Find yourself immersed in the widest possible range of conducting experiences and working with conductors of the highest international level.

The RNCM operates a unique range of acclaimed Conducting courses at all levels, including Graduate School programmes, the Junior Fellowship in Conducting and short courses for non-students, all of which are underpinned by the fundamental principle that conductors can only learn by conducting other musicians in real life rehearsal and performance situations.

Graduate School Conducting Programmes

Principal Study MMus and MPhil in Conducting

You can pursue Conducting as your Principal Study in the following programmes: MMus or MPhil. Please note that we generally only admit conducting students on a two-year programme.

As a student on our renowned Masters programme you will benefit from individual tuition from Clark Rundell, Head of Conducting and Mark Heron, Tutor in Conducting, as well as classes from many visiting conductors. In recent years these have included Sir Mark Elder, Vasily Petrenko, Juanjo Mena, Jac van Steen and Mark Shanahan. Podium opportunities are many and varied but will normally include opera excerpts, new music, and wind and brass ensembles as well as orchestral opportunities. Masters students also serve as assistant conductors to the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestras, and can expect to have at least five or six week-long assistantships per year. Currently, postgraduate students take their final examination in concert with the BBC Philharmonic.

You may wish to note that our application cycle is earlier than in many countries. The closing date for application is early October in the year preceding entry, and auditions usually take place in December or January.

Read the audition requirements here.

Postgraduate Conducting for Instrumentalists, Singers or Composers

A 30-credit conducting option is available within the MMus. This course is open to all students in the Graduate School with the exception of those whose Principal Study is conducting, and 12 students are selected following auditions early in the academic year. The course is taught by Mark Heron and comprises classes with two pianists, ensemble sessions and the opportunity to observe classes forming part of the postgraduate and Junior Fellowship conducting programmes.

PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching

Students on the RNCM’s unique PGCE course specialising in instrumental teaching receive tuition in conducting as part of their course.

Undergraduate Programme

A conducting option is available as a course component under the Undergraduate Professional Studies scheme. The College does not admit Principal Study conductors at undergraduate level.

Conductors trained at the RNCM

The Junior Fellowship and postgraduate programmes have a proven track record in launching professional careers. Some of the conductors with established careers who were formerly Junior Fellows or Masters students at the RNCM include: David Angus, Philippe Bach, Alexandre Bloch, Baldur Brönnimann, Alpesh Chauhan, Matthew Coorey, André de Ridder, Sian Edwards, Sachio Fujioka, Kevin Griffiths, Mark Heron, Dane Lam, Courtney Lewis, Paul Mann, Gergely Madaras, Eduardo Portal, Clark Rundell, En Shao, Ewa Strusinska, Garry Walker, Duncan Ward, Matthew Wood.

Read more about RNCM conducting alumni here.

Conducting Staff List

Head of Conducting
Clark Rundell BMusEd, FRNCM

International Chair in Conducting
Sir Mark Elder CBE

Conducting Tutor
Mark Heron MPhil, GMusRNCM (Hons), PPRNCM, PPRNCM (Chamber Music)

What others say about Conducting at the RNCM

After finishing an undergraduate degree in piano, conducting and composition, coming to the RNCM to do the Master’s Degree was the best thing that could happened to me at that exact point of my life. In addition to the opportunity to work with amazing conductors and orchestras, the conducting programme at the RNCM is so well designed to build all the necessary skills that a conductor needs in order to be fluent in professional life. One of the best things about this programme is that it is based on real life. I regularly conducted real concerts of real ensembles, with real responsibilities, in a real performance environment, as well as assisting professional orchestras in real life situations; all of this under the tuition and guidance of Mark Heron and Clark Rundell. Thus, my experience at the RNCM gave me the opportunity to practise not just technical skills, but the human factor of this profession and to develop the abilities that are required to lead and inspire a group of human beings.

Carlos Ágreda Arango, MMus student 2014-2016, became the Rita E Hauser Conducting Fellow at Curtis Institute of Music in September 2016


Further information

If you have any further queries regarding Conducting at the RNCM, please contact Esther Wakeman, Conducting Administrator on +44(0)161 907 5334 or

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