Just over a year ago, I made the life-changing decision to study with Marin Alsop at the Peabody Conservatory. Having not really known much of Peabody at the time (its academic prowess largely stems from its association with Johns Hopkins, despite it being the oldest conservatory in the USA) this journey was in some ways a leap of faith. I was looking to elevate my conducting and musicality to the next level. After 10 months of classes, I would say that my adventure so far has been a success – and, with always more to learn, at least progress is progress.

Leonard Weiss leading an Émilie  rehearsal Photo © Larry Canner

On the practical side, our program revolves around eight hours of podium time per week, of which we work with our Conductor’s Orchestra, and piano with string quintet. Coming from the luxury of having more than eight hours of weekly podium time to myself with various organisations in Canberra, the realisation that you can only run one short passage a couple of times is intimidating. Our schedule is the fastest-paced of any program I’ve seen, largely following Marin’s engagements: Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 one...

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