Adrian McDonnell, teacher

The degree programme :

The study programme is for a standard term of two years, first and second year students working together. Collective courses of three hours a week, are organised around a programme aiming to develop the following three main areas :

– Gesture – Theory and application

Individual and collective work in front of the class, with piano and occasionally with instrumental ensemble enabling to develop an efficient, musical and communicative gesture through music in contrasting styles and periods from classical to contemporary, mainly instrumental with some examples also of lyrical music, notably in accompanied recitative.

– Analysis and preparation of orchestral scores

A big part of the conducting work consists of analysing and assimilating the scores that one intends to perform, so as to be in full command of the text when arriving in front of the orchestra. The students will work collectively, at the desk and at the keyboard, to rationalise and organise this essential step of their preparation.

– Reflection and analysis on how to « make an orchestra work »

The profession of orchestral conducting does not just consist of clearly and musically beating to the music, but it is also knowing how to « make an orchestra work » with efficiency and trust, knowing how to hear and very rapidly improve quality on all fronts : setting, accuracy, balance, nuance, phrasing, articulation … and to give a true musical sense to the execution.