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For Emerging Artists

Quartet rehearsing in The Baker-Baum Concert Hall

Fellowship Artist Program

The Fellowship Artist Program is rigorous, but highly rewarding. It offers a unique experience to emerging classical musicians by providing a seamless blend between educational and professional opportunities. With daily Coaching Workshops and myriad performance opportunities, the program focuses on developing the interpretation, communication, and performance skills required in chamber music.

Past Fellowship Artists

For over 30 years, Fellowship Artist alumni have gone on to win major awards and competitions, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Fischoff Competition, and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. They’ve all launched successful careers, and many have returned to the festival as senior musicians. Here are a few you might recognize:

The Fellowship Artist Program is open to string quartets, violinists, cellists, and pianists. We partner with Acceptd to host our applications. Please visit our landing page to learn more and begin an application.

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Sheryl Staples

Sheryl Staples

SummerFest 1990-91
New York Philharmonic Principal Associate Concertmaster

Felix Fan

SummerFest 1992-96
Honored as Presidential Scholar in 1994, cellist of FLUX Quartet

John Largess

SummerFest 1994-96
Violist of Miró Quartet (the first ensemble to be awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2005)

Escher String Quartet

Escher String Quartet

SummerFest 2007
BBC New Generation Artists

Dover Quartet

Dover Quartet

SummerFest 2011
Named the Cleveland Quartet Award Winner; awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant; awarded one of the inaugural Lincoln Center Emerging Artists Awards

Rolston String Quartet

Rolston String Quartet

SummerFest 2018
First Prize win at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition; 2018 recipient of the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America

The Fellowship Artist Experience

“La Jolla SummerFest was truly one of the best summer music festival experiences I have ever had. As fellows, we had endless opportunities at the festival ranging from masterclasses and concert performances to collaborations and a wide variety of outreach and networking events. The concerts were always so inspiring and there was a great sense of community between the artists and audiences. I will never forget the amazing hosts we had and the incredible post-concert parties! The best part was the unforgettable food and wine!

This experience has really benefited the quartet as we have built many long-lasting relationships and connections through SummerFest.”

Hezekiah Leungviolist, Rolston String Quartet

Master Classes


Have you ever wanted the opportunity to work alongside some of the best musicians and dancers performing today? Master Classes in both music and dance are offered year-round to students in Southern California at the high school and university level. Over the past several seasons, these classes have been led by artists from Danish String Quartet, pianists Juho Pohjonen and Seong Jin Cho, The Joffrey Ballet, Black Grace, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Ballet masterclass
Education outreach

The Discovery Series


The Discovery Series features the musical icons of tomorrow. These talented young artists have won major competitions, and though this may be the first time you’ve heard their name, it won’t be the last. All artists on this series lead two days of community engagement activities, including assemblies at schools, performances at community centers and senior living facilities, and master classes with local student musicians.

Past Discovery Series Artists



Richard O’Neill, viola, ’07-’08

Augustin Hadelich

Augustin Hadelich, violin, ’08-’09

pablo sainz villegas

Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar, ’10-’11

Ray Chen

Ray Chen, violin, ’10-’11

Daniil Trifonov

Daniil Trifonov, piano, ’11-’12

Seong-Jin Cho

Seong-Jin Cho, piano, ’16-’17

Bomsori Kim

Bomsori Kim, violin, ’18-’19

George Li

George Li, piano, ’18-’19

Musical Preludes

Musical Preludes give local emerging artists the opportunity to perform onstage in one of the most acoustically superb concert halls in the nation. These performances are open to ticket buyers and take place before all Discovery Series concerts and select SummerFest performances.


violinists performing