Colburn School Announces Inaugural Class of Salonen Fellows

Chosen at the end of a highly competitive process with 115 applications from around the world, Angus Webster and Ross Collins were recently named as the first Salonen Fellows in the Conservatory’s new Negaunee Conducting Program.

This fall, Colburn will welcome the first class of Salonen Fellows in the Conservatory’s new Negaunee Conducting Program.

Out of 115 applicants from around the world, seven candidates were invited for a first round live audition in the US with the Colburn Orchestra. Four candidates were chosen by Esa-Pekka Salonen to return for a final round with the Philharmonia Orchestra. In the end, two students were selected: British conductor and pianist Angus Webster and Finnish-British conductor Ross Jamie Collins.

“I’m very proud to welcome Angus Webster and Ross Collins to the Negaunee Conducting Program as the first class of Fellows,” said Esa-Pekka Salonen, who joined the Colburn School faculty in Fall 2018. “Both showed great talent and openness, as well as a real ability to communicate with the musicians in a natural way. This program—a special collaboration between the Colburn School and Philharmonia—realizes a long-held personal desire to mentor young conductors during this important phase in their careers.”

Angus and Ross will enroll in the Colburn School’s Conservatory of Music and join the Colburn Artists roster, beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year. Known as Salonen Fellows, they will gain significant real-world podium experience in Los Angeles and throughout the world. At Colburn, they will serve as preparatory conductors for the flagship Colburn Orchestra. They will also conduct the Zipper Outreach Orchestra, Colburn’s performing ensemble for its community engagement activities, and the Concerto Forum Showcase, an annual public concert that features soloists from the Conservatory of Music taking place in January 2020.

In addition, Colburn will work with the Philharmonia Orchestra to establish public opportunities for the Salonen Fellows to conduct the world-class Philharmonia in both its UK residency series and designated tour dates. The Fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with other young musicians on the Philharmonia’s Emerging Artists program, designed to connect young artists to the wider life of the Philharmonia; work with Philharmonia’s management to develop and produce Salonen’s flagship projects; and serve as assistant conductors to Salonen for his engagements with the Philharmonia, other orchestras, opera houses, tours, and festivals.

“We are thrilled to officially launch the Negaunee Conducting Program with its inaugural class of Fellows,” said President and CEO Sel Kardan. “In the tradition of the Colburn School’s personalized approach to learning, the Fellows will have the unprecedented opportunity to nurture their craft under the visionary guidance of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and with the Philharmonia Orchestra. We look forward to watching Angus and Ross continue their artistic growth as we embark on this international collaboration with the Philharmonia. We are deeply grateful to the Negaunee Foundation for their leadership support to establish this groundbreaking program.”

Conducting auditions will be held again for the 2020–21 school year. Visit in the fall for application information.

The conducting program is made possible by the Negaunee Foundation, created in 1987 to celebrate and support the arts and cultural institutions.