“I realized that my job is to awaken possibility in others.”

Zander Fellowship for Conductors

Previously this was an endowed scholarship for leading, early-career conductors.

"I guess what I admire most about you as a teacher - conductor - force is that I know you never go half speed, or take a night off. If you were an athlete, the hyperbole would be "He gives 150%". Full engagement, that is how it all survives!"

— John Harbison - Pulitzer Prize winning composer

The Zander Fellowship was an endowed scholarship that was established in 1999 by the Boston Philharmonic’s Board of Directors on the occasion of Benjamin Zander’s 60th birthday in recognition of a lifetime of contribution to the world of music.

The fellowship offered an aspiring conductor an apprenticeship with Mr. Zander for one or two concert seasons. It provided an opportunity to learn from Mr. Zander at close quarters by attending rehearsals, meetings, presentations, and concerts. The Zander Fellow learned first-hand the distinctive musical philosophy and business practices that make the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and Benjamin Zander’s leadership as a conductor so unique. The Fellowship was a transforming experience for a young musician, intended to launch a career that would make a difference to our cultural life.

Previous Zander Fellows:

2000/01 – James Gaffigan
2001/02 – James Lowe
2002/03 – Jonathan James
2003/05 – John Page
2006/07 – Christopher James Lees
2007/09 – Courtney Lewis
2009/10 – Levi Hammer
2010/11 – Sameer Patel
2013/14 – James Blachly
2016/17 – Thomas Jung
2018/20 – Scott Wilson

The Fellowship consisted of two related parts:

  1. A learning opportunity with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
  2. Assistant to Mr. Zander for his musical and teaching activities.

The Boston Philharmonic thanks the following individuals for their generous support towards the endowment of Zander Fellowship: Kathy Adam and The Charles E. Harwood Trust; Lola & Charles Baldwin, III; Clark Charitable Trust; Deborah & Larry Chud; Carl & Armenne Derderian; Kathleen Emrich & Robert Sherwood; Frank & Mitzi Ferguson; The D+L Foundation; Constance & Michael Fulenwider; The Goldberg Foundation; Graham & Ann Gund; Francis & Elizabeth Hunnewell; William & Sinesia Karol; Robbie & Joe Deitch; Dr. & Mrs. Louis Meeks; John L. & Janet E. Pattillo; Seymour & Sylvia Rothchild; Lois & Norman Silverman; David Strand; Stephen Symchych; Richard J. Trant; Elizabeth G. Vestner; Murray Wheeler, Jr.; Sharon P. & Richard C. Whiteley; Elsie & Patrick R. Wilmerding; Roz Zander; Marilyn H. Zuckerman.



"Everything Ben does is essentially about teaching. Whether he's talking to a room full of CEOs, coaching a cellist in a master class or taking an orchestral rehearsal it's all about releasing our potential and helping us speak directly to our audience, whatever we play, wherever we play it. It's all about freeing the broad phrases and the long lines, showing us that what we do in our music and what we do in our lives are all part of the same rhythm. Telling us that all we need is the courage to listen and join in"

— James Lowe - 2001-2002 Zander Fellow