Contemporary-Conducting Program 2024

Application for the Contemporary-Conducting Program 2024

Friday, 16 August - Monday, 9 September, 2024

The Contemporary-Conducting Program is a three-week-long development program for young, talented conductors with a particular focus on contemporary music. The four selected conductors will become part of the whole Lucerne Festival Academy experience. They will work with the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra (LFCO) under the guidance of guest conductors Ruth Reinhard, Beat Furrer, and Sir George Benjamin, and under the supervision of course director Baldur Brönnimann. They will also conduct the performances within the Composer Seminar (led by Wolfgang Rihm and Dieter Ammann, played by IEMA-Ensemble and Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra) and interact with other visiting conductors of the Lucerne Festival. These practical experiences will be complemented by video analysis and lectures / coaching on aspects of contemporary music and programming. There will also be interaction with personalities from the music business and the business world in order to broaden and support the career development of the young conductors.

The Contemporary-Conducting Program is aimed at young, aspiring professional conductors and should serve as a platform for a future conducting career. We believe in the importance of contemporary music for the development of young conductors and are looking for curious, talented, and interesting conductors with a strong interest in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Our commitment to the development of young conductors is shared by our institutional partners Klangforum Wien, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Casa da Musica who might provide further professional opportunities for the participants of the Contemporary-Conducting Program. 

We will work on the following repertoire:

- Schönberg: 5 Orchesterstücke
- Furrer: New Work
- Streich: ISJHÄRTA & New Work for trumpet and orchestra
- Feldman: Coptic Light
- Benjamin: Concerto for Orchestra
- Norman: New Work for trombone and orchestra
- Abrahamsen: Vers le Silence
- New pieces by the participants of the Composer Seminar

Profile of Participants
– Advanced conducting students and professional conductors
– Age limit: 32 as of August 1, 2024 (not older than 32 years on August 1, 2024)
– Course language: English

Documents to be submitted online
– Photo (headshot) 
– Curriculum vitae in English (maximum of two pages)
– Video of at least two contrasting works (at least one from the 20th/21st century)
– Video's must be from the front and show the conductor clearly
– a 2 min motivation video (headshot)
– minimum one name of a referee (name / position / email)
– any other supporting material (optional)
Application deadline
Monday, 4 December, 2023 (23:59 CET, Swiss time)

The course management and coach Baldur Brönnimann will decide on active participation in a two-stage audition process. 

1st round: selection by application and video material. The results of the selection for the 2nd round will be announced by end of January 2024. 

2nd round: live audition for selected candidates in Europe (Zurich) and USA (New York). The audition will take place in Zurich between March 4th and 6th, 2024 and in New York between March 8th and 10th. Please note that the costs for the live auditions (2nd round) are not covered by Lucerne Festival. Accommodation and travel must be paid and organized by the applicant.

The results of the final selection will be announced by mid of March 2024. 

There is no right of legal appeal. No correspondence will be conducted regarding the decisions.

Course fee
There is no fee for active participation in the Contemporary-Conducting Program.

Lucerne Festival will organize and cover the travel expenses for each active participant for the Academy in summer 2024. Not to the live auditions (2nd round). 

Lucerne Festival will arrange and cover the costs of accommodation for each active participant in a local host family in Lucerne during the Academy 2024. Not for the live auditions (2nd round). 

Each active participant will receive a per diem for the main meals during the Academy 2024. Not for the live auditions (2nd round). 

Each participant must provide his/her own scores for the 2nd round (live auditions). For the Academy, Lucerne Festival will provide scores if needed.


By submitting the application documents, the applicant confirms that he/she has been informed of Lucerne Festival's privacy notice. The privacy notice is available at the following link.
The closing date for applications is 04.12.2023.
The application for "Contemporary-Conducting Program 2024" has already been closed.