Colburn School Announces 2021–22 Class of Salonen Fellows

(Wednesday, August 18, 2021, Los Angeles) – The Colburn School today announced its 2021-22 class of Salonen Fellows in the Conservatory of Music’s Negaunee Conducting Program. Assistant Conductor of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Kyle Dickson, and emerging young conductor Molly Turner, were selected by Esa-Pekka Salonen and will enroll in the Colburn School’s Conservatory of Music, and join the Colburn Artists roster, beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year. Dickson and Turner join current Salonen Fellow Ross Jamie Collins, who was selected for the inaugural 2019-2020 program.

Esa-Pekka Salonen joined the Colburn School faculty in Fall 2018 to lead and develop the Negaunee Conducting Program, a course of study in the school’s Conservatory of Music for a small, select group of aspiring young conductors. Known as Salonen Fellows, these students will develop their craft and nurture their talent through personal mentorship. In keeping with the Colburn School Conservatory model, students will receive full scholarships to cover tuition, room, and board. Fellows will have the opportunity to work with Esa-Pekka Salonen while he is at the San Francisco Symphony and at the Colburn School, and will gain significant real-world podium experience on and off campus to prepare them for professional careers.

“We are thrilled to welcome our second class of Fellows to the Negaunee Conducting Program at the Colburn School,” said 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. We are deeply grateful to the Negaunee Foundation for its leadership support to establish this groundbreaking program.”

Throughout the program, the Fellows will study with Salonen at the Colburn School, serve as preparatory conductors for the flagship Colburn Orchestra, and assist Salonen around the world. A Fellow will conduct the Concerto Forum Showcase, an annual public concert that features soloists from the Conservatory of Music taking place December 5, 2021 in Zipper Hall. A Fellow will also be featured conducting the orchestra for the finals of the Primrose International Viola Competition, co-hosted by Colburn in December 2021. As part of his role as faculty at Colburn, Salonen will coach Conservatory students preparing for orchestral auditions and conduct the Colburn Orchestra as part of its annual performance series. The conducting program is made possible by the Negaunee Foundation, created in 1987 to celebrate and support the arts and cultural institutions.

Kyle Dickson and Molly Turner will also join the roster of Colburn Artists, a unique in-house professional management program for Colburn students on the cusp of professional careers. Created in order to provide guidance and support during the critical transition from studying to touring, the Colburn Artists program is designed to prepare students to work with industry leaders and artist managers. In a supportive atmosphere linked closely with their individual performance studies, they receive personalized career advice and training, including guidance on building relationships with presenters, orchestras, and professional musicians; developing repertoire; interview preparation; and creating a professional image and online presence.

Meet the Fellows:

Kyle Dickson
American Conductor Kyle Dickson is quickly building a reputation as an innovative and compelling presence on the podium. He is Assistant Conductor of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and previously served as Music Director of Chicago’s South Loop Symphony. Dickson was selected as a Conducting Fellow at the 2021 National Orchestral Institute’s Conducting Academy with Marin Alsop and James Ross and from 2019-2021 was a Project Inclusion Freeman Conducting Fellow with Chicago Sinfonietta under the mentorship of Music Director Mei-Ann Chen. Next season, Dickson will serve as Assistant Conductor of Spoleto Festival USA for the world premiere of Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels’ opera, Omar.

Dickson works regularly with youth ensembles and has given numerous masterclasses and webinars for many arts programs including the Chicago Youth Symphony Ensembles and Ravinia’s El Sistema program. Beginning his career as a violinist, Dickson was a prizewinner at the 2010 NANM National Concerto Competition and has held residencies at Indiana University-South Bend and the United World College of South East Asia as a chamber musician. In 2021, Dickson earned his master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University studying with Victor Yampolsky. He also received degrees in Violin Performance from Michigan State University (BM) and DePaul University (MM). His principal violin teachers included Dr. Walter Verdehr, Dr. Laura Roelofs, and Dr. Olga Kaler.

Molly Turner
Molly Turner conducts, composes, and plays music. Recently, she was featured conducting the Dallas Opera Orchestra, The Juilliard Orchestra, The Juilliard Lab Orchestra and Rice Campanile Orchestra. She was selected as one of six participants for the Dallas Opera’s Hart Institute for Women Conductors. She has also conducted the Bay Area Youth Symphony (Houston, TX) and the Eastern Festival Orchestra (Greensboro, NC). She regularly covers for the Juilliard Orchestra and has covered for Jeffrey Milarsky, Nicholas McGegan, Paul Watkins and David Robertson. With a strong interest in contemporary art, she was the artistic director for New Art / New Music at the Moody Center for the Arts (Houston, TX) from 2018-2019.

She recently graduated from The Juilliard School where she studied with David Robertson. She received her bachelor’s in music composition at Rice University cum laude. In her own music, she is interested in the balance between strictly dictated elements and more aleatoric notation. A violinist and violist herself, she finds string instruments endlessly fascinating. Improvisation is a core part of her writing process. A strong advocate for contemporary music, she collaborated with Rice’s “Hear & Now” ensemble as a composer, violist, and conductor. She has extensive experience premiering works of her colleagues and her own music. In her free time, she enjoys biking, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and reading.

About Esa-Pekka Salonen
Esa-Pekka Salonen is known as both a composer and conductor. He is currently the Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony. He is the Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009, the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he was Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor from 2008 until 2021, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. As a member of the faculty of L.A.’s Colburn School, he develops, leads, and directs the pre-professional Negaunee Conducting Program. Salonen co-founded—and from 2003 until 2018 served as the Artistic Director for—the annual Baltic Sea Festival, which invites celebrated artists to promote unity and ecological awareness among the countries around the Baltic Sea.

About the Colburn School
A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.

  • The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers over 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
  • The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
  • The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This residential program balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
  • Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field.

Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community. Learn more at
Instagram and Twitter: @ColburnSchool

PR Contacts:
Jennifer Kallend

Lisa Bellamore