Agata Zając is RNCM Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting

We’re delighted to announce that Agata Zając has been selected as the RNCM’s new Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting, commencing in September.

Twelve candidates out of 120+ applications worldwide were shortlisted to undertake an intense five-round audition process at the RNCM in early May.

Agata Zając conducting on stage

After three rounds in which all the candidates worked on Haydn’s Symphony No 44, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir’s Aequilibria, and Stravinsky’s Octet, four made it through to the semi-final round with the RNCM Chamber Orchestra on Beethoven’s Symphony No 6.

The final took place with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in which the three candidates rehearsed and performed overtures by Johann Strauss, Richard Wagner, and Carl Maria von Weber. This year’s panel was Mark Heron (Head of Conducting, RNCM), Clark Rundell (Professor of Conducting, RNCM) and Simon Webb (Director, BBC Philharmonic).

Agata studied Poznań and is currently completing a doctorate in Krakow and a conducting residency with the Sudeten Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared in masterclasses at the Gstaad Conducting Academy, and with the Polish National Radio Symphony, working with Marin Alsop.

She said: ‘Being an RNCM Junior Fellow has been on my ‘dream list’ for a long time. I applied for it twice before, but due to the pandemic I couldn’t come to Manchester. What more can I say after this year’s results? I’m just extremely grateful for this opportunity. Professors Mark Heron and Clark Rundell became my mentors immediately and have been supporting me since the first audition. This programme is like a golden ticket for every young conductor and if this is just the beginning, I can’t even imagine how amazing next year will be.’

Agata will now receive mentoring from Sir Mark Elder, Mark Heron, Clark Rundell and many visiting conductors. She’ll conduct the RNCM’s orchestras, ensembles and opera productions, and benefit from the College’s strong links with the Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Northern Ballet, and Manchester Camerata. The RNCM has developed special partnerships with the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras where Junior Fellows, as well as postgraduate conducting students, work as Assistant Conductors several times a year.

The RNCM would like to thank the Mills Williams Foundation for supporting this position.

1 June 2022