UO Conducting Workshop



Application fee $35 


  • Participant:  $950
  • Auditor:  $350
  • Daily Auditor: $100


  • Tchaikovsky – Symphony #4
  • Beethoven – Symphony #1
  • Dvorak – Symphony #8
  • Prokofiev – Symphony #5
  • *Copland – Appalachian Spring (13 instrument version)

* All participants should prepare these as they are separate sessions

The University of Oregon Summer Conducting Institute is designed for 8-10 experienced, pre-professional conductors to learn how to better use both musical creativity and gesture to get more of what you want from the orchestra. Master teacher Neil Varon from the Eastman School of Music will show participants how to achieve both technical and musical clarity to their beat while offering interpretive insights into orchestral masterworks. There will be piano/string quartet sessions, two full orchestra sessions with the University of Oregon Symphony, and a chamber session with the Oregon Camerata. Dr. David Jacobs, Director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Oregon will assist Maestro Varon, providing one-on-one debriefing sessions to each participant during the course. In addition to the conducting sessions, there will be interactive sessions on subjects selected from topics such as technique, opera conducting, score study, and career development.

Applicants who are not offered participant status are encouraged to attend as auditors. Auditors may observe all podium sessions and participate fully in all lectures. Auditors may also have some one-on-one contact with the workshop faculty as the schedule permits. First time workshop attendees and those who are considering graduate conducting studies are particularly encouraged to attend as auditors to gain valuable workshop experience.

Each conducting participant will receive more than one hour of podium time. Participants will be video recorded, so please bring a high-speed SD card to ensure quality. Expect to play your primary instrument during string quintet/piano sessions when not conducting.

Please join us for a fun and exciting three and half days of musical exploration in beautiful Eugene, Oregon.  Social gatherings are also arranged throughout the institute to allow time to network with colleagues and clinicians.

Previous participant testimonials:

“I thought that I would be expanding my gestural vocabulary, I didn’t realize the workshop would revolutionize how I approach being a musician as a whole.” 

“I learned so many little tips and tricks that improved my technique, but what I am really taking away from this workshop is an attitude in approaching the orchestra that I find compelling, and that this new understanding will allow me to be compelling to the players I work with.” 

“Cost, podium time, teachers, quality of orchestra, all make this a very good workshop to attend.” 

“The camaraderie and the vibe among the participants was excellent -- I made several fast friends!”

Contact David Jacobs for inquiries and details.