robert Alvarado Switala began his musical studies at age 6 on violin and began playing viola at 14. In 2006, he appeared on the NPR radio show “From the Top”, as well as the PBS television show, “From the Top: Live at Carnegie Hall”. Robert was awarded 1st prize at the 2007 National SPHINX Competition and has soloed with the SMU, TCU, Florida, New World, Hartford, Colorado, Nashville and Fort Worth Symphony orchestras. He is a recipient of the 2008 Texas Young Masters Grant and the 2009 Bayard H. Friedman Scholarship.
He has studied with Itzhak Perlman, Paul Kantor, and Jan Sloman and has had master classes with Ani Kavafian, Stephanie Chase, Elmar Oliveira, Rudolf Koelman, Shlomo Mintz, Donald Weilerstein, Michael Tree, Patinka Kopec, Pinkas Zukerman, James Dunham, Joel Krosnick, Ronald Copes, Robert Macdonald, Robert Vernon, Barbara Westphal and Midori Goto. As an active chamber musician, he has attended numerous chamber festivals, including Perlman, Chautauqua, Keshet Eilon, Mimir, Sarasota and Kneisel Hall music festivals at which he has worked with numerous members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Cavani, Cleveland, and Takacs string quartets.
Formerly first violin of the El Paso and Las Cruces symphony orchestras, Robert is now co-principal Viola of the SPHINX Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Concertmaster for the Thompson Street Opera Company, and faculty at the Des Plaines School of Music. He studied under Almita and Roland Vamos at Roosevelt University.
Mwakudua waNgure grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, where he started violin as a child throughthe Suzuki method. He has studied at institutions such as the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Oberlin Conservatory, and the University of Michigan and has since performed as an orchestral musician with orchestras throughout the Midwest. Currently Mwakudua studies with TimothyLees at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where he is a diversity fellow in theCincinnati Symphony Orchestra.