Mills Williams Junior Fellowship in Conducting

This much sought-after position, tenable for 12 months, provides one young conductor, about to enter the profession, an opportunity to gain widespread experience with our professional partners and the College’s full range of ensembles.

RNCM Conductor on stage.

Aims of the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship

  • To provide the highest level of training and support for young conductors who have graduated and are on the cusp of entering the profession
  • To provide high quality conducting for a wide range of activities that take place in the College

Mills Williams Junior Fellows in Conducting receive a stipend, which is currently £10,500 per year.

Opportunities for the Junior Fellow

Contact with professional orchestras

During the programme, Junior Fellows will have the opportunity to work as assistant conductor with several of the region’s professional orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Northern Ballet and Manchester Camerata. The potential for engagements with these orchestras exists, at their discretion.

Conduct RNCM performances

The Junior Fellow assists on a fully staged opera production, including conducting one of the public performances. They assist conductors with RNCM orchestral projects, often conducting a work in the concert. Additionally, they provide conducting for various other RNCM Orchestras and Ensembles and have the opportunity to develop teaching and coaching skills. There is normally at least one performance opportunity with a professional orchestra during the year.

Work with eminent conductors

Junior Fellows are fully involved as students in the RNCM’s conducting programme, led by Professor Mark Heron and Professor Clark Rundell.

We will shortly be making a very exciting announcement about our new International Chair in Conducting, as Sir Mark Elder steps down from the position when his time as Music Director of Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra comes to a close at the end of this season.

David Hill, International Chair in Choral Conducting, and Antony Hermus, Chief Conductor of the Belgian National Orchestra, are regular visitors to the programme, and other recent guests include Marin Alsop, Martyn Brabbins, Ludovic Morlot, Vasily Petrenko, Domingo Hindoyan, Jorma Panula, Nicolas Pasquet, Elena Schwarz, John Storgårds, Omer Meir Wellber, Mark Wigglesworth and Simone Young.

Opportunities beyond the RNCM

Fellows are encouraged to pursue engagements outside of the College, and a crucial aspect of the programme is career development. As well as advice from RNCM staff, mentoring is provided by various industry stakeholders.

After their two years with us, Junior Fellows often go on to assistant conductor positions with professional orchestras or achieve success in major conducting competitions. Since joining us in September, current Fellow, Agata Zajac, has participated in the Paavo Järvi’s masterclass with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and been selected as a finalist for the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition and the Siemens Hallé International Conductors Competition.

For two years I could experiment like a scientist in a fully-equipped laboratory, found my legs like an athlete on a powerful spring-board, and – like a pilot with unlimited flying hours – I was conducting, conducting and conducting. A dream development opportunity. Gergely Madaras, Junior Fellow in Conducting 2010-12

Who Can Apply

There is no age restriction for applying for this fellowship, however, the successful candidate is likely to be a recent graduate with some professional experience. The fellowship is open to conductors of all nationalities.

September 2024 Entry

Applications for 2024 entry are now open with auditions scheduled to take place 18 – 20 March 2024 at the RNCM in Manchester. The closing date for applications is 5pm on 22 January 2024. Please click here to see further guidance about the application process and here to go direct to the application form.