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 rehearsals of the HRO during their tenure throughout the 2024 year. They may be asked to assist the Music Director in artistic matters, lead sectionals and/or divided orchestra rehearsals, conduct first readings of new pieces, and will be expected to conduct the full orchestra if needed. They will also conduct a piece to be chosen together with the Music Director and the orchestra in either Spring 2024 or Fall 2024. The winner may also be required to enroll in an advanced conducting class with the Music Director during Spring 2024 or Fall 2024.

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 6 candidates to audition. This selection will be based on their 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
Monday, 12/4 at 7:00 pm in Sanders Theater.  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 The Prelude of Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde 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  via email to by 5 pm on Wednesday 11/13 at 5 pm. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
Click Here for Application
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.

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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