The London Philharmonic Orchestra launches new Conducting Fellowship for two conductors from under-represented backgrounds

The London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) today opens applications for its new Conducting Fellowship, a scheme specifically created to promote diversity and inclusivity in the classical music industry by developing two outstanding early-career conductors from backgrounds currently under-represented in the profession.

The Orchestra wants to develop the world-class conductors of the future and believes that talent is indiscriminate, yet it is clear that people from certain backgrounds and communities continue to be under-represented in the orchestral sector. Applicants are asked to self-identify their eligibility which may include, but is not limited to, gender identity, race, socio-economic background, neurodiversity, disability and special educational needs.

Elena Dubinets, Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says: “This is a groundbreaking programme offering immediate training and conducting opportunities at our phenomenal orchestra to the emerging artists who might have been excluded from regular orchestral practices. We are delighted to offer two positions guided by our Principal Conductor Edward Gardner that will undoubtedly lead to major breakthroughs in our industry.”

Edward Gardner, Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra says: “I am thrilled that we at the LPO are taking the work of improving diversity and inclusion in our profession seriously and inaugurating this new scheme. It is vital as, fundamentally, music is for everyone. I am honoured to be involved in guiding the two successful candidates as I am passionate about developing the next generation of talented conductors. I can’t wait to work with the two Fellows over the 23/24 season and make music together.

The two successful applicants will be Fellows for the 2023/24 season and be guided by the LPO’s Principal Conductor, Edward Gardner. They will become fully immersed in the life of the LPO, working intensively with the Orchestra over a period of 6-8 non-consecutive weeks.

The LPO Conducting Fellowship will include:

  • Opportunities to conduct the Orchestra in various settings including at LPO residencies, educational programmes, and ensembles of its rising talent programmes
  • Assisting opportunities and mentorship sessions with Edward Gardner
  • Full immersion into the life of the Orchestra, with the aim of forming the basis of a longer-term professional relationship

In addition, and considering the individual needs of the Fellow Conductors, the Fellowship may also include:

  • Assisting opportunities and 1-1 sessions with other LPO titled and guest conductors
  • Feedback from LPO musicians
  • Meetings with the LPO’s resident and featured composers
  • Professional development opportunities through sessions with LPO personnel, visiting artists and access to the LPO’s wide network of industry professionals
  • Opportunities to participate in wider LPO promotional activity such as pre-concert talks and social media activity
  • Additional tailored support around navigating the barriers specific to the Fellow Conductors

Fees will be paid at the LPO prevailing rates for early career conductors and, if required, accommodation will be provided for the duration of the scheme. Applicants must be able to demonstrate extensive background and training in orchestral conducting, and be able to demonstrate ability in developing and conducting programmes, excellent musicianship and communication skills.

Conductors based in the UK are strongly encouraged to apply and will be prioritised.

Applications are open from today, Wednesday 21 September, and will close at 9am on Friday 21 October 2022. Auditions will take place in London on Thursday 26 January 2023.

More information, including a link to the application form, can be found here. Alternative formats of the form are available.  

The LPO Conducting Fellowship is generously supported by Patricia Haitink.