Conducting – Audition Requirements

The RNCM is at the forefront of educating conductors internationally, and graduates of our programmes are regularly seen conducting in the world’s major concert halls and opera houses.

Audition requirements for postgraduate study are outlined below, but if you require further information, please email [email protected] or call 0161 907 5465/210.


While we don’t offer conducting as a Principal Study option within our undergraduate programmes, an extensive range of electives are available within the Bachelor of Music with Honours degree, giving instrumentalists, singers and composers the opportunity to develop an interest in conducting alongside their principal study.

Postgraduate (MMus)

The audition consists of a preliminary video selection round followed by two days of live auditions, taking place on Tuesday 5 – Wednesday 6 March 2024. Live auditions will comprise of three rounds and an interview.

First round:

All candidates should supply approximately 20 minutes of footage of their conducting. Ideally, this should be a fairly equal mixture of rehearsal and performance. The camera should be positioned so that the candidate’s face and upper body is clearly visible, i.e. the camera should be positioned in or behind the orchestra/ensemble, and ideally some of the musicians should also be visible. The recording should be submitted via Acceptd by Friday 10 November. If you wish to be considered for the choral specialism, please make this clear in the material you submit to Acceptd.

Second round:

Selected candidates will be invited for live auditions which will take place over 2 days, comprising 3 stages and an interview.

All candidates will conduct an ensemble piece and a choral work on day 1. A number of candidates will be invited to proceed to day 2, which starts with a rehearsal with a soloist and chamber ensemble in a standard concerto. A smaller number of candidates will be invited to stay for the final round with orchestra. Interviews and feedback will be given throughout the process.

Applicants will be notified of the repertoire in advance and are expected to bring their own music to audition. As an example, the following pieces have been used in previous years:

  • Selected movements of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale
  • Britten Hymn to St Cecilia, Poulenc Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël
  • Schumann Cello Concerto, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Elgar Cello Concerto
  • Beethoven Symphony No 1, Haydn Symphony No 101, Schumann Symphony No 3, Shostakovich Symphony No.9

Choral Specialism

We actively seek applicants with a specialism and interest in choral conducting. Students on this stream follow exactly the same course as the rest of the class, including extensive orchestral opportunities, but benefit from increased contact with David Hill and the opportunity to work with the RNCM Chamber Choir and Symphony Chorus.

Please make sure your application material indicates your interest in this. The audition process outlined above may be slightly different.