Postgraduate Programs in Conducting

In 2017 the Elder Conservatorium of Music and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra began collaborating on a Masters level conducting program. This collaboration, unique in the world of conductor training, aims to prepare students who aspire to be professional conductors working at the highest level. Students of the course have the opportunity to conduct the ASO in Masterclass situations and work as assistants on specific ASO projects. Regular conducting classes are held at the Elder Conservatorium under the direction of Luke Dollman, including one to one sessions, sessions with two pianos and sessions with a small chamber orchestra based around a core of five professional players. Opportunities to conduct the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra, and Elder Conservatorium New Music Collective are also made available.

The Masters is designed as a two year coursework degree, though in exceptional cases it may be done by research. A one year Graduate Diploma course is also available. In 2018 we are also offering the possibility of doing an Honours year majoring in conducting for the first time. For more information about these options, and for further details about the programme in general, please contact Dr Luke Dollman, Lecturer in Conducting at the Elder Conservatorium of Music. Email:

This year we are offering applicants the opportunity to do a live audition with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. In the first instance, applicants must send their CV and a 15 minute video of their conducting (ideally two contrasting works) to Luke Dollman by September 25th, 2017. Approximately four applicants will then be invited to audition live with the ASO on October 10th, 2017. Repertoire will Rossini’s Barber of Seville and the first two movements of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.4 ‘Italian’.


Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Managing Director Vincent Ciccarello says,
“This collaboration with the Elder Conservatorium is an exciting one and reflects the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to music education, training and development. We believe that through the joint delivery of this postgraduate conducting program, we are not only investing in young people but also playing a part in creating the future generation of conductors in Australia. It’s important to recognise that in Nicholas Carter, the ASO has the only Australian Principal Conductor of all Australian orchestras. We look forward to receiving applications for this dynamic new program that aims to discover and nurture home-grown talent”.


ASO Principal Conductor Nicholas Carter says,
“I’m very excited about this excellent program – giving aspiring conductors the kind of training and experience that is so often lacking in our music education institutions.  Luke has a huge amount of experience and expertise and indeed carries the torch for an approach to nurturing conductors that he learnt from one of the great conducting teachers of our time – Jorma Panula.

Giving the students access to the Adelaide Symphony, both in Masterclass situations and opportunities to assist on large projects throughout the year is something that I and the ASO are delighted to provide.  It reaffirms our commitment to making sure that talent and potential is supported in the right way, the benefits of which are felt throughout Adelaide and the broader Australian music scene.”


Elder Conservatorium Director, Professor Graeme Koehne AO says,
“The Elder Conservatorium enjoys an international reputation for excellence and innovation in music education and professional practice. We are thrilled to offer this postgraduate programme, which offers students the opportunity to gain invaluable and practical experience working with one of Australia’s most prestigious symphony orchestras. The Master’s programme will equip aspiring conductors with the artistic and intellectual capacity to excel in this most exciting and demanding artform.”

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