Monday, May 11, 2009

Aspiring conductors from across the U.S. gather for unique training in Omaha

Imagine being a young conductor. If you don’t have a professional gig, where do you find an orchestra to lead? How do you get time on the conductor’s podium to perfect your craft?
The Omaha Symphony Conductor Symposium (May 21-24) offers up-and-coming conductors a chance to learn from established maestros and apply that knowledge with one of the Midwest’s finest orchestras. Through seminars and podium time, sixteen aspiring conductors will be equipped with the tools needed to succeed in present and future roles with American orchestras.
Coming from as far as New York, New Mexico, and Louisiana, participants will work with renowned music faculty including Mark Gibson (Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Director of Orchestral Studies & Conducting) and Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins.
“The orchestra is my instrument. One of the biggest challenges facing young conductors is simply finding an opportunity to practice their instrument!” said Maestro Wilkins. “This event is all about practical application—from how you interact with an audience to planning education concerts for kids.”
The Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra will serve as the orchestra for the Symposium. Each participant will get 45 minutes of podium time to work through the music with the players. Selections will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, and Schubert’s Octet.
“This is a rare opportunity for emerging conductors and a special outreach for the Omaha Symphony. We are one of only a handful of professional orchestras who invest in the next generation of leaders in such a comprehensive way,” said Jennifer Boomgaarden, Director of Education and Community Partnerships.


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