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Otis Enokido-Lineham conducting the LSSO, 2022 (Photo credit: Kevin Leighton)

Guildhall Young Artists & Black Lives in Music Launch Conductor Initiative

The two organizations have created this program for a young conductor to be resident with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra for one year


Established by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Guildhall Young Artists (GYA) is their network of centers across the UK, aiming to provide performing arts training for children and young people. 

GYA’s recent partnership with Black Lives in Music — an organization that works to dismantle structural racism in the music industry — has produced the new London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) Conductor in Residence scheme. Applications to this program are now open and will close on September 15, 2022.

As a division at the Guildhall School, the LSSO comprises students from London schools and presents three Barbican concerts and a summer tour each year. The successful applicant will work with the LSSO during the orchestra’s week-long Christmas, Easter, and summer holiday courses in preparation for these concerts.

Additionally, they will attend audition panels, take sectional rehearsals, conduct the orchestra in concert, be mentored by professional and guest conductors, plus be provided with an assistant conductor’s fee of £6,000.

Part of GYA’s commitment to supporting young musicians from historically under-represented backgrounds, this scheme is also part of an ongoing partnership with Black Lives in Music to help build an equitable and inclusive environment at the Guildhall School.  

“This is an excellent opportunity to nurture the diverse conducting talent that we should all wish to see on the podium,” said Director of Operations at Black Lives in Music, Roger Wilson in the press release. “[We] are confident this ground-breaking program will help to shine a light on an often-overlooked career pathway in classical music…It’s a tangible, empowering and impactful effort to level the playing field of opportunity for aspiring young conductors from all backgrounds and not just the privileged few.”

“We are really excited to be working with Roger Wilson and all at Black Lives in Music to realize this important initiative,” added GYA director Alison Mears. “[This scheme is] an opportunity for an aspiring conductor to join the team at LSSO for a year to help train and conduct this outstanding orchestra of young talent and to be mentored by guest conductors.”

The scheme is open to those who have recently completed or are completing conducting studies at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. To nurture diversity and representation within the orchestra, the program particularly encourages applications from young conductors from under-represented groups.

Applications will close on September 15, 2022. To apply, a letter summarizing your experience and what you hope to gain from the scheme can be sent to [email protected]

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