7. INTERNATIONAL MASTERCLASS FOR CONDUCTORS : Saturday 10 September – Friday 16 September 2016 With Maestro Frans Rasmussen / Maestro Martin Akerwall Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, Bulgaria.

Immerse yourself intensively in some of the symphonic absolute masterpieces. Enjoy the maximum benefit for your participation with a total of up to 390 active minutes in learning sessions with you in the center along with Pazardchik Symphony Orchestra and both maestro Akerwall and maestro Rasmussen teaching you.

The masterclass includes 150 or 100 minutes active podium time (with orchestra) and lots of extra time with the maestros for individual training, technique, coaching and video analysis. Lunch is included.

For more info and application:

REPERTOIRE – free of choice
Free choice of the following symphonies:
Schumann Symphony 4 Brahms Symphony 1 Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture Smetana Moldau Verdi La Forza del Destino Overture

All repertoire will be rehearsed during the masterclass with Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra. To gain the maximum benefits from the course we recommend you to prepare and study all repertoire prior to the start of the masterclass. All repertoire will be rehearsed during the masterclass with Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra. To gain the maximum benefits from the course we recommend you to prepare and study all repertoire prior to the start of the masterclass. Alternatively learn as much as possible of the entire repertoire, prepare well a part of the repertoire good and take places/sections or a whole movement that you can conduct entirely from memory. This gives you the best basic for getting as much as possible out of the week.

Participation fee:
A) € 1550 (150 minutes podium-time incl. video / 50 minutes podium time at piano session / 120 minutes active conducting training / 70 minutes incl. individual video analysis, feedback and coaching / daily lunch)

B) € 1250 (100 minutes podium-time incl. video / 30 minutes podium time at piano session / 120 minutes active conducting training / 70 minutes incl. individual video analysis, feedback and coaching / daily lunch)
The fee includes (A) 150 / (B) 100 minutes podium time in front of Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra.

To apply use the application form on the front-page. Your application will be processed within few days. Participants are accepted successively. We kindly advice you to apply sooner than later.
Deadline for application 15 August 2016

Pazardzhik is situated along the banks of the Maritsa river, Southern Bulgaria. It is the capital of Pazardzhik Province. The venue takes place in Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra’s concert hall in center of Pazardzhik.

Saturday 10 September 15.00 – 19.00
– Welcome
– Beginning of the masterclass.

Sunday 11 September 10.00 – 19.00
– Conducting sessions with piano.
– Analyzing of scores
– Conducting exercises.

Monday 12 September – Friday 16 September 10.00 – 19.00
– 10.00 – 13.00 Orchestral rehearsal
– 14.00 – 17.00 Orchestral rehearsal
– 17.30 – 19.00 Video analyze, personal coaching / evaluation.

The tuition focus during the masterclass will be on conducting technique, aspects of score analyzing, rhetoric communication and rehearsal techniques. You will be introduced to psychological aspects of orchestral conducting and we look into the principles of preparing yourself and the score for rehearsal with the orchestra. Extra One-hour personal coaching sessions will be given on request.

Pazardchik is in August / September at their highest summer. During the masterclass we offer you the chance to experience the local Bulgarian culture. We arrange a visit to one of Bulgaria’s finest and oldest winery located in the mountains of Rhodopes. We will taste samples of their Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In the end of the masterclass we will take you to Pazardzhik’s most popular and famous places for Bulgarian folk-music and folk-dance.

Pazardzhik is located 100 km from Sofia Airport. We arrange Pick-Up Shuttles from Sofia airport. Prize € 30 per Shuttle (max 3 person per shuttle). Please inform us of your arrival time and flight company latest 12 days before the masterclass begins.

We recommend Hotel Primavera. It has been a popular choice for its close proximity to the concert hall. By informing the hotel you are a participant in our masterclass the price for a room will be € 26. For booking send an E-mail to Mrs. Line Smilenova at hotelprimavera@abv.bg
If you prefer a more luxurious accommodation, we recommend Grand Hotel Hebar This hotel is also situated close to the concert hall.

All participants will receive a personalized video of their rehearsals in a professional sound recording. Participants are welcome to bring their own recording device.

