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Durham Fellows Application


Durham Fellowships are open to string players who have graduated from college, university, or conservatory. Fellows will be selected through a screening and audition process, as well as the Sphinx Orchestral Partner Auditions. Applicants must be no younger than 22 years of age, and no older than 30 years of age upon applying for the Fellowship.

Responsibility and Requirements

  • Fellows will be required to serve a two-season term (September 2025 – May 2027), and will be given the option to return for a third.

  • Fellows will rehearse and perform as a part of the orchestra for a minimum of 9 weeks per season, with the possibility of additional performance weeks.

  • Fellows will form a string quartet that will partake in a minimum of 9 weeks of community engagement and educational activities on the part of the COT each season.

  • Over the course of the season, Fellows will focus on personal growth and development activities including but not limited to coachings/individual lessons, and mock auditions.

  • Fellows will be required to help COT Staff in performing various administrative duties over the course of a season, with the maximum commitment being 2 hours per week.

  • Residency in Durham is required for the duration of the Fellowship (except for the months of Summer break, June-August).


  • Base compensation for Durham Fellows starts at $40,000 including full health insurance coverage.

  • Each Durham Fellow will receive a minimum of 6 one-hour private lessons/coachings from COT conductors, resident artists, and orchestral partners.

  • Each Durham Fellow will receive a one-time relocation payment of $2,000 for those moving to Durham from outside the area.

  • Durham Fellows will also be offered transportation and housing assistance to attend up to two auditions per year for full-time employment with other U.S. orchestras.

Apply for Durham Fellowship

Applications will be accepted through May 1, 2024 at 11:59pm Eastern time.

There is no application fee for this program.

Live audition for selected applicants.

May 13-19, 2024

Auditions locations will be selected based on the location of the pre-screening applicants who have progressed to the live audition.

All finalists are eligible for a stipend to help cover costs of travel and lodging. Stipend amounts are dependent on instrument and city of origin.

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Thanks for applying for the Durham Fellows!

Applications for the Durham Fellows are closed

Video Audition Requirements

  • Audition videos may be shot in two takes. One for the solo repertoire and one for the orchestral excerpts. (see "Video Repertoire Lists" below)

  • Any required solos or concertos may be performed with or without piano accompaniment.

  • No editing or sound enhancements of any kind are permitted.

  • Audition videos suspected of being edited or otherwise enhanced will be disqualified.

  • Please begin the audition by stating your name.

Violin Audition Repertoire List

Viola Audition Repertoire List

Cello Audition Repertoire List

General Video Guidelines

​Please supply high-quality video recordings that are the best possible representation of your technical ability, tone quality and musicianship. Below are a few guidelines:

  • The video frame should include your entire face, your instrument, and a full range of motion while you are playing. Videos submitted without full visibility will not be considered.

  • Good sound quality will help the judges get the most accurate sense of your music-making, tone and timbre. However, professional equipment and studio space are not necessary. With attention to detail, a successful audition video can be made with consumer-level electronics.

  • Please consider the room/environment in which the video will be recorded. Avoid recording near windows or in rooms with excessive external noises.

  • Begin the audition by stating your name. Please do not speak for the remainder of the recording – simply play through the repertoire in the order listed.

  • Before submitting your audition video, please watch and listen to check audio levels and visual presentation.

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