NOI+F Conducting Academy

Conducting Faculty members Marin Alsop, Gabriela Lena Frank, James Ross and Brian Raphael Nabors.


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.  

Key Dates

  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2021
  • Academy: June 20-June 26, 2021


  • Marin Alsop (Music Director, NOI+F)
  • James Ross
  • Gabriela Lena Frank (NOI+F Composition Faculty)
  • Brain Nabors (NOI+F Composition Faculty)


  • Up to 6 conducting fellows
  • Up to 15 auditor participants


  • 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

Academy Overview

Fellows participating in the Conducting Academy can expect the following activities over the course of the week: 3 seminars/discussions, 3 conducting labs (with piano/string quintet), 2 chamber orchestra rehearsals in preparation for a June 25, 2021 concert. Fellows 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.

Application Requirements

All applications and supporting documents must be submitted online by February 15, 2021, 5pm ET.  Required application materials:

  • 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. 
  • A document describing the works contained on the video, including repertoire, date/location of the performance or rehearsal and ensemble.  
  • Application fee: $75
  • Applications will open in Fall 2020

Fees and Tuition

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.  

Travel and Housing

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. 

Notification and Acceptance

Acceptance letters will be sent on a rolling basis beginning March 15, 2021.  All invited participants will be asked to submit their deposit to confirm their participation.




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, where she curates and conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at its annual summer residency. 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.


Grammy-winning Gabriela Lena Frank was recognized as one of the "35 most significant women composers in history" by The Washington Post and is currently composer-in-residence with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Frank is frequently commissioned by prominent performers and ensembles including cellist Yo Yo Ma, soprano Dawn Upshaw, The Cleveland Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony. Winner of a Latin Grammy and nominated for Grammys as both composer and pianist, Frank also holds a Guggenheim Fellowship and a USA Artist Fellowship given each year to 50 of the country’s finest artists.




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. 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.




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.