ICWF 2008: Mahler/Brahms

ICWF 2008: Mahler/Brahms

From June 6-19, 2008 the International Conducting Workshop and Festival is proud to hold again a workshop in Zlin, Czech Republic hosted by the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, led by both Larry Rachleff (Rice University) and Donald Schleicher (University of Illinois) and assisted by Benjamin Loeb (El Paso Symphony) and Bohuslav Rattay (Ball State University and Muncie Symphony).

As in the past we will offer conducting training and critique in a non-competitive, professional and supportive atmosphere and a great opportunity to immerse oneself deeply in important standard orchestral repertoire which will include Brahms Symphonies #2 and 3, Haydn Vaiations and Academic Festival Overture and Mahler Symphony #4 and Symphony #5, mvt. 4 "Adagietto".

The schedule includes 10 Orchestra sessions, 10 Sextet sessions, at least 4 Score study and special subject sessions, 1 Orchestra concert led by the faculty with international guest soloists, and 2 Chamber Music Concerts. In response to feedback from past participants, this workshop is two days longer and includes one full day off for reflection and study.

In the Orchestra sessions, participants will have approximately 10 minutes on the podium. In the Sextet sessions, participants will conduct a string quintet plus piano, which covers woodwinds and brass parts. Parts of some quintet sessions may be devoted to difficult excerpts that are pre-selected from the workshop repertoire. All participants will be encouraged to study this list of excerpts in preparation for the workshop. In the remainder of the sextet sessions, passages are to be selected by the participant. Each conductor will have individual choice of repertoire during sextet and score study sessions. In all sessions, podium time slots will be flexibly pre-assigned.

Levels of Participation

For this workshop we are offering three levels of participation representing number of times with the full orchestra which we believe will provide the best learning experience: 6-session, 4-session and 2-session. Sextet sessions will be equally divided among all conductors regardless of participation level. The 6-session level is only recommended for conductors who have already conducted a significant portion of the repertoire.

Auditing is also available, but does not include any active podium time. The auditor level is designed for those either who have little experience and training, but show promise, or those with ample opportunity to conduct throughout the year, but want to use this workshop as a chance to observe master teaching.

All tuition fees include hotel and two meals each day. This year, because of the fluctuation in the US Dollar, all fees must be paid in Euros. It is possible to pay in the current equivalent in USD, but the difference must be settled on the first day of the workshop.

All sessions will be Digitally Recorded and ample opportunity will be provided to view session recordings. At the end of each conducting session, each conductor will receive a DVD of that individual session.


Concurrent with the workshop, the International Conducting Workshop Festival will present one Orchestra concert and 2 Chamber Music Concerts led by faculty and guest artists. Participants will not perform on these concerts. The repertoire on these concerts will be devoted to music of the two composers and their contemporaries. All rehearsals and concerts are open to the participants.

Filharmonie Bohuslav Martinů

The Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra is named after one of the great Czech composers. The orchestra has made many radio recordings and CDs of his works since it was founded in the 1960's.

The repertoire of the The Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra consists of nearly all symphonic works of different periods including a considerable number of contemporary compositions. The members of the orchestra have formed several chamber groups whose performances supplement the concert season. Cooperation with radio and television stations together with recording activities have become a regular part of the orchestra's work. Some activities in recent years included recordings for the label Vienna Modern Masters, which concentrates on contemporary music recordings; Sergei Rachmaninov's complete symphonic works recorded for Bayer Records (Germany); and music of Antonín Dvořák for Albany Records (USA). Orchestra has recorded also movie music for Hollywood and new works of the contemporary american composers.

The home of the The Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra is Zlín, a town in the east of the Czech Republic. With a population approaching one hundred thousand, it is a modern industrial center, owing its development to the BATA company, the founder of which Tomáš Baťa succeeded in successfully combining his entrepreneurship and his philosophy of life.


All participants will stay in single rooms at a hotel located within easy walking distance to the rehearsal and performance facilities. Breakfast and one additional meal is included in the tuition fee. All rooms have free wireless internet access. It is possible to arrange for spouses to stay at the hotel for a small additional cost.


  • Dates June 6th thru June 19th
  • Location Zlin, Czech
  • Orchestra Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic