Orkney Conductors’ Course with Sian Edwards at the St. Magnus Festival 2015

Course Director Sian Edwards

Associate Director Charles Peebles

Now in its 13th year, this course provides a stimulating and supportive environment in which conductors can share in an intensive period of study. Most importantly, as part of St Magnus International Festival, the Orkney Conductors’ Course enables participants to work with outstanding orchestras, ensembles, conductors and soloists. In 2015 these include Scottish Chamber Orchestra and The Assembly Project ensemble, conductors Sian Edwards and Charles Peebles and other festival solo performers. Participants will also work with the St Magnus Composers’ Course and conduct a Festival concert of new works written by students of the St Magnus Composers’ Course at the culmination of both courses.

2012 Conductors’ and Composers’ Course Participants

Initial sessions are with two pianos, focusing on clarity of communication of musical ideas. OCC pianists are Elizabeth Burley, BBC SO, LSO and Michael Bawtree, RSNO, BBC SSO. These two-piano sessions are video-recorded for personal review by participants. The two-piano work prepares students for a full day of work with Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Other sessions include rehearsals of new works with The Assembly Project, a rehearsal with the St Magnus Festival Chorus and work on accompaniment with a Festival soloist. In addition, the course provides students with the opportunity to hear composers speak about their work as well as seminars with orchestral musicians and orchestral managers. Participants are also offered free tickets for a number of Festival concerts and a Festival Club pass, where they can socialise with professional performers, directors and managers.

Repertoire will include:

  • Mendelssohn Symphony No. 5
  • Brahms Serenade No. 2 in A
  • Haydn Symphony No. 44
  • John Adams Shaker Loops
  • Kurt Weill Symphony No. 2
  • Verdi La traviata (preludes to Act I and Act III)
  • Peter Maxwell Davies Ebb of Winter
  • Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K. 339
  • plus new works by St Magnus Composers’ Course participants

How to apply
There are no age restrictions. Eight students will be accepted onto the course, for which applications must be submitted by Monday 2 March 2015. Successful applicants will be notified of the result in the week beginning 31 March, and those unsuccessful in the following week.

Applications forms may be obtained from:

Amy Allan (OCC)
St Magnus International Festival
60 Victoria Street
KW15 1DN

tel +44 (0)1856 871445

email Click here to email us

or download form here (Word format)

Along with the completed form, applications must also include:

  • a DVD recording of your conducting

Course fee: £760

The fee includes:

  • all tuition
  • up to 14 nights’ self-catering accommodation in Kirkwall within walking distance of St Magnus Centre
    (the duration of the course is 11 nights)

Students also receive:

  • free admission to some St Magnus Festival performances
  • an invitation to the opening Festival Reception

Successful candidates will be required to confirm their acceptance by paying a non-refundable deposit of £150 by 16 April and the balance of the fee will become payable by 15 May.

A small number of bursaries towards course fees may be available for talented UK candidates who might otherwise have difficulty in meeting the course fees. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please tell us why in a covering letter.

Travel to Orkney
For more information on how to get here, see ourOrkney page.


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