The Houston Symphony Assistant Conductor is responsible for rehearsing and conducting education, outreach and community concerts, rehearsing and conducting other performances as assigned, serving as cover conductor for rehearsals and performances as assigned by the Music Director, and acting as representative of the Houston Symphony during other duties as assigned.
Essential Job Functions:
Serve as cover conductor for at least 18 weeks of Classical subscription concerts plus summer concerts and tours, as well as other concert programs as assigned. This includes personal preparation of all scores and providing written and verbal feedback on artistic matters relating to repertory (balance, intonation, dynamics, ensemble issues, etc.). May be asked to conduct off stage ensembles or serve as score reader for supertitles or other production needs.
Assist Music Director with auditions, recordings, research and other duties as specified. Attendance at all rehearsals and concerts of music director.
Work with Director of Artistic Planning and other Houston Symphony artistic and education staff members as needed to develop programs including but not limited to Education, Community and Family concerts, Pops programs, Miller Outdoor Theater, corporate concerts, sold services, and additional programming as required. Rehearse and conduct these programs, including delivering memorized text. The ability to write and deliver comments clearly and effectively from the stage for various concert formats/services is essential.
Attend various concert and non-concert events representing the Houston Symphony. Participate as directed in planning meetings, media events, fundraising activities, speaking engagements, educational and outreach opportunities, development meetings and activities, administrative meetings and other activities as determined and identified by the Houston Symphony Society.
Possess broad knowledge of orchestral repertoire and programming, as well as a deep appreciation for, understanding of, and sensitivity to the needs of professional musicians.
Perform additional duties as required by the Music Director and/or Houston Symphony Society.
Bachelor’s degree in conducting or related music field required.
Master’s level or higher preferred.
Must have experience conducting a professional orchestra.
Broad knowledge of orchestral repertoire and programming.
Fluent and articulate in English and able to communicate effectively to musicians, staff, and a wide range of audience members.
Year-round residency in Houston required.
Auditions will take place May 6-12, 2019 at Jones Hall, Houston. The semi-final round will take place on May 6, with finals taking place May 7-12.
The audition process will consist of a semi-final and final round. While the intention of this audition is to identify an Assistant Conductor, all semi-finalists and finalists may be considered for future conducting opportunities with the Houston Symphony. The audition has been designed to give the finalists multiple opportunities to conduct Houston Symphony musicians in several settings, including in a public performance setting at Jones Hall, as well as significant time with the Music Director.
A maximum of eight (8) finalists will be invited to Houston to participate in a semi-final round with string ensemble.
One week prior to the in-person audition, semi-final candidates are asked to submit one education and one community concert program proposal.
Semi-finalists will be expected to prepare and conduct the following repertoire with members of the orchestra:
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, 1st Movement [stop at letter H]
Bartok: Divertimento for Strings, 1st Movement
This will be in a closed audition for a panel including the Music Director, Houston Symphony musicians and artistic staff.
Immediately following the semi-final round, a up to three (3) finalists will be invited to participate in the final round of the audition.
Finalists will be expected to prepare and conduct the following repertoire with the Houston Symphony:
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
Strauss: Don Juan
Glinka: Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila
Ives: Symphony No. 4, 4th Movement (second conductor part)
The finalists will be asked to attend all rehearsals led by the Music Director for the Houston Symphony Classical Subscription concerts that week. Finalists will act as cover conductors, assisting the Music Director in preparation of that week’s program.
One finalist per concert will act as second conductor with the Music Director for performances of Ives, Symphony No. 4, 4th
Finalists will be asked to prepare and rehearse Glinka: Overture to Ruslan and Ludmila with the Houston Symphony. Over the course of the weekend’s concert, each conductor will conduct this work in performance with the Houston Symphony.
Finalists will be asked to prepare and conduct the Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Strauss in a rehearsal session with the Houston Symphony. This will be for a panel including the Music Director and Houston Symphony artistic staff. The orchestra will also give feedback to the panel following this session.
Finalists will take part in an interview with Houston Symphony artistic staff and education/community engagement staff, during which finalists will be asked to speak about their education and community programs, including a mock “concert introduction” and/or commentary about a specific work on the program.
Finalists will also take part in additional interviews with the Houston Symphony Music Director and designated members of the orchestra and administrative staff
Application Deadline & Audition Notification:
Applications should be received no later than 5:00pm CST on April 1, 2019.
Candidates invited to Houston for the audition will be notified by April 15, 2019.
Submit resume only with cover letter, as well as links to two conducting videos (via YouTube or shared site such as DropBox) with orchestra or chamber ensemble representing contrasting styles to:
Rebecca Zabinski, Director of Artistic Planning
615 Louisiana St., Suite 102, Houston, TX 77002
or e-mail to email@example.com
Mission of the Houston Symphony: The mission of the Houston Symphony is to inspire and engage a large and diverse audience in Greater Houston and beyond through exceptional orchestral and non-orchestral performances, educational programs and community activities. Vision: By 2025, the Houston Symphony will be America's most relevant and accessible top-ten orchestra.
Core Values of Community Engagement and Education: Community Engagement: We foster meaningful, respectful and collaborative relationships with our patrons and community members from all walks of life in our large, diverse city.
The Houston Symphony is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, national origin, disability or handicap, veteran status, or any other protected class.
Internal Number: 0027
About Houston Symphony
Founded in 1913, the Houston Symphony is one of America’s oldest performing arts organizations with a distinguished musical history. The Houston Symphony performs over 170 concerts for more than 350,000 people every year, featuring an innovative and broad spectrum of classical, popular, education and community-based symphonic programming.