June 15 final day of application for 2020 Cortona Sessions for New Music Music Conductor and Advocate Virtual Summit with Tim Weiss, Jeffrey Meyer and Chris Kim

2020 Cortona Sessions for New Music Music Conductor and Advocate Virtual Summit 

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Cortona Sessions for New Music will not host the in-person Conducting Workshop. Instead, we will be holding a virtual summit for conductors and advocates of contemporary music during August 9-13, 2020.

Nothing can replace person to person music-making connectivity and that the art of conducting is best taught in the context of music-making with an ensemble of musicians. However, there are numerous ways to work on the art of conducting in isolation as most of our lives as conductors we spend hours of solitude engaged in the analysis of both scores and our ability to perceive musical information. We also believe as advocates of contemporary music, we need to come together as a community to make sure the future of modern music is healthy and vibrant. Perhaps contemporary music can be part of a healing force that brings together people in a crisis like this.

The Cortona Sessions for New Music will be offering a Contemporary Music Conductor and Advocate Virtual Summit on August 9-13, 2020. This Virtual Summit is open to contemporary music conductors and advocates of all levels and will be led via Zoom (online video conferencing system). Most sessions will include some level of participant engagement and or interaction. In addition to large group sessions, faculty will be available for private one on one consultation sessions on a variety of conducting topics including video review. 

Realizing that the pandemic is evolving daily, the faculty will aim to prepare their sessions with sensitivity to the current climate and concerning the numerous situations of contemporary music conductors and advocates at varied levels, especially in preparation for a new concert season.

Basic Information

Dates: August 9-13, 2020
Application Deadline: June 15, 2020 [deadline extended]
Notification Deadline: July 1, 2020
(accepted applicants will be sent a link for payment)
Cost: $100
Private Conducting Lessons: $50 (paid direct to instructors)


Details for Conductors

Conductors will have the opportunity to engage with the conducting faculty and discuss aspects of score analysis, ear training and various topics regarding contemporary music

• Conductors will participate in a daily symposium that engages all Fellows and Faculty of the Sessions, led by the Cortona Sessions composition faculty. Performance faculty will offer brief discussions relating to contemporary music practices. Career building discussions will also be coordinated.

• Video review session of your conducting in one on one session with the conducting faculty.

Virtual conducting lessons

The Virtual Summit will include an opportunity for 24 people to receive one 30-minute online private conducting lesson, assigned by Cortona Sessions for New Music Faculty, with one of the below faculty members. These lessons will be scheduled during the 5-day event.

Chris Kim | Jeff Meyer | Tim Weiss

Session Topics

Select topics will be updated to address both the traditional training of conducting and the response to the COVID-19 environment and how to proceed to ensure contemporary music is vibrant through this crisis.

  • Score Analysis – how to approach contemporary work as a conductor
  • Score reading as a microcosm of rehearsal
  • Repertoire and Programming: asynchronous repertoire
  • Real-time online collaboration – current state of technology
  • Conducting Exercises: the multimeter
  • Ideas for contemporary music ensembles – diversity and representation in programming
  • Contemporary music community: How to bring our audience and ensembles and composers together
  • Video review sessions


Claude Debussy: Afternoon of a Faun
Ives: Unanswered Question
Stravinsky: L’histoire du Soldat & Rite of Spring
Arnold Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire
Ligeti: Ramification
Ligeti: Chamber Concerto 
Lutoslawski: Chain No. 1, Venetian Games
Elisabeth Lyutens work TBA
Thea Musgrave work TBA
Joan Tower work TBA
Penderecki Emanations
And others TBA

Faculty for Conducting Virtual Summit
Chris Kim
Tim Weiss
Jeffery Meyer

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