Cellist and double bassist to begin as LA Phil Resident Fellows


the Strad
Cellist Ismael Guerrero and double bassist Nicholas Arredondo prepare for their first season as the 2022-23 Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen LA Phil Resident Fellows 

In autumn 2022, Cuban cellist Ismael Guerrero and US double bassist Nicholas Arredondo will become the LA Philharmonic Orchestra’s Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen Resident Fellows, alongside percussionist Justin Ochoa. The fellows are selected through a screening and audition process led by musicians of the LA Phil and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel.

The fellowship, that supports historically underrepresented populations, will see the trio appointed as musicians with the LA Phil for up to three years whilst receiving a salary and benefits package.

Guerrero is currently a member of the Sphinx Organisation’s Sphinx Virtuosi ensemble. The organisation features the nation’s top Black and Latinx soloists. He is also an active member of the Colour of Music Festival, which promotes Black excellence in the arts. As a soloist, Guerrero has performed in Mexico, Switzerland, Cuba, and throughout the United States. He has recorded multiple albums for CTM Classics as a member of the Peabody Cello Gang and as principal cellist of the Mount Vernon Virtuosi.

Arredondo currently studies with Peter Lloyd at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. Arredondo has won multiple awards including the Sphinx Competition, YoungArts Award, and the Vancouver Symphony Concerto Competition. He has also worked as principal double bassist in festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival, Taipei Music Academy and Festival, Edinburgh Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, and the National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme.

The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen LA Phil Resident Fellowship is an excellence-based training programme that launched in 2019 on the orchestra’s centennial. The fellowship’s goal is to prepare musicians from underrepresented populations to compete for, and win, positions in major professional orchestras.

Through the scheme, the recipients will have the opportunity to focus on their artistic development through orchestral, chamber music, new music, and education concerts performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and in community settings. The fellows will also work alongside existing LA Phil players in a mentorship scheme preparing the recipients for future auditions and orchestral placements.

Past recipients include violinist Sydney Adedamola, violist Jarrett Threadgill and double bassist Michael Fuller. In an interview for the scheme, Fuller said about working with Dudamel: ‘I remember one of our first concerts with Dudamel. We were playing Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. He kind of looked over and nodded to the basses. Just a little acknowledging, as if to say, “OK. I see you.”’