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Tavani Family String Fellowship

The Tavani Family Orchestra String Fellowship is a merit-based fellowship awarded to one MasterWorks Festival student who has achieved an exceptional level of musical performance on an orchestral string instrument.  It is funded by the Tavani Family.  A student’s Festival application will serve as an application for the fellowship.  Additional materials will need to be provided following acceptance to the Festival Orchestra program (see below). If awarded, the Festival payment(s) made upon acceptance will be fully refunded.

Students who have held the Tavani Fellowship in the past will not be eligible to apply for the award in subsequent years.

The Tavani Family Orchestra String Fellowship will be awarded by a selection committee from the pool of qualified applicants who have completed the MasterWorks Orchestra Program audition and application requirements on or before March 31, 2023.

The recipient of the Tavani Family Orchestra String Fellowship will receive tuition, room, and board in MasterWorks facilities.  (He/she will be responsible for the non-refundable application fee, security deposit, any applicable shuttle fees, as well as travel expenses to/from MasterWorks and any extra expenses, such as equipment, accompanist fees, linen rental, souvenirs, etc.)

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit the following by March 31, 2023:

  1. The MasterWorks Festival online application, fully completed.
  2. A current résumé and list of musical experiences, including repertoire studied/performed and ensemble experience.
  3. Required essay: The motto of the Masterworks Festival is Inspiring Excellence, Increasing Faith. How do you see your role as a  Christian in the classical music world, and how would Masterworks Festival help you? Why do you need this fellowship? (Completed essay should be emailed in PDF or Word format to with the subject line “Tavani Fellowship Essay”)
  4. Application fee, payable by check or credit/debit card.
  5. A recording of highest quality containing:
    a.  One movement of standard concerto.
    b.  One movement of sonata or a concert piece.
    c.  A movement of a piece of your choice, preferably contrasting style and period.
    d.  Three standard orchestral excerpts

To be considered for the Tavani Family Orchestra String Fellowship, the applicant must submit a new audition recording, even if he/she is a returning MasterWorks alumnus.  No exceptions will be made to the listed requirements.  All materials must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 31, 2023.  (If you’re unclear as to whether or not you qualify, please email Festival Administrator, Sharalynn Hicks, at

Fellowship Recipient Expectations

The recipient of the Tavani Family Orchestra String Fellowship is expected to fulfill the following requirements during his/her participation in the MasterWorks Festival:

  1. Concerto Competition
    He/she will participate in the MasterWorks Festival Concerto Competition, adhering to all required specifications.  He/she will submit accompaniment parts by the deadline, will promptly attend rehearsals, and will abide by all competition rules.*
  2. Chamber Group
    He/she will audition for and participate in a Chamber Group and will lead within the group, organizing rehearsals, coaching, performance opportunities, etc.  The group will give a minimum of one live performance during the Festival.
  3. Expression of Gratitude
    The MasterWorks Festival requires the recipient to write a letter of gratitude to the donors of the Tavani Family Fellowship at the end of the festival indicating how participating in the festival has impacted you. Letters should be delivered to the MasterWorks Festival Administrator.
  4. Meet and Greet
    The recipient and donor will have a formal opportunity to meet over a meal.  To protect the student, a Festival staff member will join this event.  The Festival will cover the cost of the meal for the student, one staff member, and the donor(s) in the dining facility, unless the donor selects a different location at his or her own expense.  The donor(s) may waive this event if he/she wishes to remain anonymous. If this requirement is waived, the winner may be asked to perform at and participate in Intermezzo, the MasterWorks Festival Donors’ Banquet.

*In the event that the recipient is not selected for the Concerto Competition finals, he/she will perform as a soloist in the Honors Recital, adhering to all guidelines therein, detailed on the MasterWorks website and student handbook.

A Statement from the Tavani Family:

“The Masterworks Festival holds a dear place in the Tavani family.  Four of our six sons Nicholas, Michael, Stephen and Daniel, now professional musicians, were radically impacted as students there.  At age five, Nicholas was inspired to study violin after seeing a young Lisa Beth Lambert, currently with the National Symphony Orchestra, perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Christian Performing Artists Fellowship (CPAF).  CPAF birthed the vision for the Masterworks Festival in 1996 as a way of reaching the emerging generation of classical performing artists through focused Bible study and excellent musical training and performance. The boys grew up visiting the Masterworks Festival every summer, eagerly anticipating the day they could finally participate as students.  From the earliest days of their training, Masterworks was a voice saying ‘Soli Deo Gloria!’ in contrast to a humanistic pursuit merely for the glory of man.  One by one, the boys attended Masterworks, making life long friendships with Christian musicians, dancers and actors, as well as mentors.  This growing international network has spurred them on to establish Bible studies at conservatories and festivals, share Christ with their colleagues in the world of the performing arts, and minister back to the body of Christ in worship. As parents, we’re grateful that Masterworks was a place where other Christians said, “You can follow Jesus in your calling as a musician.” In a broader sense, The Masterworks Festival models how to integrate vibrant Christian Faith with any career, a value our fifth son Matthew has embraced in his pursuit as an engineering student and music lover. And our sixth son, Jonathan, with special challenges – well, he celebrates the music and spirit of the Masterworks every time he comes! We’re grateful for the dedicated people who make the Masterworks Festival happen, ‘Inspiring Excellence, Increasing Faith’ in the lives of aspiring classical musicians and artists.”

Stephen: “MasterWorks instilled in me from a young age that pursuing excellence and beauty in music was a wonderful way to glorify God with the gifts he has given me. It also inspired me to spread God’s love and redemptive work to others in the music world. MasterWorks will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons, the most important one being that I met my wife there!”

Michael: “For me, the Masterworks Festival is more than an event. It has been an integral part of my own spiritual journey, the starting point for some of my deepest friendships, and a wonderful place where believers can join together to glorify God through a shared artistic pursuit.”