The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Elder Conservatorium are offering a new postgraduate programme for conductors.

For the first time in Australian history, a university and a professional orchestra will come together to deliver a tertiary degree programme especially for conductors.

The new postgraduate degree is the latest collaboration between the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the University of Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium of Music. Among the opportunities offered to applicants will be masterclasses conducting the ASO itself, as well as the chance to contribute to ASO projects across the year. At the Conservatorium, aspiring conductors will explore their art through regular classes such as individual lessons, chamber group or piano duo sessions, and conducting the Conservatorium’s orchestra ensembles.

Dr Luke Dollman lectures in conducting at the Elder Conservatorium, and is positive about the potential of the new programme to nurture home-grown talent.

“Of the six Australian professional symphony orchestras, only one has an Australian conductor – the ASO’s Nicholas Carter,” he points out. “Our new course seeks to redress this imbalance and give Australian conductors a pathway to the professional podium.”

ASO Principal Conductor Nicholas Carter is equally enthusiastic about the chance to work with the Conservatorium. “I’m very excited about this excellent programme,’ he says. “Luke [Dollman] has a huge amount of experience and expertise, and he learnt his approach to nurturing conductors from one of the great conducting teachers of our time – Jorma Panula.”

The link with the ASO’s education focus is also important to Carter. “Giving students access to the ASO is something that I and the Orchestra are delighted to provide,” he says. “It reaffirms our commitment to supporting talent and potential in the right way, so that the benefits are felt throughout Adelaide and the Australian music scene.”

Interested graduates are invited to apply online before September 25, with successful applicants being granted a live audition with the ASO early in October. Professor Graeme Koehne, Director of the Elder Conservatorium, added his own endorsement to those of his colleagues: “We are thrilled to offer this postgraduate programme, which offers students the opportunity to gain invaluable and practical experience working with one of Australia’s most prestigious symphony orchestras.”