Graduate Conducting Program Overview
The Orchestral and Choral Conducting Program of The Bard College Conservatory of Music is a two-year graduate curriculum that culminates in the master of music (M.M.) degree. The program equips its graduates with the broad-based skills and experience necessary to meet the special opportunities and challenges of a conducting or conducting-related career in the 21st century.
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Program Background The program’s two tracks (concentrations)—orchestral conducting and choral conducting—have significant overlap. The program is designed and directed by Harold Farberman, founder and director of the Conductors Institute at Bard; James Bagwell, director of Bard’s undergraduate Music Program and music director of the Collegiate Chorale and Concert Chorale of New York; and Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and music director of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
Unique Resources Unique to the program is its access to the resources of the Concert Chorale of New York and the Collegiate Chorale, and to the Bard Music Festival and other Bard-related musical institutions. The program is new but built on years of experience. It admits relatively few students each year—approximately 12—to ensure individual attention. Applications are welcome from all who wish to place their love of music at the service of those they conduct, the works they perform, and their audiences.
A Balanced Curriculum The program balances a respect for established traditions with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas. In addition to instruction in conducting, the curriculum includes an innovative, four-semester music history sequence (shared by the two tracks); voice lessons and diction for choral conductors; instrument lessons for orchestral conductors; and foreign language study, ear training, and composition for all students.