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Fellowship Program

June 22 - August 3, 2019 (6-week program)
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Fellowship applications are closed for 2019

Instruments used in this program:

Bowdoin’s summer music Fellowship Program is a fully-funded opportunity for the most advanced musicians at the beginning of professional lives in music. Fellows are defined by their advanced artistry, command of their instrument, and commitment to outstanding musical experiences.

The Bowdoin International Music Festival Fellowship Program was created in honor of Festival Co-Founder Lewis Kaplan. The program offers the full resources of the internationally-renowned faculty and Festival infrastructure for an intensive and extensive exploration of solo and chamber repertoire. Fellows will perform alongside faculty and guest artists in the Festival’s subscription concert series and work with these artists to enhance technical and interpretive skills. The frequent performance opportunities, intensive study, and high standards for entry make the Fellowship program among the most respected in the nation.

As part of the Community Concert series, the Fellows engage with various audiences in venues throughout Maine, such as breweries, coastal resorts, libraries, community centers, care centers, and museums. Through these opportunities and mentorship in outreach, Fellows will widen their reach and identify entrepreneurial ways to interact and grow through music.

Festival artists come to the Festival from the leading conservatories including Curtis, Cincinnati Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman, Indiana, Oberlin, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes, New England Conservatory, Peabody, Rice, Royal College of Music, and University of Southern California, among others.

Festival alumni are represented in major orchestras, renowned ensembles, and conservatories worldwide. Notable alumni include Jennifer Koh, Emanuel Ax, Paul Neubauer, Anne Akiko Meyers, James Austin Smith, Derek Bermel, Ray Chen, and many others. Alumni are also represented in chamber ensembles such as the Parker, Dover, Navarra, and Pacifica String Quartets, and Manhattan Chamber Players.

A summer at the Festival surrounds Fellows with similarly advanced students while offering opportunities and resources to realize these passions, bring joy through music to the lives of others, and prepare for meaningful careers in the arts.

I made so many meaningful personal connections at the Festival, and that’s what made it truly special to be there for six weeks. It was one of the most enriching and fulfilling summers I’ve spent thus far on all fronts: not only as a musician but also as a person and as an artist. I won’t forget this experience.
—Kevin Ahfat

Program Details




  • Full tuition, room, and board
  • Flexible schedule
  • Free tickets to events
  • HD video recordings of performances
  • Live streaming of performances and masterclasses
  • Photo sessions with photographer-in-residence

*This is the only program we offer for which wind players are eligible.

Application Requirements

When applying to the Fellowship Program, you may indicate whether you would also like to be considered for the Instrumental Program if you don’t receive a fellowship position. You only need to fill out one application.

Age Requirements

The Fellowship program is open college age students and older.

Audition Videos

Videos may be uploaded or linked from YouTube or Vimeo.

  • Strings, Piano applicants please submit two contrasting pieces of any length that best represent your current level of playing. An accompanist is encouraged, however, not required.
  • Wind applicants please submit
    • Exposition of the first movement of a Mozart concerto
    • An additional work of your choice
    • An orchestral excerpt of your choice
    • A contemporary piece demonstrating proficiency with basic extended techniques i.e. flutter tonguing, double stops, harmonics, double tonguing for double reed players.
  • Composition applicants please submit two original scores in PDF format and recordings of each of the scores. MIDI realizations are acceptable.

Letter of Recommendation

Please provide one reference. You will need to provide your recommender’s email address. Please tell them to expect an email from SlideRoom requesting an electronic submission of your recommendation.

Application Fee

  • Application Deadline: January 21, 2019, 11:59 PM EST
  • Non-refundable Application Fee: $119
  • Fee for late applicants, after January 21: $149 (no longer accepting applications)

The Festival helped me develop as an artist and performer by placing me in an environment in which I was challenged and inspired by my colleagues, all of whom had an equal investment in coming together and creating great music. In addition to having great colleagues who will continue to be involved in my musical life, the program provided me with ample opportunities to play for, and work alongside with, the world renowned musicians who are on faculty.
—Bixby Kennedy

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