Assistant Conductor Competition

The Assistant Conductor Competition is held annually to select students to conduct the orchestra in one of its concerts. Any person who is a current Harvard undergraduate, will be affiliated with Harvard, and will be in residence during the entirety of the 2023-24 school year is permitted to audition.
The winner is expected to attend all remaining rehearsals of the HRO during the 2023-24 season. He or she will be asked to assist the Music Director in artistic matters, to lead sectionals and/or divided orchestra rehearsals, to conduct first readings of new pieces, and will be expected to conduct the full orchestra if needed. He or she will also conduct a piece to be chosen together with the Music Director and the orchestra in the 2023-24 season. The winner may also be required to enroll in an advanced conducting class with the Music Director during the 2023-24 school year.

HRO is not obligated to offer any prize other than the title of “Winner of the HRO Assistant Conductor Competition in YEAR,” the responsibilities that are typically associated with the position of Assistant Conductor as outlined in section 5, and the opportunity to conduct one piece in one regular season concert. Other historical benefits have occasionally included some number of complimentary concert tickets for friends and family, free audio recording, and (much more rarely) free video recording. Those benefits or others may be offered at the discretion of the HRO Executive Board. Applicants are welcome to inquire prior to participating in the competition about which benefits will be offered in that particular season. 

A committee of the orchestra will select no more than 4 candidates to audition. This selection will be based on his/her past conducting credentials, as outlined in the form below. Applicants may be invited to an interview with the Music Director.

The audition will be held on DATE TBD in Sanders Theater, beginning at 7:00pm.  Candidates will be informed of results by DATE TBD at 5:00pm. Winner(s) will be selected by the Music Director on the advice of the orchestra.

Each applicant will be asked to conduct and rehearse HRO on one or two pieces TBD followed by questions from the orchestra. Each applicant will start with a passage of their choosing, and will later be asked to rehearse other specific sections. The overall length of the audition will be determined once the number of finalists has been decided.

Application procedure:
All candidates must submit the linked application to HRO by 5 pm on DATE TBD. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
Below is a sample application from the past; HRO reserves the right to modify it for future competitions.
Click Here
There may be a fee associated with participating in the assistant conductor competition that may vary from year to year, but would generally be between $20 and $50.
Please contact with any questions about the competition. The Assistant Conductor Competition is typically held in mid to late November. More details regarding the exact date and time of the 2023-2024 competition will be posted by early November.

Past Winners:
2022/23 - Isaac Newman & Yizhe Sun
2021/22 - Camden Archambeau
2020/21 - Cancelled due to COVID
2019/20 - Cancelled due to COVID
2018/19 - Caleb Shi & Soren Nyhus
2017/18 - Reuben Stern & Gordon Ma
2016/17 - Reuben Stern
2016/17 - Sasha Scolnik-Brower

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