Under the direction of NEC's Stanford and Norma Jean Calderwood Director of Orchestras, Hugh Wolff, the highly-selective Orchestral Conducting major is designed to develop the artistic, leadership, and aural skills needed to prepare the most talented young conductors for a professional orchestra career. 

The two-year, graduate-level curriculum features course work in score reading, instrumentation, orchestration, and performance practice, along with private studio and seminars, to reinforce a student's understanding of the conductor's art and craft.

Tapping into the vast orchestral resources of the Conservatory, conductors are encouraged to develop and pursue opportunities to rehearse and perform with symphony orchestras.

This hands-on experience allows students to refine the technique needed to convey their musical ideas. Through mini apprenticeships with partner organizations like the Boston Pops and the Handel + Haydn Society, student conductors become well versed in all the styles and genres they may encounter in the professional world. They emerge competent to lead everything from Baroque oratorios to the classical canon to accompaniments for pop singers.



“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.




Read about Earl Lee being named the RBS Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Read about Joshua Weilerstein being appointed Artistic Director of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra.

Read about Lio Kuokman being named Assistant Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Read about Aram Demirjian winning position of Assistant Conductor at the Kansas City Symphony.

Read about Josh Weilerstein being named Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic.