Classical Tahoe Academy

Classical Tahoe Academy

As part of an unprecedented national initiative to increase diversity in American orchestras, Classical Tahoe is excited to welcome twelve Black and Latinx musicians as Fellows of the 2022 Classical Tahoe Academy. While in residence at the Festival, the Fellows will perform with the Classical Tahoe Orchestra and participate in a customized experience of mentorship, networking, and audition preparation. The Fellows are professional-level musicians currently auditioning with top-tier orchestras.

The ultimate goal of the Classical Tahoe Academy, in partnership with Sphinx Organization and the National Alliance for Audition Support (NAAS), is job placement for musicians of color in top American orchestras. We seek to elevate diversity in American orchestras by providing the Fellows the opportunity to network and perform in a stimulating professional setting at the Classical Tahoe Festival and Music Institute at Lake Tahoe.

Fellows from the inaugural 2021 Academy have been offered positions with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Classical Tahoe, and two with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Shaping the Future of Classical Music

Classical music is entering a phase of renewal that has the potential to ensure an exciting future for generations to come. Recognition that orchestral musicians and leaders must be more reflective of our society will be central to organizations that lead us into the future.

While many classical music organizations agree and wish to be leaders in progress, they struggle to identify actionable strategies that will align their aspirations with their intentions. We believe this program provides an opportunity for Classical Tahoe to build on its tradition of musical excellence, expand its breadth, and play an integral role in shaping the future of the art form.

Classical Tahoe and Sphinx Organization share positive synergies in our shared musical ambassadors, including Weston Sprott, Billy Hunter, Demarre McGill, George Taylor, and others. Thanks to Weston Sprott for spearheading this initiative and facilitating the connection between organizations. A special thanks to Weston Sprott (pictured at left) for spearheading this initiative and facilitating the connection between organizations.

“For the last five seasons, I have performed at Classical Tahoe alongside fellow Sphinx family members Billy Hunter, Demarre McGill, and George Taylor. The level of playing at Classical Tahoe is world-class, and the intersection of top-level players from across the industry is incredibly unique. For nearly a quarter of a century, the Sphinx Organization has worked to create career pathways and champion the artistry of Black and Latinx musicians. The Classical Tahoe Academy will build on the Festival’s tradition of musical excellence, expand its breadth, and play an integral role in shaping the future of the art form.”

– Weston Sprott, Classical Tahoe and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra trombonist, Recipient of the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, Member of Sphinx’s National Advisory Board, Dean of the Preparatory Division at the Juilliard School. 


The Academy Fellows will perform with the Classical Tahoe Orchestra, and will be featured in the Free Community Concert on August 3rd

Orchestra concerts will be live streamed from the Classical Tahoe website. See link below for more information!

The Academy is made possible by Dennis and Alexandra Landis, Leslie Wittmann & Michael Blaszyk, Beth & Scott Minick and family, and the M.E.G Memorial Fund for the Performing Arts.