Tuesday July 17 is arrival day. You should plan to arrive in Sofia, Bulgaria between 12:00 and 15:30 local time. Students make the trip to Vidin on the Institute coach. You’ll have time for a late supper after check-in. The workshop is divided into two segments. The first segment, Wednesday July 18 to Saturday July 21, is devoted to concertos for Classical sized orchestra. After a day of rest, the second segment, Monday July 23 to Thursday July 26, will focus on concertos for large orchestra. Both segments include morning and evening instructional sessions plus masterclasses for conductors and soloists. The final 2 days of the course will include 2 general rehearsals and 2 concerts featuring performances by all conductors and soloists.
Monday morning July 23 will start with masterclasses for soloists and conductors, and work begins on the large concertos with string sextet that evening. Instructional sessions with full orchestra in the morning and string sextet in the evening continues through Thursday morning July 26. The final 2 days of the course, Thursday July 28 and Friday July 29 are reserved for 2 general rehearsals and concerts that will feature all conductors, soloists and faculty performing selections from the course repertoire. Everyone departs for Sofia on the night of July 28 for early morning departures from Sofia Airport on July 29.
Like the Advanced Conducting Academy, the Mastering the Concerto schedule is rigorous. Participants will be conducting for 25 minutes every day (15 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening) so you should arrive fully prepared to conduct your repertoire selections.
The first segment begins on Wednesday July 18 with a welcome session followed by score Q & A for conductors and a coaching session for soloists in the morning. The first instructional session for conductors with piano sextet and soloists follows that afternoon. Conductors and soloists work together with full orchestra on Thursday morning July 19. This cycle of evenings with string sextet and mornings with orchestra continues through Saturday morning July 21. On Saturday afternoon the Institute conducting faculty will present a master class on score study and musicianship for conductors while the violin and piano master teachers will mentor soloists.
In addition to coaching during instructional rehearsals and group masterclasses, the schedule for violin and piano soloists includes daily coaching sessions with Institute master teachers. Soloists will also attend a special round table panel discussion with conductors that addresses the unique challenges and specialized skills associated with rehearsing and performing concertos.
Typical Instructional Day Schedule
- 08:30 Morning Rehearsal Prep
- 09:30 Morning Rehearsal
- 13:30 Lunch
- 15:30 Embodied Conducting
- 17:00 Evening Rehearsal
- 20:00 Evening Wrap-up
Typical Concert Day Schedule
- 08:30 General Rehearsal Prep
- 09:30 General Rehearsal
- 13:00 Lunch
- 17:30 Concert Prep
- 18:30 Concert
- 20:30 Post Concert Reception
Institute Alumni Comments
“I learned so much working with the soloists on the podium and off, and from them gained insight into their concertos.
It was also a great experience working with soloists from around the world and from diverse cultures.”
-2017 Mastering the Concerto conductor
“My concert experience was very special as it was the first time I played one of my favorite concerti in public.
A course programme without a final concert wouldn’t be complete!”
-2017 Mastering the Concerto soloist
“I’m so happy I participated in the concerto session! The soloists were very professional and well trained. The advice
given by the faculty was very helpful.”
-2015 Institute conductor