Eastman School of Music and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra initiate a comprehensive summer institute for conductors-in-the-making

April 14, 2005

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY — This summer, from Saturday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 20, a new five-day comprehensive instrumental Summer Conducting Institute (SCI) sponsored by the Eastman School of Music will offer a rare opportunity for conductor-participants to experience podium time in front of a top-flight professional orchestra. In a unique collaborative venture, the SCI capitalizes on the relationship between the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and the Eastman School as it provides talented apprentice conductors with advanced conducting study in front of the professional “A-level” RPO.

“All young conductors — especially those who have worked exclusively with student orchestras — desire to know how a professional orchestra would respond to their conducting,” says Neil Varon, SCI director and conductor of the School’s lower and upperclassmen orchestras, and an experienced professional conductor. “This program takes the guess work out of the equation, as the students will have the possibility to work with and learn from seasoned professional orchestra musicians,” explains Varon. “This type of experience comes all too seldom for most young conductors and certainly is one to be cherished.” Interested and appropriate parties considering attending the SCI may include advanced level graduate student conductors; young conductors of semi-professional orchestras; conductors with smaller, regional orchestras; and orchestral musicians considering a career change.

SCI participants will receive both theoretical and practical applications onstage and behind the scenes. Early in the institute, the sessions will entail repertory discussion and analysis as well as conducting in class — with participants bringing their own instruments. Evening sessions will cover such issues as conducting modern music (taught by Eastman’s Musica Nova Conductor Brad Lubman), programming, and the role of the music director as a community and organizational leader, led by RPO representatives. Later in the institute, there will preparation time followed by conducting sessions with the RPO in the historic Eastman Theatre. Feedback will be provided both by Varon and by selected RPO musicians.

Students will be selected based on a videotaped audition. Tapes must be submitted with completed registration forms by May 15, 2005. For more information, visit, or call 1-800-246-4706.