Press Release

Press Release


Named after SF Ballet’s longtime music director and SFCM faculty member, the Denis de Coteau Fellowship provides funding, instruction, and performance opportunities for two San Francisco Conservatory of Music students this fall

SAN FRANCISCO, October 10, 2023—San Francisco Ballet and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) have selected the first two students for the new Denis de Coteau Fellowship for the 2023-2024 school year. This year’s fellows are Adrian Jackson, viola, studying with Dimitri Murrath and Jonathan Vinocour, and Frederic Renaud, cello, studying with Jennifer Culp.

Both musicians, whose personal and professional experiences contribute meaningfully to an expanded culture of diversity in the performing arts, will receive tuition, housing, and a stipend for SFCM’s one-year Professional Studies Certificate in Instrumental Performance. The two students will also have the opportunity to play rehearsals and performances with the SF Ballet Orchestra, as well as other training and support.

“We are thrilled to welcome Adrian and Frederic into the Orchestra to perform alongside our talented musicians this season,” said SF Ballet Music Director Martin West. “We will celebrate the legacy of Denis de Coteau through the music, collaboration, and comradery and hopefully help them both to further their careers.”

“Adrian and Frederic are both phenomenal musicians, and this fellowship serves as another welcome pathway to help diversify our field,” said SFCM Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Special Advisor to the President Jason Hainsworth.

In addition to practicing and performing with the SF Ballet Orchestra, each fellow will participate in chamber concerts, leadership training, and activities with local schools. They will be invited to mock auditions and will receive financial support for professional auditions. As part of the SFCM certificate program, each fellow will participate in advanced, focused studies that emphasize individual instruction and preparation for a performance career.

The fellows will live in SFCM’s new Bowes Center, a 12-story “vertical campus” home to three performance halls, practice rooms, a recording studio, residences for students and visiting artists, and more. The Bowes Center is located in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, across the street from SF Ballet’s performance address at the War Memorial Opera House.

Applicants were selected by a joint committee of musicians and administrators from both organizations. There is no fee to apply. Upon its founding in 2022, the Denis de Coteau Fellowship program was intended to advance opportunities for Black musicians in honor of Maestro de Coteau. De Coteau passed away in July 1999. Both students were selected in spring of 2023.

The fellowship follows SFCM and the San Francisco Symphony’s announcement of the third Emerging Black Composers Project winner; Xavier Muzik. Both programs are part of the Conservatory’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Denis de Coteau Fellowship fellowship is made possible through the generosity of Denise Littlefield Sobel


San Francisco Ballet is a leading ballet company and trailblazer in dance locally, nationally, and internationally. Performing, commissioning, and collaborating with exceptional artists in dance and across disciplines, SF Ballet balances an innovative focus on new and contemporary choreography with a deeply held dedication to the classics. SF Ballet is a catalyst for the future of ballet by cultivating creativity, bringing dance of the highest caliber to a wide audience, and providing exceptional training opportunities for the next generation of professional dancers in its world-renowned School.

Since its founding in 1933 and as the oldest professional ballet company in the United States, the Ballet has been an innovator in the art form and an originator of beloved cultural traditions, from staging the first American production of Swan Lake to bringing an annual holiday Nutcracker to U.S. audiences.



SFCM draws on the bold creativity of San Francisco to offer unparalleled training for the 21st century musician. We support students in developing the skills and vision to chart successful careers and advance the human experience through music. We believe a musical education must extend far beyond technical and performance skills. Our commitment to music of enduring quality and importance is the foundation of our innovative curriculum, cultivating critical thinking and business acumen alongside artistic practice, and creating a transformative environment of inquiry, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Our DNA combines a global perspective with the unstoppable energy and imagination of our hometown. Our pioneering programs and partnerships with leading institutions and businesses prepare students to seize opportunities in music and a wide array of the fastest developing sectors today. SFCM is a magnet for exceptional faculty whose ongoing professional experience benefits our students. As the only conservatory partnered with a leading artist management company, we are able to provide our students unique insight and access to the music industry.