Conductor and Musical Director

Application deadline: Friday, 3 June 2022
 

Due to the relocation of our current musical director at the end of this season, we are looking for an engaging and ambitious individual to take the orchestra forward, starting in September 2022.

The orchestra rehearses in Winchester on Monday evenings and performs two symphonic concerts each season to a high standard and in alternate summers hosts a Young Soloist competition for aspiring musicians from the county.

The ideal candidate would have experience of conducting a large group and also of working with young musicians. They should be willing to collaborate with the orchestra to plan challenging programmes and to rehearse effectively to achieve the desired standard.

This is a paid position and salary and timescales are flexible for the right candidate.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a trial evening with the orchestra on either the 11th or 18th of July.

Please send a CV including details of previous experience and repertoire to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at winchestersymphonyorchestra.org.uk. A video link to a previous performance would be welcome but is not essential

About the orchestra

WSO is a large amateur symphony orchestra which performs to a high standard with a depth of talent in all sections which allows us to take on ambitious and interesting programmes. Players are drawn from all over Hampshire and beyond and enjoy the combination of friendly rehearsals, hard work and good performances. Our concerts typically attract an audience of around 250, and we have a strong local following. 

We tackle a wide range of repertoire with enthusiasm and commitment. We often focus on late romantic symphonies and like to really make the most of rehearsals, striving to achieve outstanding performances of challenging music. Programmes over the last few years have included many of the symphonies of Brahms, Mahler, Vaughan Williams and Sibelius and also repertoire by Stravinsky, Rachmaninov, Beethoven, Haydn, Elgar, Samuel Barber and Leonard Bernstein.

We also pride ourselves on working with a variety of professional soloists and many have enjoyed the experience enough to return and work with us again. We have recently performed piano concertos by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Brahms, violin concertos by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Elgar and Sibelius, Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Berlioz’s Harold in Italy and Bach’s cantata Ich Habe Genug, BWV 82.

We perform two symphonic concerts each season in Autumn and Spring. Since 2014, in alternate years we also run a Young Soloist competition which invites talented youngsters from Hampshire schools to apply for the opportunity to play a concerto of their choice with the orchestra. We really relish this way of reaching out to the community and providing a truly memorable experience for the young participants. It also benefits the orchestra by exposing us to new works we may not otherwise programme.

We regularly host repertoire evenings and use these as an opportunity to try out works we may wish to programme in future, or perhaps just to play something which is outside our usual repertoire. These are well supported by the membership, showing their willingness to broaden their musical horizons.

We aspire to continue tackling a broad range of repertoire, to improve our links with the community (young and old alike) even further, and to keep providing an inspiring and rewarding musical experience for our committed players and performances which keep our audience coming back for more.

If you would like to see a comprehensive list of past programmes, there is an archive on this site

We are looking for a musical director who:

  • is ambitious for themselves and the orchestra
  • is inspirational and aspirational 
  • has high expectations to inspire and stretch the orchestra
  • is keen to tackle old and new works together with the orchestra
  • is ready and willing to develop our vision with us collaboratively.
  • has good working and background knowledge of the symphonic repertoire; this will include good general knowledge of the orchestral dispositions required and a good background knowledge of historical contexts.
  • similarly has a good working and background knowledge of the concerto repertoire, and is keen to explore and expand on this repertoire with professional soloists and, in the context of the Young Soloist competition, with young aspiring musicians.
  • may be a specialist on one instrument but has good all round knowledge and understanding of the technical challenges and demands across all the sections.
  • enjoys getting into the detail, in sectionals and whole orchestra rehearsals.
  • enjoys conducting a wide range of music across all the relevant historical periods, as per the range the orchestra has presented up to now. 
  • will plan each term’s rehearsal schedule to include sectional rehearsals if necessary to ensure the orchestra is thoroughly prepared for each concert. Each weekly rehearsal to be clearly planned according to the conductor’s best judgement of what is necessary with particular focus where required, working towards a confident performance at the end of term.
  • is keen and able to set a good rehearsal pace to keep all the musicians engaged and challenged, with balanced attention across all the sections and warm support of weaker players and/or sections when required.
  • has experience working with young musicians, and would enjoy preparing for and conducting the biennial Young Soloist competition.
  • in the decision-making around the programme content, while taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of the orchestra, is first and foremost led by the music.