Conducting Scholarships

Ben Glassberg – Conducting Scholar 2013-14 is now Associate Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon and Principal Conductor of The Glyndebourne Tour

Ben Glassberg – Conducting Scholar 2013-14 is now Associate Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon and Principal Conductor of The Glyndebourne Tour

Cambridge University Musical Society Conducting Competition

We are delighted to announce that Tess Jackson will be the CUMS Conducting Scholar for 2020-21 and Will Rose will be the Assistant Conductor. Congratulations must also go to Tammas Slater who was highly commended. Thank you to all our musicians who took part, and to our judges Sian Edwards and John Willan.


Each year, applications are invited for opportunities to conduct Cambridge University Sinfonia (CUS) and Cambridge University Wind Orchestra (CUWO) for the following academic year.

The CUMS Conducting Scholar will have the opportunity of conducting the Cambridge University Sinfonia (CUS) and assisting the guest conductors of the Cambridge University Orchestra (CUO). CUMS contributes towards conducting lessons for the Scholar and provides scores for all of their concerts. Additionally, there will be two assistant student conductors. One assistant will also have the opportunity of conducting CUS and preparing and assisting guest conductors for the Cambridge University Orchestra. The second assistant will have the opportunity of conducting CUWO for the entire season.

Applicants must be in statu pupillari at Cambridge University at the time of the auditioning and during the following academic year.

Applications for the Cambridge University Musical Society Conducting Competition 2021 are not yet open.

There are normally three rounds in the competition, which last year was judged by Sian Edwards, Head of Conducting, Royal Academy of Music and John Willan, Governor and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

All three rounds will take place during the same day and evening, towards the beginning of Lent term 2021. In the first round candidates will have aural tests and in the second be asked to conduct 2 pianos. Please be prepared to discuss programming ideas for a standard-size student symphony orchestra. Candidates who progress to the third round will have 20 minutes to rehearse sections of two set pieces with the Cambridge University Sinfonia. For reference, last year these were:

  1. Beethoven Symphony No.2, movement 1
  2.  Brahms Symphony No.3, movement 2 Andante

When applications open, candidates will be invited to send their CV, together with a formal letter of application, by email to 


Previous CUMS Conducting Scholars

2019-20   Tess Jackson
2018-19   Toby Hession
2017-18    Naomi Woo
2016-17    John Tothill
2015-16    Joel Sandelson
2014-15    Joel Sandelson
2013-14    Ben Glassberg
2012-13    William Cole
2011-12    Harry Ogg
2010-11    Harry Ogg

 

Registered Charity No. 1149534

Cambridge University Musical Society
West Road Concert Hall
11 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Principal Guest Conductor
Sir Roger Norrington CBE
Artistic Advisor
Sian Edwards
Director, Cambridge University Symphony Chorus
Richard Wilberforce
Director, Cambridge University Chamber Choir
Martin Ennis
Associate Directors, Cambridge University Chamber Choir
David Lowe, Nicholas Mulroy