MFA in Conducting, European Academy of the Arts
(September 5, 2022 - August 31, 2023)
This is a one-year, full-time Master of Fine Arts in Classical, Studio, Contemporary Conducting & Related Recording Technologies.
The program is delivered at IAU’s Additional Location, the European Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia (EAFAS), Sofia, Bulgaria, and in Vratsa, a city 100km North of Sofia.
Vratsa is the home of the Vratsa Symphony Orchestra, the program’s professional resident orchestra for hands-on training.
The program is administered, delivered and assessed in English, and has been designed by a tutorial staff of music educators, concerto performers, conductors and international artists with exemplary reputations.
Educational objectives and their assessment
Graduate-level Conducting studies are provided for in the conservatories and other musical academies and higher education institutions of Europe. The programs of study in these institutions, however, tend to adhere to a fairly established, traditional curriculum, emphasizing technique and the interpretative reproduction of musical ideas from canonical compositions.
The present course of study seeks to extend its teaching into areas that have not been as fully covered in the curricula of the traditional music schools. The program attempts to prepare students not only as artists in their own right, but also as professionals able to develop thriving careers in a variety of Conducting fields not necessarily limited to or exclusively dependent on the concert hall.
The program achieves this by supplementing its rigorous training in the techniques and arts of advanced conducting with an extensive education in areas that provide critical competencies in developing a professional career.
These include in-depth explorations of approaches to commercial conducting, not typically a feature of the concert conductors training, the techniques of effective and aesthetic recording of the orchestra, both on its own and in a variety of group settings, and the development of techniques and styles outside the established repertoire.
Additionally, the program seeks to extend skills into other areas that allow a conductor to find a wider range of professional development opportunities, such as working as a studio conductor, opera and ballet conductor, a musical theater musical director, and developing a versatility that will allow graduates to participate usefully in a variety of non-classical musical and group settings. Finally, the program places an emphasis on the crucial skills of the advanced practitioner’s career development, drawing on the wealth of experience of its tutors and industry professionals to guide students in areas such as working with agents, legal representation, financial and business management, visual presentation in marketing materials and in live performance, and developing and maintaining a lively and fruitful online and social media presence.
Thus, the MFA in Classical, Studio, Contemporary Conducting and Related Recording Technologies, seeks as its fundamental objective to help develop in the advanced conductor all the skills and techniques that would be expected of a Master’s program of study in this field, along with a range of related competencies that allow the graduate to pursue his or her career as a professional conductor across a broad range of complementary areas. All of these competencies are transferable to the particular field of classical conducting, yet also offer paths to career opportunities in related areas of the conductor’s practice.