Durham University Orchestral Society, the home of Durham’s premier student orchestras, is now accepting applications to conduct the society in the 2020-21 academic year. The society has two orchestras: a smaller Chamber Orchestra, and a full-scale Symphony Orchestra. We are looking to appoint one conductor per orchestra. All applicants must be students at Durham University (undergraduate or postgraduate) and resident in Durham during term time for the next academic year. No formal conducting experience is required.

Among other things, conductors are responsible for planning and taking all weekly rehearsals, choosing repertoire, and selecting the society’s members through annual auditions. They are also expected to go on the society’s annual tour at the end of March; previous destinations have included Munich, Barcelona, and Budapest. In essence, the conductors set the direction for their orchestra and lead them through the year.

To support their development, DUOS provides its conductors with a number of masterclasses from professionals such as Jac Van Steen, Peter Stark, Timothy Burke and Richard Dickins (including private lessons). DUOS also provide its conductors with the resources to tackle incredibly diverse repertoire: in previous years, the society has provided the soundtrack to a feature-length silent film, filled the Cathedral with Mahler’s Fifth Symphony and accompanied Sir Thomas Allen in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales in a high-profile concert commemorating the centenary of Hubert Parry’s death. This year our conductors will be leading the orchestras in concert at The Sage, Gateshead – the possibilities are endless!

Please submit a CV, covering letter, and a page detailing suggested repertoire for 1 concert which DUOS could perform (one half per orchestra) to [email protected] by midnight on Monday 3rd February. All applicants will take part in a first-round audition with a string quartet on Wednesday 12th February – details will be provided closer to the time. If successful, the second round will be to conduct the full Symphony orchestra in a prepared extract (provided beforehand by DUOS) during the evening of Thursday 13th February and then an interview the next day.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
Good luck and we look forward to receiving your application!