Composers Conference

Composers Conference Conductor Search

The Composers Conference (CC) is seeking applicants for the position of Conductor of the Conference Ensemble. The Conductor will work to accomplish the CC’s mission as an inclusive, equitable, collaborative environment that promotes exploration and invention and offers a unique opportunity for emerging composers, professional musicians, amateur chamber players, and conservatory-level instrumentalists and singers to come together as colleagues, audience, teachers, and students in an atmosphere of fertile creativity and high-level music making. Our aim is to create an anti-racist musical utopia that cultivates, creates, and performs contemporary music with the highest artistic standards.

The Conference Ensemble (CE) performs and records music of the Composer Fellows and Guest Composers, whose music is featured along with contemporary classics and rarities from the standard repertoire in two concerts each week. Ensemble members also coach the Contemporary Performance Institute (CPI) and the Chamber Music Workshop (CMW) musicians. The CE is a 21-person chamber orchestra consisting of new music specialists, many of whom are members of highly regarded groups such as Talea, ICE, counter)induction, the Network for New Music, New York New Music Ensemble, the Argento Ensemble, BMOP, Talujon, the Momenta Quartet, and others.

Female, trans, non-binary, queer, BIPOC, and those historically marginalized are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. 

Background

The CC has played a pioneering role in the performance of new works by emerging composers. Founded in 1945 by Alan Carter at Middlebury College as the Composers Conference and Chamber Music Center, the Conference has served nearly eight hundred composers and many more amateur chamber musicians. It is the oldest and most respected program of its kind. 

Each summer’s CC comprises three workshops:

  • Ten Fromm Composer Fellows who create pieces for the CE 
  • The Chamber Music Workshop, dedicated to amateur chamber musicians
  • The Contemporary Performance Institute, a workshop for young pre-professional instrumentalists and singers interested in contemporary music.

The Fromm Composer Fellows were guided by Artistic Director Mario Davidovsky from 1968 to 2019. Kurt Rohde became the Artistic Director (AD) in 2019. Jessica Tong became director of the Chamber Music Workshop (CMW) in 2016. The Contemporary Performance Institute (CPI) was inaugurated in 2016, with Fred Sherry as director. In 2019, Margaret Kampmeier became the Director of the CPI. James Baker conducted the CE from 2007 to 2020, following the tenure of Efrain Guigui. 

Position Responsibilities

  • Conducts Composer Fellows’ pieces. 
  • Meets with and mentors Composer Fellows on their compositions and any issues that might arise about their work.
  • Plans and programs Composer Fellows’ works for public concerts in consultation with AD.
  • Works closely with the Ensemble. 
  • Works with CC musicians to decide on programming decisions. 
  • Works with CC musicians and production team to make sure rehearsals are set up and running properly.
  • Conducts CPI participants as needed.
  • Conducts special events as needed.
  • Conducts works by Guest Composers as needed.
  • Position requires a two-week commitment each summer (typically in late July/early August), with additional availability earlier in the calendar year for conversations and consultation.
  • The contract is for a two-year period beginning in 2022, with the possibility for renewal. Salary is $4000 per summer.

Application Process

TIMELINE

  • Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST: Application deadline
  • Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020: Preliminary Round Candidates selected (up to 15 candidates)
  • Saturday, Jan. 2, to Monday, Feb. 28, 2021: Preliminary Round Candidates ZOOM interviews
  • Monday, May 15, 2021: Final Round Candidates selected (up to 4 candidates)
  • Saturday, July 24 to Sunday, August 8, 2021: Final Round Candidates visit CC at Brandeis University

All links for supporting materials must remain active through the end of August 2021. 

The Search Committee will conduct ZOOM interviews by the end of February 2021. All applicants will be notified about the status of their application not later than early May 2021. Finalists will be invited to a 3- or 6-day visit at the 2021 CC at Brandeis University to be interviewed, and to rehearse and conduct a concert.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, please upload the following materials as a single pdf document, as well as completing the Google Form HERE. Application materials must include:

Single PDF document:

  • Cover letter
  • Statement (900 word limit) which should address, but is not limited to, the following three areas;
    • artist statement; about you as a creative artist in today’s world
    • vision statement; how you envision yourself as conductor of the Conference Ensemble and your role at the Conference
    • diversity statement; about your views & practice of diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.

  • Resume (4-page limit)
  • Repertoire list (should reflect your expertise in new music)
  • Biography (300 word limit)
  • four sample concert programs for a group like the Conference Ensemble, with at least 75% of the music must be written after 1985. Available instrumentation: double string quartet (8), contrabass (1), flute w/doublings (1), clarinet w/doublings (1), oboe w/doublings (1), bassoon (1), horn (1), trumpet (1), trombone (1), piano (2), percussion (2), soprano (1).
  • Names and contact information (telephone and email) of three references
  • 1-2 new ideas to bring to the Conference (100 word limit)

Work Samples: 

Please list links to 3 videos of performances of new work on Google Form. All music in the work samples MUST be written after 1985, with at least 1 work written after 2010. PLEASE MAKE SURE LINKS TO WORK SAMPLES GO DIRECTLY TO A PAGE FOR PLAYBACK ONLY AND NOT TO A SITE FOR DOWNLOAD (i.e. – Goggle Drive, DropBox, etc.).

Direct all questions and inquiries to Executive Director Kathryn Welter at welter@composersconference.org