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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 12, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 25
Peabody joins BSO in new Conducting Fellows Program

Beginning in the 2007-2008 concert season, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with Music Director Marin Alsop, and the Peabody Conservatory will launch a Conducting Fellows Program, a collaborative project supporting the musical and leadership development of today's young conductors. An outgrowth of the American Symphony Orchestra League's American Conducting Fellows Program, which was launched in 2002, the Baltimore project offers conductors in the early stages of their careers an opportunity to hone their skills before assuming a role with a professional orchestra.

"Our new BSO/Peabody conducting fellowship represents a unique partnership in the United States," said Jeffrey Sharkey, director of Peabody. "I am so pleased to have Marin taking a leading role in educating the next generation of conductors, and I am excited about her commitment to our Peabody musicians and to the entire Baltimore community. I believe the combined resources of the Peabody Conservatory and the Baltimore Symphony will create a program that will serve as a model of how best to train the music directors of tomorrow."

The BSO and Peabody Conservatory will serve as the pilot partnership team for this new mentoring model; together they have designed a program that takes advantage of the two institutions' vast resources, offering training in theory, music history and baton technique; a broad curriculum in subjects such as psychology, public speaking, foreign language and political science; practical on-the-job training; and real-time feedback from Alsop, professional orchestra musicians and administrators. The course work at Peabody and Homewood, individually tailored for each fellow, will be credited toward the completion of an Artist Diploma from Peabody.

Initially, one conducting fellow will be chosen annually and will be awarded the opportunity to interact with Alsop and BSO staff and musicians, thereby gaining valuable exposure to the highly complex inner workings of a world-class symphony orchestra. An ambition of the program is to add more fellows in future years.

In addition to music/conducting studies at Peabody, training for the student fellows will feature private and group conducting sessions with Alsop to include coaching on technique, musical interpretation, musician relations, programming and season planning; feedback sessions with BSO staff and musicians; and possibilities for conducting in performance.

The program's first fellow will be chosen in the spring after a competitive audition process created by Peabody and the BSO.


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