2020 Australian Conducting Academy

One of the highlights of the TSO training calendar, the Australian Conducting Academy (ACA) took place Friday 25 – Saturday 31  January. Open to Australian and New Zealand permanent residents, The ACA - under the leadership of Course Director Johannes Fritzsch - plays a vital role in nourishing talented emerging conductors, and supports graduates in building substantial careers both in Australia and internationally.

The eight participants taking part in 2020 were chosen from a field of over 50 applications and came from far and wide: Patrick Brennan (NSW), Daniel Cooper (New Zealand), Benjamin Crocker(NSW), Andrew Groch (SA), Vivian Horn (VIC), Evan Lawson (VIC), Sam Weller (NSW), and Jen Winley (WA).

2020 also saw the return of three participants from the 2019 ACA Summer School -  Benjamin Crocker, Vivian Horn and Samuel Weller. Vivian Horn and Jen Winley participated in the first Louise Crossley Conducting Workshop in 2018 –  the TSO’s conductor training opportunity for female conductors –directed by Associate Conductor Elena Schwarz.

The week included yoga and mime sessions, in addition to rehearsals with pianists Jennifer Marten-Smith and Karen Smithies, and six orchestra calls with the TSO over the course of the school, culminating in a final performance with the TSO and soprano Emilia Bertolini  (appearing courtesy of the Melba Opera Trust) at the Stanley Burbury Theatre.

Learning and Engagement Executive Jenny Compton did another stellar job of making and overseeing the complex logistics of the week and we were thrilled to be visited by an ABC News crew for the national bulletin.