The Cabrillo Conductors / Composers Workshop 2017

The Cabrillo Conductors / Composers Workshop brings together leading faculty, the award-winning Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and early career conductors and composers for a professional training program that focuses on the creation and performance of new music.

Each summer for the last seventeen years, twenty conductors and three young composers have been selected to participate in this internationally recognized professional development program. Held in downtown Santa Cruz, California, in the context of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s annual rehearsal and performance season, the Workshop gives participating conductors and composers five full days of intensive training with some of the world’s most respected contemporary music professionals. In 2017, Conducting Faculty members will include Cabrillo Festival Music Director Cristian Măcelaru, Thomas Sleeper (Director of Orchestral Activities & Professor of Instrumental Conducting, University of Miami Frost School of Music), and special participation by Maestro Leonard Slatkin (Music Director, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre National de Lyon). The Composition Faculty member will be Michael Gandolfi (New England Conservatory of Music; Tanglewood Music Center).

This unique workshop experience was designed by founding faculty members, Cabrillo Festival Music Director Laureate Marin Alsop and the late Maestro Gustav Meier. Activities include a schedule of seminars and critiqued conducting sessions, first with string quintet and piano, then with chamber orchestra, and finally podium time with the full Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Under the guidance of a composition faculty member, participating composers work with the Festival’s resident composers and with the conductors on subjects including modern score analysis and practical guides for the rehearsal, interpretation and performance of contemporary works. The program is highlighted by an inspirational concert titled In the Works, when the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra is led by six conductors performing short symphonic works by each of the three selected composers.



If you are a CONDUCTOR, you are invited to submit an application to be considered for the 2017 Conductors Workshop to be held in Santa Cruz, California, Saturday, July 29 through Wednesday, August 2. All application materials must be submitted online, as specified below. After reviewing the Workshop information and application requirements, please direct any further questions to Erik Finley, Conductors Workshop Director, at

The Conductors Workshop begins the morning of Saturday, July 29 and runs through the early evening of Wednesday, August 2, 2017. All Workshop activities take place at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, California.

Cristian Măcelaru (Music Director, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; Conductor-in-Residence, Philadelphia Orchestra)
Thomas Sleeper (Director of Orchestral Activities & Professor of Instrumental Conducting, University of Miami Frost School of Music)
Leonard Slatkin for special sessions on August 1 and 2 (Music Director, Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Orchestre National de Lyon)
Michael Gandolfi Composers Workshop faculty (New England Conservatory; Tanglewood Music Center)

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4
STRAVINSKY Firebird Suite
Three contemporary works by selected Composers Workshop fellows (studied/conducted by FELLOWS only)

Five 2.5-hour sessions with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and faculty are dedicated to standard repertoire training and guidance. An additional two 2.5-hour rehearsal services are dedicated to the preparation of Composer Workshop Fellows’ compositions for the In the Works concert. Additionally, all conductors participate in a variety of seminars, discussions, video review sessions and Q&A with faculty, and are welcome to observe four Festival Orchestra open rehearsals that take place during the Workshop. The workshop is divided into three participatory tiers with varied amounts of podium time granted. Six conducting FELLOWS will be selected and will receive approximately 75 minutes of total podium time conducting standard repertoire. This time is divided between sessions with a string quintet and piano, a 22-piece chamber orchestra, and a full orchestra. Additionally, FELLOWS conduct a 40-piece chamber orchestra for 40 minutes of rehearsal in preparation for the In the Works concert. Tuition for FELLOWS is covered in full by the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Scholarships and a scholarship is provided to assist with travel and accommodation expenses. Six ASSOCIATES will be selected and will receive approximately 15 minutes of podium time divided between sessions with string quintet and piano, and a 22-piece chamber orchestra. Eight AUDITORS will be selected and will conduct a brief, 3-minute section of a work with a 22-piece chamber orchestra. All conductors will be provided with a video recording of his or her individual podium sessions.

Applications and supporting materials will be accepted in digital format only, via Slideroom: Late, incomplete, mailed, or emailed applications will not be considered. All of the following materials must be uploaded by Saturday, April 1 to complete an application:

• A CV or resume no more than two pages in length. In addition to detailing any conducting experience, the CV/resume should indicate your primary instrument and any training and orchestral experience on this instrument.
• A letter of recommendation from an artist or teacher who can speak to your musicianship.
• A personal statement (300 words or less) indicating why you are studying conducting and how you hope to benefit from a workshop with a focus on new music.
• Video representative of your conducting. We would prefer to see you conducting at least two contrasting works, including a complete movement or (in the case of shorter works) an entire selection. Please also include 5-10 minutes of rehearsal footage, if available. Inclusion of rehearsal footage is strongly suggested, but not required. All videos should be front-facing, from the vantage point of the orchestra. You may upload up to three files, YouTube or Vimeo links via Slideroom. DVDs will not be accepted.
• A document detailing information about the video/s submitted as part of your application. For each video file or link submitted, please indicate the repertoire included, the date and location of the performance or rehearsal, and the orchestra/ensemble. If a variety of repertoire or excerpts are submitted within a single file or link, please detail the specific timing for each excerpt.
• Payment of the $65 application fee.

In addition to the $65 application fee, tuition amounts for participants are as follows:
• FELLOWS: Tuition for FELLOWS, valued at $750, is covered in full by the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Conducting Scholarships. A $595 scholarship is provided to assist with travel and accommodation expenses. FELLOWS will be asked to submit a fully-refundable deposit in the amount of $300 to confirm attendance. A check totaling the amount of the expense scholarship and the deposit refund will be given to FELLOWS upon arrival at the workshop in Santa Cruz.
• ASSOCIATES: $500 tuition
• AUDITORS: $300 tuition

Participants are responsible for arranging travel to and accommodations in Santa Cruz and the expenses associated with these arrangements. Nearby airports are Mineta San Jose International (SJC; 35 miles from Santa Cruz) and San Francisco International (SFO; 70 miles from Santa Cruz). Information on suggested ground transportation and accommodations will be provided to selected conductors. An attendee list will be made available to all participating conductors in the event that conductors wish to arrange shared ground transportation or housing.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by May 1. Accepted FELLOWS will be asked to confirm their participation by signing a letter of intent and submitting the $300 deposit by May 15. Accepted ASSOCIATES and AUDITORS will be asked to confirm their participation by signing a letter of intent and submitting the full tuition payment by June 1. Payment of the deposit or tuition will reserve the conductor’s place in the Workshop. In the event of an attendee’s cancellation, the deposit or tuition will only be refunded if the Festival is able to fill the withdrawing conductor’s place with another individual. Application fees are non-refundable.


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