The Concert Artists Guild (CAG) recently launched their brand-new Young Conductors Program, in collaboration with the UK-based Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).
The program will provide a range of professional development opportunities, including management representation, mentorship from established conductors, and promotion to help them become established with for-profit management agencies.
The three conductors selected are Michelle Di Russo, current Assistant Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony; Kyle Dickson, Assistant Conductor with the San Francisco Symphony as part of his role as a Salonen Conducting Fellow at the Colburn Conservatory’s Negaunee Conducting Program; and Ben Manis, present Resident Conductor of Houston Grand Opera.
In order to select the final three, CAG underwent an extensive consultation process with members of their Conductors Advisory Circle, as well as other stakeholders such as orchestras and conducting development programs.
CAG feels that in recent years, conducting has undergone a paradigm shift in terms of demographics. With more women and people of color carving out roles in the industry, they felt the time was right to add young conductors to their roster.
"Representing conductors is a major new initiative for CAG," said Tanya Bannister, CAG's President. "As we come out of the pandemic, we believe that it is more critical than ever to provide support for young conductors, which is something that has historically been lacking in our field. CAG has launched some of the most amazing instrumentalists over the past 70+ years, and we feel this is a natural next step for the organization that will provide mutual benefits for the whole roster.”
"This new initiative in CAG’s support for emerging artists in North America is both timely and really exciting," added Alasdair Tate, YCAT's Chief Executive and Artistic Director. "I’m thrilled that, through YCAT and CAG’s strong partnership, we can also play an important role in supporting these young conductors, offering additional advice, mentoring and introductions across the Atlantic.”