Offering tracks in choral and orchestral conducing, the Graduate Conducting Program of the Bard College Conservatory of Music is a two-year curriculum that culminates in the master of music (MM) degree. Led by renowned conductors James Bagwell and Leon Botstein, 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.
In addition to codirecting the Graduate Conducting Program, Maestro Bagwell is the director of Bard’s undergraduate Music Program, associate conductor of The Orchestra Now, and principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. Maestro Bagwell is a regular guest conductor for the Tulsa Symphony, recently conducting Mozart's Requiem and Brahms' Ein Deutches Requieum. Additionally, he regularly prepares the Concert Chorale of New York for performances with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Mostly Mozart Festival.
Leon Botstein is the President of Bard College, music director of The Orchestra Now and the American Symphony Orchestra, and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Maestro Botstein is the founder and co-artistic director of the annual Bard Music Festival.
The Graduate Conducting 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.
Why I Chose Bard
Prokhor Protasov, orchestral conducting
Class of 2020
"I chose Bard because of the superb faculty and curriculum that has everything a young conductor needs: a lot of podium time, studies in theory and composition. I believe that the ability to analyze scores from a composer’s perspective makes a huge difference in interpretation. Many conductors are composers, and most composers conduct."