NOI+F Conducting Academy



Launching in June 2021, the NOI+F Conducting Academy provides training and mentorship for emerging conductors. Selected conducting fellows will work with conductors Marin Alsop and James Ross in a variety of settings including seminars and conducting sessions (with piano and string quintet and also with chamber orchestra). Fellows will have the opportunity to work alongside resident composers (including Gabriela Lena Frank and Brian Nabors) to prepare public performances of contemporary music. 

As a participant, you can expect the following activities over the course of the week: three seminars/discussions, three conducting labs (with piano/string quintet), two chamber orchestra rehearsals in preparation for a public concert. You will also attend multiple rehearsals led by Marin Alsop with the NOI Philharmonic.

Auditors may attend all sessions, but do not receive podium time. Auditors will receive private consultations with James Ross to review their conducting videos and receive individualized feedback. All 2021 Conducting Academy Fellows must be between the ages of 18 and 30 on May 24, 2021.

Key Dates

  • Conducting Academy fellowships will take place between June 20 and June 26, 2021.
  • Applications for the conducting fellowship have now closed. Look for 2022 applications in Fall 2021. 


  • Up to 6 conducting fellows
  • Up to 20 auditing participants

Apply + Audition

Required application materials for the 2021 Conducting Academy:

  • Resume (2 pages maximum)
  • A letter of recommendation addressing your musicianship.
  • Video of your conducting showing 2 contrasting works, each no longer than 3 minutes. Total video should not exceed 6 minutes. All videos must be front-facing, from the point of view of the orchestra. (We will accept conducting videos of smaller ensembles during this application cycle.)
  • A document describing the works contained on the video, including repertoire, date/location of the performance or rehearsal and ensemble.  


2021 Repertoire

  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
  • Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9
  • Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
  • Additional works written by NOI+F Composer Fellows



One of the foremost conductors of our time, NOI+F Music Director Marin Alsop is internationally recognized for her inspiring artistry, innovative programming, deep commitment to education and audience development and powerful advocacy for the importance of music. The first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria and Britain, she currently serves as chief conductor of Austria’s ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor of honor of Brazil’s São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the first chief conductor and curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival. In her 14-year tenure as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, she led the orchestra’s first European tour in 13 years, conducted more than two dozen world premieres and founded multiple change-making initiatives, including OrchKids, a music education program for the city’s most disadvantaged youth.


Currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and included in The Washington Post's list of the 35 most significant women composers in history (August, 2017), identity has always been at the center of composer/pianist Gabriela Lena Frank's music. Born in Berkeley, CA, to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage through her compositions. Her music often reflects not only her own personal experience as a multi-racial Latina, but also refract her studies of Latin American cultures, incorporating poetry, mythology and native musical styles into a western classical framework that is uniquely her own. Civic outreach is an essential part of Frank's work. She has volunteered extensively in hospitals and prisons, with her current focus on developing the music school program at Anderson Valley High School, a rural public school of modest means with a large Latino population in Boonville, CA.


Brian Raphael Nabors' music has been performed by leading American orchestras including the Cincinnati, Atlanta, Nashville and Detroit symphonies. Nabors has been composer-in-residence with ACO and the Nashville Symphony. With an eclectic musical palate and crafty compositional technique to match, Nabors’ music draws from combinations of Jazz Funk, R&B, and Gospel with the modern flair of contemporary classical music. This interesting blend of sound worlds is one that continues to craft his unique musical voice.Throughout the 2019-20 season, he has been studying in Sydney's Conservatorium of Music in Australia with the support of a Fulbright scholarship. In 2019, Nabors was also a resident composer of EarShot, an initiative of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra that identifies and promotes the most promising orchestral composers on a national stage. Nabors earned both a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.


James Ross just completed his second season as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. He is presently Orchestra Director of the National Youth Orchestra – USA at Carnegie Hall and serves on the conducting faculty of The Juilliard School at Lincoln Center. He recently finished a distinguished 16-year tenure as Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Maryland and a two-year stint as Music Director of the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès in Barcelona, Spain. Ross has led such diverse orchestras as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Utah Symphony, Les Arts Florissants, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center. He has served as Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His principal conducting teachers were Kurt Masur, Otto-Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozawa and Leonard Bernstein.


In addition to the $75 application fee, tuition for the Conducting Academy is:

  • Fellows: $800
  • Auditors: $250
  • A 50% deposit will be required upon acceptance. The remaining balance will be due on or before May 15, 2021.
  • Tuition assistance is available for fellows demonstrating financial need.  

Fellows and auditors are responsible for arranging travel to and accommodations in College Park, Maryland. NOI+F staff will provide nearby suggested options upon acceptance. Please note: travel and housing options/requirements may be updated due to local health and safety guidelines with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Questions + Additional Information

If you have additional questions or would like additional information, contact us at or 301.405.2317.