Palaver Strings

Boston Center for the Arts, Attn: Palaver Strings539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Date Posted:
December 26, 2018

Central Massachusetts



Cello Auditions for Palaver Strings Chamber Orchestra


Palaver Strings, a musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit, seeks a Cellist/Co-Artistic Director to begin September 2019 at the start of our 6th concert season. Palaver was founded in 2014 by young musicians in the Boston area and has since performed at the Kennedy Center, Bay Chamber Concerts, and a celebration of the Lullaby Project at Carnegie Hall, enjoying a two-year residency at the Boston Center for the Arts. Palaver is passionate about taking classical music beyond the concert hall to engage with diverse audiences. The ensemble’s community engagement initiatives include the Lullaby Project, LifeSongs, and regular performances at Boston Medical Center.

Since fall 2018, Palaver has been in residence in Portland, ME, where the ensemble plans to open a community music school in 2019. In preparation for this, members of the ensemble have launched several educational initiatives in the Portland area. Palaver piloted a series of early childhood music classes in Portland, partnering with The Opportunity Alliance, the Bayside and Parkside Head Start programs, and Youth and Family Outreach. This spring, Palaver will launch a 10-week Introduction to Strings class for young children at the Immigrant Welcome Center of Greater Portland. Through these programs, Palaver is laying the groundwork for the Palaver Community Music School.

Each member of Palaver serves as a Co-Artistic Director, sharing musical leadership on a rotating basis, and most members also take on administrative responsibilities, with opportunities for teaching as the Palaver Music School opens.

Time commitment:

Starting in 2019, Palaver will produce 5 concert programs per season, with multiple performances of each program throughout the Northeast. In addition to its regular concert season, Palaver’s engagements often include summer tours and a weeklong residency at Bay Chamber’s Screen Door Festival in Rockport, ME. Each concert cycle is preceded by a week of full-group rehearsals, with sectionals and section-leader rehearsals the week before. A full season schedule will be included in the Season 6 contract, which will be signed July 2018.


Currently, Palaver Strings pays Co-Artistic Directors $15/hour for rehearsals and $75 per performance or workshop. Next season the group will be increasing the number of rehearsal hours per program cycle, with the potential for an increase in hourly rate. Rate of pay for performances and workshops is expected to increase to $100 per service. All payments will be outlined in the musician contract before signing. The pay per service will be increased in the following concert seasons.

What We Are Looking For:

Palaver seeks a new member with not only a high level of solo and ensemble playing, but with an interest in open communication, collaborative music-making, and intentionally creating a positive culture around classical music. Palaver values the perspectives of all its members and seeks to intentionally diversify its leadership moving forward. We welcome musicians of all race, class, religious, and geographic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities.


-high level of solo and ensemble playing

-passion for collaborative music-making
-commitment to social justice
-openness to adventurous programming, including new music, folk music, and jazz -teaching experience

-administrative skills
-excellent organization and proactive communication skills

How To Apply:

Submit to

-two videos of your playing that contrast in style and time period and showcase your musical and technical ability
-a short video or short written response to the question “why are you interested in joining Palaver Strings?” This can be as brief as a short paragraph or 1 minute of video, or a couple of short paragraphs/a few minutes of video.

Submission Due February 22nd 

Auditions held March 15th-17th

Please feel free to contact us at palaverinfo@gmail.comwith any questions

Apply by:
February 20, 2019
About this Organization:
Palaver Strings is a musician-led string orchestra and nonprofit organization. We were formally founded in 2014 by young musicians from the Boston area. Since then, the group has performed at the Kennedy Center, Bay Chamber Concerts, the Hammond Concert Series, and a celebration of the Lullaby Project at Carnegie Hall. This fall Palaver will begin a yearlong residency at the Boston Center for the Arts and continue our longstanding residency with Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, ME. Each member of Palaver Strings is passionate about taking classical music beyond the concert hall to engage with new and diverse audiences. It is in this personal and unconventional setting that Palaver Strings is able to use music to aid the discussion of social issues, promote education and healing, and inspire our peers and community to support the arts.