On Sunday October 9, students of the OSESP Conducting Academy led the Heliópolis Symphony Orchestra from the Baccarelli Institute and guest soloist Olga Kopylova in a free concert at Sala São Paulo.
The Conducting Academy was the initiative of Marin Alsop, Music Director of OSESP, in partnership with the Heliopolis Symphony Orchestra and the Baccarelli Institute. Over the course of the year a select group of students have had the opportunity to learn conducting techniques and repertoire under the leadership of Marin and have been working towards conducting this free public concert. Also participating in the project have been Robert Spano, Music Director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival and guest conductor of the OSESP 2016 Season; Valentina Peleggi, Assistant Conductor of OSESP in 2016 and Taki Concordia Conducting Fellow, and Mark Thadeu, Coordinator of the OSESP Choir, and Geoffroy Jourdain who gave a masterclass with the OSESP Choir.
The course was structured in five modules, including orchestral and choral repertoire. Students have had access to a pianist in all classes, plus a chamber group from the OSESP Academy in one of the modules. They were also able to work with the OSESP Academic Choir.
In the final module the Baccarrelli Institute made its principal orchestra, the Heliópolis Symphony, available to the students to prepare for their concert on October 9. They were also joined by pianist Olga Kolylova as they conducted Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Talking about the project, Marin said: “I am incredibly proud of this new program that didn’t even exist a year ago. We will be doubling the activities for our conducting students in the coming year and Valentina and I aspire to create a conducting program that offers a well-rounded experience so necessary for conductors in the 21st Century.”
The Conducting Academy add to the numerous educational initiatives Marin is already involved in. These include the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship for talented young women conductors; conductor workshops at the Campos do Jordão Festival in Brazil as well as on-going programs at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra such as “Rusty Musicians” and “Orchkids”, an after school program in the challenged neighbourhoods of Baltimore City that started with 30 children in 2008 and now reaches over 1,000 children.