A 60-minutes one-to-one coaching session is possible at additional cost. The one-to-one coaching session will on choice of the participant with Maestro Rasmussen or Maestro Akerwall.

The course will be taught primarily in English and German and secondarily Swedish or Danish for Scandinavian participants.

Bank name JYSKE BANK
Account number 5050-0001575802
Iban DK0550500001575802
Swift code JYBADKKK
Bank address Tvedesvej 7, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark


Maestro Frans Rasmussen is one of Denmark’s most respected conductors and music educators. He is known for his warm charisma and his contagious enthusiasm both as a leader but also as a teacher. For more than 40 years he has educated young musicians and conductors at the Royal Danish Academy. He has been given master classes for more than 20 years. Maestro Rasmussen has studied piano, and orchestral conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen. Rasmussen has gained his eminent conducting technical abilities, and long-life know-how from his teachers in the Russian conducting school of Nicolai Malko. Throughout his long career, Frans Rasmussen has regularly been guest conducted orchestras and ensembles in Denmark, Scandinavia, the United States, Africa, and Asia. He has been First Guest conductor at Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Leader of The Danish Royal Lifeguard 1994-2000. As an opera conductor Frans Rasmussen has worked as music director on productions at the Royal Danish Theater and Danish National Opera for 50 years. From 1981-86, he was Chief Conductor of the Royal Theater’s choir.

Maestro Martin Akerwall is regarded one of his generation’s most outstanding and gifted Danish conductors. Since 1989 has regularly worked with symphony orchestras in Scandinavian and appeared in concerts with orchestras in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, USA, France, Singapore, Czech Republic , Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Awarded with several distinguished Danish prizes Akerwall began his career at German opera houses as Principal Conductor before he became positions as conductor at Bern State Opera in Switzerland, The Royal Danish Theater and The Finnish Opera. Martin Akerwall’s teaching are rooted in the education and influence from the Finnish conducting tradition with world class conductors as Jukka Pekka Sareste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leif Segerstam, Jorma Panula. Further his teaching gains benefit from his acquisition of the German conducting school as conductor at German theaters. Further he is a master in NLP/Hypnosis and leadership. His many years of professional experience and psychological focus in the art of conducting pared with his comprehensive and effective conducting technique makes his teaching more extended, individualized, nuanced and differentiated. Encouraged by the world acclaimed maestro Jorma Panula, he was the first Danish conductor to become member of the conductor’s class with maestro Panula at the Sibelius Academy. In his early years Akerwall also enjoyed the exclusive mentoring from the great Russian maestro Dimitri Kitajenko.

Orchestral Conductors Academy are very proud and happy for the collaboration with Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has a professional yet friendly minded approach to our masterclasses which gives us an unique working situation for the participating conductors. Since 2005 the orchestra has enjoyed the leadership of artistic director and conductor Maestro Grigor Palikarov. Under his leadership for a short time he managed to lead the orchestra to a high position in the music community in Bulgaria. The orchestra has been invited to participate in the most prestigious music festivals such as “Sofia Music Weeks” and “March Music Days”.
The Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1969. From 1970 to 1992 its artistic director was Professor Ivan Spasov, one of the most significant for Bulgarian culture figures the composer, conductor, teacher with influence in public life and with numerous publications. It’s thanks to him that the institution has proved itself so fast on professional stage. He has also given the Symphonic Operatic Society rich, orientated towards different genders and styles politics. The orchestra performs not only classical works, acclaimed worldwide, but also works from contemporary composers and Bulgarian authors some of which written especially for them. The orchestra’s mobility and its professionally acclaimed members are factors that attract many famous conductors and soloists in Bulgaria and foreign guests and young gifted people as well.
The orchestra has taken part in „New Bulgarian Music” preview. It has implemented a string of tours in Poland, Italy, Greece, Spain and records in the Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgarian National Television, long-lasting plates, CO. It was a great acknowledgement for the orchestra to receive invitation for participation in the European Tour performing the “Troubadour” Opera. It proved to be a glamorous success at the beginning of season 2003-2004 in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France and Norway. Keeping its independent concert activities, since 2000 the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra has become part of the Symphonic Operatic Society „Maestro G. Atanasov” and has participated in many premieres and performances of operettas and operas.

For more info and application:


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