All of Australia’s symphony orchestras, along with Orchestra Victoria, have announced an expansion to the Australian Conducting Academy for aspiring conductors from Australia and New Zealand, led by Johannes Fritzsch, Principal Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

An Australian Conducting Academy has been based in Tasmania for several years, with Australia’s major orchestras contributing towards a national Conductor Development program. But the 2023–2024 program will be hugely expanded following a grant of $230,000 over three years from the Ian Potter Foundation and the investment of over $2m by participating orchestras.

Johannes Fritzsch

Johannes Fritzsch

Australia’s six symphony orchestras and Orchestra Victoria have all committed to hosting a module during the two-year program, providing orchestral time, world-class mentors and all of the artistic and administrative support required to nurture emerging conducting talent. The first module is in Hobart in January 2023 ​​with Fritzsch. Participants will receive a stipend, travel and accommodation and substantial podium time with professional Australian orchestras.

“I am looking forward to meeting the selected group for the 2023–2024 program at the first module in January 2023 in Hobart and to offer my guidance and support over the following two years,” said Fritzsch in announcing the expansion.

In addition to the conducting program, Queensland’s Griffith University will work alongside the orchestras to conduct a significant study of pathways to the profession and the career outcomes for over 20 years of graduates from conductor training programs in Australia.

“A measure of our success will be the number of Australian conductors standing on our podiums and those across the world in years to come,” said Caroline Sharpen, CEO of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Sophie Galaise

Sophie Galaise. Photo courtesy of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

“Nurturing the development of the next generation of Australian conductors will enrich the cultural identity of the Australian arts and cultural landscape,” said Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Managing Director and Chair of Symphony Services Australia, Sophie Galaise, “contributing not only to the ongoing development of our symphony orchestras but also the wide spectrum of organisations that make music such as small to medium organisations, opera companies and of course the vast music education sector.”

The Australian Conducting Academy 2023–2024 is open to conductors of any age who are permanent residents or citizens of Australia and New Zealand. Applications close on Sunday 3 July.

Find more information about the academy, and how to apply, on the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s website.   

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