Conducting Masterclass with Prof. Johannes Schlaefli & James Lowe

March 19-25, 2023
Sofia, Bulgaria

Application deadline January 31, 2023*
We are excited to present Professor Johannes Schlaefli and James Lowe’s masterclass for professional conductors and advanced conducting students. 

A maximum of 14 active participants will have podium time of approximately 130 minutes each. Besides the sessions with full orchestra, there will be conducting lessons with chamber ensembles (nine string and wind players). 

The individual needs of each participant will be addressed in video analysis sessions, class meetings, and coachings in front of the orchestra. Conducting techniques, presence in front of the orchestra, understanding of the score, and rehearsal techniques will be explored in individual lessons as well as in group meetings.

On the last day of the masterclass, participants will have the opportunity to create their own publicity video recording during two recording sessions.

Masterclass Fees:

  • Application fee: €75 (non-refundable)
  • Course fee for active participants: €1700
  • Course fee for passive participants: €350
  • Deposit: €1000 payable due February 10, 2023
  • Balance: €700 payable due March 10, 2023, or in cash on the first day of the masterclass.

Please note that these fees DO NOT include travel and accommodation. However, we are happy to recommend an affordable hotel in Sofia with which we have had good experience in the past years.

*The selection of the active participants will be communicated via email within seven days after the application deadline.

The organizer reserves the right to postpone or cancel the masterclass in case of force majeure or other unforeseeable circumstances such as governments restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel bans, etc. The organizer will immediately notify participants of such changes and will refund the paid fee in full in case of event cancelation. Participants may not assert any compensation claims for travel, visa, accommodation costs, etc.

Prof. Johannes Schlaefli

Johannes Schlaefli is currently chief conductor of the symphony orchestra Collegium Musicum in Basel and Professor for Orchestral Conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts.

As one of the most highly sought after conducting teachers, Schlaefli is in demand throughout the world and collaborates with institutions including the Sibelius Academy Helinski, the Aspen Music Festival, USA, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and he also serves as “head of teaching” at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Conducting Academy.  As a guest professor, he has taught throughout Europe at the Music Universities of Vienna, Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg and Manchester. Furthermore, a regular co-operation as a lecturer and juror also links him to the prestigious “Dirigentenforum” of the German Music Council.

Johannes Schlaefli led the Basel Chamber Orchestra “Serenata” and the Bern Chamber Orchestra before leading the Kurpfälzische Kammerorchester in Mannheim as principal conductor from 2013-2019. Presently, he also leads the Alumni-Sinfonieorchester Zürich and the Academic Chamber Orchestra Zürich.  As a guest conductor, he has performed with and conducted orchestras including the Tonhalleorchester Zürich, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra and Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana to name a few.

James Lowe

James Lowe is Music Director of the Spokane Symphony, USA and the City of Vaasa Orchestra, Finland. His work as Artistic Director of the Hallé Harmony Youth Orchestra was featured in a four-part documentary shown in the UK on Channel 4 in 2010.

A recipient of the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent, Lowe is Principal Conductor of the Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, Principal Guest Conductor of Music for Everyone and held the position of Associate Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Educated at the University of Edinburgh, Lowe continued his development as Benjamin Zander Conducting Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic, and has studied with leading conductors in masterclasses, including Jorma Panula, Neeme Järvi, Bernard Haitink and with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has worked as Assistant Conductor to Haitink in performances with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

One of two prizewinners in the Tokyo International Competition for Conductors and special prize winner in the Jorma Panula International Competition, he has appeared in performance with the Osaka and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Ballet, the orchestra of Welsh National Opera, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as working with numerous other ensembles in many European countries, South Africa and the USA.

Johannes Brahms
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68, Finale
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90, 1st movement
Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98, Finale

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64, 2nd movement
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Finale

Anton Bruckner
Symphony No. 7 in E major, WAB 107, 1st movement

Jean Sibelius
Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39, 1st movement
Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39, 2nd movement

Carl Maria von Weber
Overture to “Oberon”

Richard Wagner
Tristan Prelude and Liebestod (Ian Farrington)

19.03.2023, Sunday
20:00h Meeting

20.03.2023, Monday
10:00-12:30h Ensembles
14:00-16:30h Ensembles

21.03.2023, Tuesday
10:00-12:30h Full Orchestra
14:00-16:30h Full Orchestra

22.03.2023, Wednesday
10:00-12:30h Ensembles
14:00-16:30h Ensembles

23.03.2023, Thursday
10:00-12:30h Full Orchestra
14:00-16:30h Full Orchestra

24.03.2023, Friday
10:00-12:30h Full Orchestra
14:00-16:30h Full Orchestra

25.03.2023, Saturday

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