SFCM Grad Scores Spot at New World Symphony

Dominique Begin

After graduating from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Dominique Begin has won a violin fellowship in the New World Symphony in Miami. A dream opportunity he was not expecting.

His bags were packed and he was ready to go, but then life gave Dominique Begin (MM '21) a twist he was not expecting, a fellowship opportunity with the New World Symphony orchestra in Miami.

“It took me a good 20 minutes to be like, okay this is happening, what am I going to do?” said Begin in the moments after he found out he got the fellowship. The news came as a shock for the violin player, who auditioned back in March and did not think he would get the position. “Life is full of surprises,” Begin added.

Begin graduated from SFCM earlier this year with a Master of Music, Chamber Music and was planning on furthering his education at a university in his home province of Quebec in Canada. “I was planning to do a post-grad diploma, everything was arranged, I had an apartment and had confirmed everything,” Begin said. He had to cancel all his plans, but knew it was an opportunity he could not refuse.

The appointment comes after Begin studied with Simon James at SFCM, “He was actually the one who told me to apply to New World Symphony,” Begin said. “SFCM really taught me how to work hard and strive for excellence, that’s probably my biggest life lesson.”

Begin began playing violin at just four-years-old. “I come from a very musical family, both of my parents are professional violinists in the Quebec symphony,” Begin said. He came to SFCM to get his masters, “I was able to get a full scholarship which was really amazing,” he added. Begin was also a founding member of the Calix Quartet, the winner of the 2020 Barbara Fritz Chamber Music Award of the Berkeley Piano Club.

The New World Symphony is a postgraduate orchestral academy that is dedicated to preparing musicians of diverse backgrounds for leadership roles in classical music. It has been called a laboratory for the way music is taught, presented and experienced.

The fellowships are competitive with more than 1,500 recent music school and conservatory graduates competing for only about 35 available fellowships each year. Begin plans to move to Miami, Florida in the coming weeks to start his fellowship in early September.