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PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck are pleased to announce that three musicians have been appointed to the orchestra: Nicholas Myers, principal bass, Dylan Naroff, first violin, and Yingchen Zhang, second violin. The orchestra also today announced its second class of Paul J. Ross Fellows, a two-year preprofessional program for musicians identifying as Black or African American who are dedicated to the pursuit of an orchestral career: Denielle Wilson, cello, and Cooper Cromwell-Whitley, trombone.

“We are delighted to welcome to the Pittsburgh Symphony the outstanding musicians Nicholas Myers, Dylan Naroff and Yingchen Zhang, who will bring their passion and excellence to the Heinz Hall stage for many years to come. As part of the orchestra’s expanded commitment to diversifying our industry, we are also thrilled to welcome Denielle Wilson and Cooper Cromwell-Whitley as Paul J. Ross Fellows. Their auditions demonstrated the promise of outstanding futures, and we look forward to working with them,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

About the New PSO Musicians

Nicholas Myers will come to Pittsburgh as principal bass in August 2022. A native of Michigan, he has been a member of the bass section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 2018. Myers spent two summers each at Pacific Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and the Tanglewood Music Center. He received his Master of Music from The Julliard School and his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory.

Dylan Naroff joins the Pittsburgh Symphony as a section first violin in August 2022. Naroff is currently a member of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and has performed previously as a substitute and guest with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony and Deutsche Oper Berlin. He has performed at summer festivals including Artosphere, Keshet Eilon and Mozarteum Academy, and is the winner of several awards and competitions, including a silver medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2013). Naroff received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Yingchen Zhang joins the Pittsburgh Symphony as a second violin in September 2022. She is a doctoral student of musical arts at Boston University where she is one of the orchestra’s concertmasters. Previously, she was a first violin in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Zhang has won several competitions including the grand prize of the Bach string competition at Boston University. She received her Graduate Diploma, Master of Music and Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory.

Paul J. Ross Fellows

The Paul J. Ross Fellowship Program is a two-year preprofessional program designed to enable young musicians identifying as Black or African American to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of an orchestral career. Fellows work closely alongside members of the Pittsburgh Symphony to train and prepare for professional auditions and opportunities, with substantial financial and professional development support, and robust mentorship in a welcoming and inclusive environment. The Pittsburgh Symphony’s fellowship program to increase diversity in American orchestras is 14 years old and was renamed the Paul J. Ross Fellowship in December 2021 with transformative new funding secured for the program’s expansion.

The second class of Paul J. Ross Fellows, who will be with the Pittsburgh Symphony for the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons, are:

Denielle Wilson, cello, is currently a section cellist for the 2021-2022 season with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and previously completed fellowships with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Wilson received her Master of Music Performance at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and her Bachelor of Music (double major in Cello Performance and Instrumental Music Education) at Northwestern University.

Cooper Cromwell-Whitley, trombone, is currently a Bachelor of Music student in Trombone Performance at the University of Michigan. A winner of the Peabody Wind Orchestra concerto competition in 2017, Cromwell-Whitley has performed in summer orchestras, including the Brevard Music Center, Black Excellent Trombone Choir, NYO-USA Orchestra and World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is a partner orchestra of the National Alliance for Audition Support—an unprecedented national initiative of The Sphinx Organization, New World Symphony and the League of American Orchestras to increase diversity in American orchestras. Prior Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Fellows have experienced substantial career advancement as a result of the fellowship.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is grateful to its supporters of the Paul J. Ross Fellowship: to the Arts, Equity, & Education Fund, and Hans and Leslie Fleischner for major support; to the EQT Foundation for ongoing support; and to the Musicians Care Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation, and several individual donor families.

About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

About the Paul J. Ross Fellowship