Graduate Orchestral Conducting Program

Graduate Orchestral Conducting Overview

Graduate Orchestral Conducting Overview

The Orchestral 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. Founded by Harold Farberman, 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.

The program includes instruction in conducting in a four-semester Core Seminar sequence which includes both classroom work and practical work on the podium in regular sessions with piano, with the Orchestral Conductors Ensemble and with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra. The program also includes a Core Curriculum in conjunction with the graduate choral conducting program— classes in diction, foreign languages, ear training, composition, and music history.

Unique to the program is its access to the resources of the New York City music world, and to the Bard Music Festival and other Bard-related musical institutions; all serve to create a rich, stimulating environment of music making on the Bard campus. 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.

The courses below are taken only by the orchestral conducting students. Additional Common Curriculum classes are taken together with students from the choral conducting program.

Podium Time

Orchestral conducting students have bi-weekly sessions with the Orchestral Conductors Ensemble, a small ensemble of members of The Orchestra Now and the Bard Conservatory Orchestra. Preparation for these sessions is done through regular class work with piano. Students also work once each semester with full orchestra in special reading sessions with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra.


Bard College is situated on more than 500 acres along the Hudson River, on the grounds of two historic riverfront estates. Bard’s main campus is 90 miles north of New York City. Its location and faculty connections allows for unique access to the resources of the New York City music world.