Orchestral Conducting

Join an elite cohort of aspiring conductors

Stepping into the Jacobs School’s orchestral conducting program means becoming part of a carefully curated group of the most promising conductors in the world.

Within this community, students delve deeply into the intricacies of conducting while collaborating with peers driven by a shared vision of excellence, setting the stage for their encounters with world-class ensembles and repertoire.

The Conductors Orchestra, a foundational part of the program, meets three times weekly, offering consistent and rigorous podium time with a top-level ensemble. Repertoire studied during the 2022–23 academic year with this ensemble area included Mozart’s Symphony Nos. 39 and 41, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2, Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and excerpts from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and ​​Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

Furthermore, all graduate students receive either associate instructor positions or scholarship awards that are some of the most competitive in the world.

Real-world experience

A hallmark of the Jacobs School of Music is its emphasis on tangible, real-world experience and exposure. Students frequently engage with internationally acclaimed guest conductors, soloists, and orchestral professionals.

The school’s diverse ecosystem of ensembles, which includes six orchestras, operatic and ballet performances, and specialized music ensembles, ensures interactions with renowned industry figures and a broad repertoire from early classics to contemporary compositions.

Opportunities such as the Indianapolis Symphony Conducting Fellowship facilitate extensive networking, rehearsal observation, and yearly conducting master classes. Additionally, affiliations with esteemed orchestras like the Cincinnati and Chicago symphonies allow conductors to connect with a myriad of artistic pioneers and industry leaders.

Graduates of our program stand poised to shape the future landscape of classical music equipped with a synthesis of technique, artistry, and creative leadership skills.

Jacobs gives you the opportunity to try a little bit of everything, which is the most useful thing I could have ever done. Going to innumerable concerts and master classes afforded me a wealth of knowledge that I still draw upon.

Nick Hersh, assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Jacobs alumnus