ENGAGE

Master Classes
& Workshops

Conducting Workshop

The Spokane Symphony is proud to present its Conducting Workshop led by James Ross (Alexandria Symphony/NYO USA/The Juilliard School/The Curtis Institute) and Spokane Symphony Music Director James Lowe. This weeklong master class is for early career professional conductors and advanced conducting students.

A maximum of 14 participants will have approximately 130 minutes of podium time over 6 days. These sessions will include practical sessions with two pianos, small ensemble, string orchestra, full orchestra and class sessions. The full schedule can be found below.

Our candidates will receive feedback and instruction on conducting and rehearsal technique, as well as presence and score comprehension and preparation.

Candidates will be notified of their selection by Tuesday, January 31st, 2023.

  • Application Fee: $40 (non-refundable)
  • Course fee: $1700
    • Deposit due by February 1st: $900
    • Final balance by March 1st: $800
  • Transportation and lodging not included. Accepted applicants may request assistance in securing a home-stay during their time.

String Orchestra
Florence Price – Andante moderato from String Quartet in G
Edward Elgar – Serenade for Strings, op.20, in E minor
Piotr Illych Tchaikovsky – Serenade for Strings, op.48, C major

Chamber Orchestra
Franz Schubert – Symphony No.5, D.485, B-flat major
Franz Joseph Haydn – Symphony No.88, G major
Ludwig van Beethoven – Egmont: Overture

Small Ensemble
Igor Stravinsky – Octet
Antonín Dvořák – Serenade, op. 44, B. 77, D minor

Symphony Orchestra
Johannes Brahms – Symphony No.1, op.68, C minor
Aaron Copland – Appalachian Spring: Suite
Johann Strauss – Overture to Die Fledermaus

Sunday March 26th
Arrival
8:00pm Class meeting All conductors
Monday March 27th
10:00am-12:30pm Two pianos All Conductors
2:00pm-4:30pm Two pianos All Conductors
Tuesday March 28th
2:00pm-4:30 Small String Ensemble Group A
2:00pm-4:30 Small String Ensemble Group B
7:00pm-9:30pm Small String Ensemble Group B
7:00pm-9:30pm Small String Ensemble Group A
Wednesday March 29th
10:00am-12:30pm Class / Video analysis
2:00pm-4:30pm String Orchestra All conductors
7:00pm-9:30pm String Orchestra All conductors
Thursday March 30th
2:00pm-4:30pm Wind Ensemble All conductors
7:00pm-9:30pm Wind Ensemble All conductors
Friday March 31st
10:00am-12:30pm Class / Video analysis
2:00pm-4:30pm Chamber Orchestra All conductors
2:00pm-4:30pm Chamber Orchestra All conductors
Saturday April 1st
10:00am-12:30pm Full Orchestra All conductors
2:00pm-4:30pm Full Orchestra All conductors
EVENING Group Dinner

Biographies

James Ross is starting his fifth season as Music Director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. He is presently Orchestra Director of the National Youth Orchestra – USA at Carnegie Hall and teaches conducting at the Juilliard School and at the Curtis Institute of Music. He recently finished a distinguished 16-year tenure as Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Maryland at College Park and a two-year stint as Music Director of the Orquestra Simfònica del Vallès in Barcelona, Spain.

Maestro Ross has led such diverse orchestras as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Utah Symphony, Les Arts Florissants, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, the Binghamton Philharmonic, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in side-by-side concerts. He has served as Music Director of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and Assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His principal conducting teachers were Kurt Masur, Otto-Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozawa, and Leonard Bernstein whose support and cultural values became a deep source of inspiration for him.

As a horn soloist, he has performed with such orchestras as the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus. When he was awarded Third Prize in the Munich International Horn Competition in 1978, he became the first American and one of the youngest competitors ever to do so. His performances and recordings as principal horn of the Gewandhaus, including Strauss’ Four Last Songs with soprano Jessye Norman, helped him gain international recognition as an artist.

As a teacher, Maestro Ross has served on the faculties of Yale University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges, and taught conducting for four summers at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz. He was Artistic Director of the National Orchestral Institute (NOI) at the University of Maryland from 2002-2012 where his leadership helped serve as an impetus for change in the orchestral landscape of the United States. He is internationally recognized for his work advancing the future of orchestras through cross-genre collaborations especially with choreographer MacArthur Fellow Liz Lerman, polymath designer-director Doug Fitch, and video artist Tim McLoraine.

Maestro Ross is a native of Boston, an improviser, a committed questioner of concert rituals, a man who likes to move, a story-teller, and a firm believer in and advocate for the ongoing humanizing impact of classical music on the lives of those it touches.

James Lowe, the Music Director and Conductor of the Spokane Symphony, was selected after an extensive, two-year international search.

Lowe is the Spokane Symphony’s eighth conductor in its 76-year history, taking over after Music Director Eckart Preu ended his 15-year tenure with the organization in May 2019.

Born in Nottingham, England and currently residing in both Spokane and Scotland, He previously held the positions of Chief Conductor of the Vaasa City Orchestra in Finland, Associate Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Prussian Chamber Orchestra in Germany, and worked as Orchestras Advisor to the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.

Lowe began playing the viola as a child, and went on to graduate from the University of Edinburgh with First Class Honours in music. He was subsequently invited by Benjamin Zander to be the Zander Conducting Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic, and was a recipient of the Bernard Haitink Fund for Young Talent, working as Assistant Conductor to Bernard Haitink with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Lowe has conducted orchestras all over the world, including engagements with the Osaka and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras, the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Ballet, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, plus numerous other ensembles in Europe, South Africa and the United States.

In addition to his conducting work, Lowe is active as an educator, teacher of conducting, and is researching ways in which orchestras can meaningfully engage with a wider public.

Course Dates

March 27th to April 1st 2023 (Arrival Sunday 26th Departure  – Sunday April 2nd)

Application Deadline:
Friday, January 13th 2023

Benjamin Beilman at Eastern Washington University

Friday, May 12
@ 1pm

Master Classes

The Spokane Symphony has partnered with area universities to give music students the chance to learn from an industry professional. Students practice and performance skills, various techniques, artistic interpretation of works and insight into the business of professional music making.