Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music

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Music Building
Room 203
Queens College, CUNY
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Queens, NY 11367-1597
(Tel) 718-997-3800
(Fax) 718-997-3849

Mon-Thurs 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Summer 2015 Programs » Conductors Workshop


The 5th Annual

Conductors Workshop
at Queens College

June 21 - July 3, 2015

Maurice Peress, Director



Directed by Maestro Maurice Peress, this workshop is being offered to aspiring and working conductors alike to help build upon their experience and sharpen their orchestral skills.

Student Conductors will study with Maestros Maurice Peress, Donald Portnoy, Dorothy Savitch, and George Rothman along with three guest composers. Podium time is guaranteed every day, giving every participant the chance to work regularly with a professional-level, highly responsive orchestra. Student Conductors will conduct the Workshop Orchestra in the mornings, and receive critiques, coaching, and hands-on lessons from the faculty in the afternoons.

New works will be performed each session with the composers present, helping to give insight into what the composers expect to see as their scores come to life. All the sessions will be videotaped. David Amram and Bruce Saylor will again return this summer.

Aside from the invaluable podium time, there will be almost daily lectures dealing with the many issues that face conductors today. Among them, Maestro Portnoy will discuss working and building relationships with professional, college, and community orchestras and career development, as well as his insights into orchestral bowing choices. Maestro Peress will discuss "time" in all its aspects: time flow, rhythm, tempo, pulse, and the metronome, yea or nay. Guest composers will discuss their scores in detail. Field trips have been arranged to the Dvořák Room at the historic Czech Center to view original documents and artifacts that underscore the story of Dvořák's time in America, and to the New York Philharmonic Archives, where marked scores by former NYPhil music directors will be placed on view.



Maurice Peress — Director/Conductor

Donald Portnoy — Guest Conductor

George Rothman — Guest Conductor

Dorothy Savitch — Guest Conductor

Bruce Saylor — Guest Composer

David Amram —Guest Composer

TBA — Guest Composer

Alex Wen — Manager


Faculty Bio

Maurice Peress has served as Music Director of the Corpus Christi, Austin, Kansas City, and New Britain orchestras, and has been a guest conductor in China, Israel, Brazil, and many venues in Europe. His long association with Leonard Bernstein began in 1961 as an assistant conductor with the New York Philharmonic and led to his conducting the world premiere of Bernstein's Mass for the opening of the Kennedy Center (1971). He also worked closely with
Duke Ellington as arranger and editor of his symphonic scores. As President of the Conductors Guild (1980 - 1982) he helped establish the CG Journal, the first Conductor's Institute, and the Guild's Annual Conference. Maestro Peress has authored many articles and a book, Dvořák to Duke Ellington: A Conductor Explores America's Music and Its African American Roots (Oxford, 2004). In 1984 he joined the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music to lead its orchestra and establish an MA program for conductors. He is especially proud of his former students, many of whom hold posts with orchestras and universities in the U.S. and abroad.

Donald Portnoy holds the Ira McKissick Koger Endowed Chair for the Fine Arts at the University of South Carolina, and is also founder and director of the Conductors Institute at USC. In recent years the Institute has spread its wings, adding a week of opera training at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston and two weeks in Beijing. As a violinist, he performs regularly with the ensemble he founded, the American Arts Trio. A guest conductor of orchestras here and abroad, Dr. Portnoy is in his thirteenth year as Music Director of the Augusta Symphony Orchestra and for the past six seasons had been Principal Guest Conductor of the National Opera Orchestra in Beijing.

George Rothman is co-founder and Music Director of the Riverside Symphony since 1981. The ensemble has been praised for its award-winning recordings and unusual programming of over two-hundred premieres and unusual works by composers as diverse as Biber, Haydn, Sibelius, Prokofiev and Ravel. He has guest conducted throughout the Far East, Europe, South America, and the U.S. A native New Yorker, Maestro Rothman trained at the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, and at The Aaron Copland School under Maurice Peress; he also worked at Tanglewood under Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. He has served on the faculty of Columbia and Yale Universities, and currently is Music Director and Conductor of Brooklyn College’s Conservatory Orchestra.

Dorothy Savitch has been Music Director of Long Island’s Sound Symphony since 1997 and is also Director of the Brooklyn Conservatory’s Music Partners Program and Music Director of its Community Orchestra. Ms. Savitch studied classical guitar with Christopher Parkening and Vincente Gomez, and toured throughout the West Coast. She has led the Bronx Opera chorus, the Musica Humana Chamber Choir and the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra. She has degrees from Columbia University and the Aaron Copland School; her teachers include Harold Farberman and Maurice Peress.



String Orchestra (June 22 - 25)
Gould Spirituals
Mozart Eine Kleine Nacht Musik
Elgar Serenade
Victoria Bond Dreams of Flying (Subito)

Chamber Orchesta June 26 -30 (Sunday off)
Tchaikovsky Rococco Variations for Cello and Orch
2222 2000 stgs
Mozart Symph #35 "Haffner"
2222 2200 T
Bernstein Candide Overture
Saylor, Double Concerto for clarinet and bass clarinet and strings

Full Orchestra July 1 - 3 (double session)
Brahms Symph #3 in F (36:00)
2223 4230 T stgs
Dvorak Symh #9, "New World"
Beeth Leonora #3
Amram Guthrie Variations

Participants are required to bring their own scores to the workshop. Composers' scores will be made available.



Apply at www.qcconductorsworkshop.com.




Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music

Summer 2015 Summer Programs and Festivals

Baroque Opera Workshop · Conductors Workshop

Summer Vocal Institute · Rethinking Bach: A Performers' Workshop