The RNCM is one of the top places in the world to study conducting.
Conductors who trained with us can be found leading performances in major concert halls and theatres all over the world. Many hold positions as Music Director, Principal Conductor, or Principal Guest Conductor with symphony orchestras, and opera and ballet companies. Others have busy freelance careers in a wide variety of genre.
A first step for conducting graduates is often to work as an assistant conductor. Recently, RNCM alumni have simultaneously held assistant conductor positions with the Berliner Philharmoniker, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Hallé, CBSO, Bournemouth Symphony, English National Opera, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra.
Our conducting programmes are underpinned by the belief that you can only learn your craft by conducting other musicians in live rehearsal and performance.
Whether you’re studying as a postgraduate, a Junior Fellow, or on one of our short courses, the enviable podium experience and intensive training you’ll receive ensures you develop the necessary skills to advance with confidence in the profession.
Postgraduate Programmes and Junior Fellowship
In addition to conducting student instrumental and vocal performances, the most valuable gift you can receive is the opportunity to lead exceptionally experienced players within professional orchestras. This is why our partnerships with the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Hallé, Northern Ballet, Manchester Camerata, Psappha and Foden’s Brass Band are an integral part of our offer.
Postgraduates and Junior Fellows work as assistant conductors with these orchestras throughout the year, and masters students currently take their final examinations in concert with the BBC Philharmonic.
We offer a comprehensive range of elective courses which are open to all students of the College whose Principal Study isn’t conducting. The breadth of these options is second to none, and allows students with an interest in conducting to undertake rigorous and detailed study as an integral part of their degree.
External Masterclasses and Short Courses
Our extremely popular programme of masterclasses and short courses is unique in the breadth of its offer and attracts applicants from all over the world, as well as staff and students of the College who are not on a Principal Study conducting course. We also have a specialist course for those working in Music Education, or aspiring to do so. Bespoke CPD programmes of study are also available.
A thriving research culture exists within the School of Conducting, most notably with the recent ConductIT project: a €440,000 Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership to develop online resources for the study of conducting. You can find a link to further information about this project elsewhere on this page.
Professors Mark Heron and Clark Rundell contribute significantly to the RNCM’s research activity through their extensive work premiering, recording and broadcasting contemporary music with leading orchestras and ensembles internationally. There are currently two PhDs in progress with a conducting element, both undertaken by graduates of our Masters programme.
Please note that we do not offer a performance doctoral programme but enquiries about potential PhD projects in the field of conducting are welcome.
Head of Conducting
Professor Mark Heron
Professor of Conducting
International Chair in Conducting
Sir Mark Elder
International Chair in Choral Conducting
David Hill MBE
Director of the RNCM Symphony Chorus and Chamber Choir
Junior Fellowship in Conducting
The Junior Fellowship and postgraduate programmes have an outstanding track record in launching professional careers. Some of the conductors with established careers who were formerly Junior Fellows or Master’s students at the RNCM include: Carlos Agreda, David Angus, Philippe Bach, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, Alexandre Bloch, Baldur Brönnimann, Alpesh Chauhan, Matthew Coorey, André de Ridder, Sian Edwards, Sachio Fujioka, Kevin Griffiths, Mark Heron, Jerry Hou, Dane Lam, Edmon Levon, Wilbur Lin, Jonathan Lo, Courtney Lewis, Paul Mann, Gergely Madaras, Jon Malaxetxebarria, Daniel Parkinson, Jamie Phillips, Eduardo Portal, Clark Rundell, Thiago Santos, En Shao, Jack Sheen, Ellie Slorach, Chloé van Soeterstede, Ewa Strusinska, Rebecca Tong, Garry Walker, Duncan Ward and Matthew Wood.
If you have any further queries regarding Conducting at the RNCM, please email us at [email protected].