Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music have opened applications for a young conductor to be resident with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) for a year. This will be the second year of the residency for young conductors from under-represented groups, designed to nurture diverse talent and champion representation within the orchestra.
The scheme sees the successful applicant gain unique experience working with LSSO students during the orchestra’s week-long Christmas, Easter and Summer holiday courses, as well as being offered one-to-one mentor support from professional conductors. The Conductor in Residence is involved in all aspects of the orchestra, including attending audition panels and taking sectional rehearsals, as well as having the opportunity for a professional credit conducting the orchestra in concert. Bradley Wilson, the inaugural postholder, conducted Errolyn Wallen’s Mighty River at a concert in Milton Court earlier this year as part of his year in post.
Roger Wilson, Director of Operations at Black Lives in Music says:
“The London Schools Symphony Orchestra Conductor in Residence programme is ground-breaking in shining a light on developing conducting talent from underrepresented communities. Making your way into the music profession is hard enough, to make your way as a conductor for someone from an underrepresented group is harder still. Black Lives in Music has been proud to work in partnership with Guildhall Young Artists and the LSSO. As an alumnus of the orchestra, I know what a significant part it played in my life, both personally and professionally. It’s been wonderfully satisfying to see the mentoring Bradley Wilson has received as the present incumbent. Working with some of the top music professionals has always been a key feature of LSSO, inspiring the orchestra as part of that experience. I’m looking forward to the programme cementing itself as one of the key pathways for development of tomorrow’s professional conductors and, in turn, helping to improve representation in this area as we should all wish to see.”
Alison Mears, Director of Guildhall Young Artists says:
“We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Black Lives in Music to support aspiring conductors from underrepresented groups on their journey into the profession. It has been so rewarding to see Bradley develop as a conductor during the year; he has brought a new energy to the orchestra and introduced the students to some really exciting repertoire. The conductor in residence post enriches the learning opportunities for all involved with the LSSO, and we hope that in turn we are helping to drive change towards a more inclusive music profession.”
Bradley Wilson, inaugural LSSO Conductor in Residence says:
“It’s been an exciting year of learning and evolving as an artist whilst I have been in my post as Conductor in Residence with the LSSO, and I am incredibly grateful to Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music for supporting me throughout. This experience has given me invaluable opportunities, and because of this, I am going on to the role of Founder and Director of Orchestra Development at Underscore, the first Midlands orchestra for global majority musicians and their allies. I hope that applicants for the Conductor in Residence role will cherish this opportunity to work with a wonderful orchestra of young musicians.”
The Conductor in Residence scheme forms part of Guildhall Young Artists’ commitment to support young musicians from historically under-represented backgrounds and is part of an ongoing partnership with Black Lives in Music to help build an equitable, inclusive environment at Guildhall School.
Applications are invited from individuals who have recently completed studies in conducting at undergraduate or postgraduate level, who are currently studying conducting at undergraduate or postgraduate level, or who are studying conducting as part of their degree. The successful applicant will receive an assistant conductor’s fee of £6,000, payable in three instalments.
Candidates wanting to apply to the scheme should do so before the deadline on 24 July 2023, by sending a letter of application summarising your experience, any forthcoming plans and what you hope to gain from the scheme to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews will be held on 13 September for shortlisted students, and those invited to interview will be invited to attend the LSSO concert that evening at Barbican Hall.
Image of Bradley Wilson, LSSO Conductor in Residence 2023 conducting the LSSO at Milton Court Concert Hall, April 2023.
Photo by Robert Masek