The Primavera Fund
Envisioning a world in which every young musician is given the opportunity to succeed


Envisioning a world in which every young musician has the opportunity to succeed

When you are part of The Primavera Fund, you have everything.
— Lily Mell, violinist

As Philadelphia’s premier merit-based program for financially challenged young, aspiring musicians, we provide individualized, focused support, resources, and access to the best educational opportunities in Philadelphia and beyond. We prepare each Primavera Artist for acceptance into the world's top conservatories and university music programs.

Our Directors and staff work closely with every Primavera Artist’s parents, private instructors, and youth orchestra and chamber music directors to make sure that our students are afforded every opportunity for growth.  With a combined thirty years of educational and professional experience, we designed our program to offer the highest level of support to each young Artist. 


We give our Artists

personalized attention

We view each Primavera Artist as an individual and we tailor our program to suit their individual needs. In addition to their primary focus, some compose, conduct, or play jazz. We encourage each Artist to pursue their unique interests.

tools and resources    

With a generous gift from the estate of Dr. Norman Holland-Hull, we furnish every Artist with their own professional quality instrument from the Norman Holland-Hull Instrument Library. 


The Primavera Artists are a unique group of extremely talented students. We foster the feeling of inclusion with group classes, performances, and workshops designed to address their individual needs and concerns as young musicians.


Every Artist receives weekly private lessons with the best teachers in Philadelphia, and financial support for youth orchestras, chamber music programs, and intensive summer programs. Philadelphia has trained some of the world's finest musicians, and the tradition continues for our Artists.


Our graduating Artists are accepted into music programs at Universities and Conservatories. Some are the first in their family to attend college. They have performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall, and on tour in Italy and Iceland, among other triumphs. 


Almost 40% of Philadelphia's children live in poverty. While the dream of a life on stage can seem a world away in this environment, with the right guidance and tools for success, we take them out of a life of limited choices.

This Month's Featured Artist: Lily Mell

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a musician, ever since I was two years old,  but for a long time I limited myself to just the performing side of that - I was convinced I wouldn’t have the patience for teaching or coaching. And while performing is still my goal for my future, it was actually a more education-centric experience that kept me determined to go into music when things got difficult in my search for the perfect college.  For both my Junior and Senior years, I’ve been an intern with the PYO Organization’s feeder string orchestra, Philadelphia Region Youth Music (PRYSM), but it wasn’t until this past fall that I decided to really make an effort to help the young musicians there. I came to rehearsals every week to work with the first violin section, taking two buses and a train from the inner city to the suburbs, arriving early to set up stands and leaving last after organizing all the orchestra’s music. Even though I worried that I might be coming off as too outspoken, I began to offer advice to the section as well as simply backing them up, and to my surprise, I was rewarded with nothing but positive feedback from the PRYSM faculty. Every night, I felt that ‘aha!’ moment, accompanied with a growing realization that that, as well as playing with an orchestra, was what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. 

The whole season, I helped PRYSM with string orchestra repertoire that I’d played and loved myself as a younger musician. That is, until the final concert program, when Mrs. DePasquale (the music director) decided to challenge the orchestra with the Souvenir de Florence by Tchaikovsky. It was an almost impossibly difficult work for a string orchestra of PRYSM’s level, and many of the coaches were convinced that it would be cut from the program entirely. However, the students proved all of us wrong. They pulled together the lengthy first movement, and shocked everyone with the most successful performance they had done during my time with them - a near perfect run-through of the piece. At the end of that concert, the excitement was palpable throughout the whole orchestra, and although I wasn’t fully part of it, I was experiencing something better - pride, more overwhelming than I’d ever felt before. Pride in my work with the students, but more than that, pride in their own staggering accomplishment.  After everything I’d done to help the orchestra be better, ultimately, it was not my contributions that made the concert successful: the students did that themselves. And as I reflect on the experience now, perhaps that was the best part of all. It was only the first of many fantastic concerts for each of them, but for me, it was inspiration - inspiration, and a renewed determination to get my degree in music and help more young musicians to reach their potential. 


Watch our video to learn more

Inspiring Excellence: The Primavera Dream


May News

This month's featured Primavera Artist

Bassoonist and composer Miles Shore has been accepted to Curtis Summerfest and Manhattan School of Music. A student of Billy Short of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Miles is an intern at Play On, Philly, where she loves giving back to young musicians who are discovering the joys of playing music. Congratulations, Miles!


Get in touch with us to learn how you can become a partner in helping their dreams come true.


Let's Chat.

Are you looking for a new way to make a real difference? We are always in need of supporters, cheerleaders, and advocates! Do you have an instrument that you would like to put in the hands of a young musician? Are you a business owner who would like to collaborate with us and show your community spirit?

Contact us and let's work together!

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5225 Greene Street Unit 17 Philadelphia, PA 19144


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