Applications now open for the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship 2023 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Applications now open for the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship 2023 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Published: 03/02/2023

It’s the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland fellowship in association with one of Europe’s leading orchestras and mentoring from one of the conducting world’s most celebrated figures.

Applications open today (Friday, February 3) for the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship 2023, a two-year programme for conductors on the cusp of their careers.

Apply for the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship 2023

The Fellowship is offered in association with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and is the final step in the journey between postgraduate study and the professional podium. It offers a generous bursary supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

The Fellow will work extensively with Martyn Brabbins – RCS’s Visiting Professor of Conducting – the internationally renowned musician whose career has taken him from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic to the Kirov, La Scala and his current position as music director at English National Opera.

Conductor Martyn Brabbins with his arms in the air and baton in his right hand in front of an orchestra. Martyn will mentor the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship recipient

Martyn Brabbins © Ben Ealovega

The Fellow will be enabled and encouraged to build relationships with the wide array of conductors who visit Scotland each year to work with the national companies. RCS regularly welcomes Thomas Søndergård (Music Director of the RSNO, Music Director Designate of the Minnesota Orchestra), Ryan Wigglesworth (Chief Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), Stuart Stratford (Music Director of Scottish Opera) and Jean-Claude Picard (Chief Conductor of Scottish Ballet) to lead classes. The Fellow also has access to most rehearsals at the national companies.

They’ll also work with other RCS teaching staff and visiting conductors, the Alexander Gibson Opera School at RCS, and with all the orchestras and ensembles within the Conservatoire.

Auditions for the Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship 2023 will take place on Sunday 16 and Monday 17 April in Glasgow.

Teresa Riveiro Bohm, a previous RCS Leverhulme Conducting Fellow, stands against a brick wall and holds her conducting baton. She is wearing a navy blazer and blue shirt and looks off to the side with a gentle smile.

Teresa Riveiro Bohm © Robbie McFadzean

Following their studies, Fellows have gone on to grace concert stages across the globe. They include Teresa Riveiro Böhm who last year was announced as the Welsh National Opera Associate Conductor in collaboration with the LSO Donatella Flick Conducting Competition for the 2022/23 season, and as the Associate Conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra for the 22/23 season.

Sergej Bolkhovets © Simon Pauly

Sergej Bolkhovets is an ascending Swedish conductor with an already extensive international career as a violinist. He is Assistant Conductor at Gothenburg Opera and in this 22/23 season, will celebrate his debut with both the Luzern Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Royal Opera House in a concert production.

Jessica Cottis stands in front of a blue wall with her arms folded.

Jessica Cottis © Kaupo Kikkas

Jessica Cottis is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Jessica, who was named by The Times’ as a ‘Classical Face to Watch’ in 2019, is much in demand, working regularly with leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Alvin Ho is Assistant Conductor of Florida’s Naples Philharmonic. He was the first prize winner of the 2022 Princess Astrid International Conducting Competition in Trondheim, Norway. Alvin also enjoys a close relationship with Riccardo Muti, who selected him as a student in 2018 and regularly invites him to observe his rehearsals with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Michael Bawtree, Conducting Coordinator and lecturer at RCS, said: “The Leverhulme Conducting Fellowship is an intensive and enriching learning experience that provides a unique blend of training within the context of a supportive Conservatoire environment and extensive professional links with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Red Note Ensemble, Scottish Ballet and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.”

Previous Leverhulme Conducting Fellows include:


Audition timetable 2023

Tuesday 28 February: applications close via

Friday 10 March: shortlist announced and candidates contacted

Sunday 16 & Monday 17 April: in-person auditions in Glasgow


Applications 2023

You must submit an application via Acceptd where you will be invited to upload your personal information and media. In addition to filmed footage of your conducting, you are invited to submit film of you performing on your principal instrument or recordings of original compositions if you would like to do so in support of your application. If you have already submitted an application earlier in the process via Acceptd, you are welcome to update your contact details, content and/or media links. Please email directly with any updated information. There is no age limit for the Fellowship.


Auditions 2023

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend Glasgow for two days (Sunday 16 and Monday 17 April 2023). As part of the selection process, candidates will work with a professional chamber ensemble as well as singers and instrumentalists studying at RCS. Two or three candidates will be selected from the auditionees to work with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of Professor Martyn Brabbins. Full details of required repertoire will be forwarded to candidates after the closing date.

Please contact Michael Bawtree for further information.





Main image: Holly Mathieson conducting at Glasgow’s City Halls © KK Dundas

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