Under the direction of NEC's Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras, Hugh Wolff, the highly-selective Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting program is designed to develop the artistic and leadership skills needed for a professional orchestra career. The program comes with a full tuition scholarship plus a $10,000 annual stipend for travel and living expenses.
The two-year, graduate-level curriculum features course work in score reading, instrumentation, orchestration, and performance practice, along with private studio, to reinforce a student's understanding of the conductor's art and craft.
The Artist Diploma conductor will lead approximately ten sectionals during the school year with NEC symphonies and serve as cover conductor for a number of concerts each year. She/he will conduct one full NEC Symphony Orchestra concert (or two half concerts) during each spring semester and may conduct NEC Opera productions. The conductor will also learn fundraising and marketing skills from NEC's Institutional Advancement Office and collaborate with NEC's Entrepreneurial Musicianship and Community Programs and Partnerships departments on education and outreach.
The conductor will travel to Brussels occasionally to observe Hugh Wolff's rehearsals and concerts with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Through mini-apprenticeships with partner organizations like the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and the Handel + Haydn Society, the conductor will become well versed in all the styles and genres they may encounter in the professional world. There will also be some flexibility for the Artist Diploma conductor to continue to engage in professional activities outside of NEC.
“This has been one of the most healthy learning environments, particularly in music, that I’ve had. I’m five times the conductor I was a year ago.”
“Mr. Wolff is supportive, as respectful of his students as he is of his colleagues, and unbounding in his generosity with his time and effort.”
—Aram Demirjian ’11 M.M.