ICWF 2024 Usti nad Labem August

Feliza Estrada in performance

From August 26 to September 4, 2024 (10 days) the International Conducting Workshop and Festival will present another workshop in Ústí nad Labem, Czech in partnership with the Orchestra of the North Bohemian Theater. The workshop will include two public concerts conducted by each of the ten participants. The workshops will focus on varied standard repertoire and will be led by Benjamin Loeb (ICWF Artistic Director).

What we do

Whether you are highly trained conductor, a promising student, or an avid amateur and whether you have a job or aspire to be a Music Director of a profesional, school, or community orchestra, our workshops offer many opportunities to improve as a conductor. We believe the best learning comes from studying standard repertoire from world class faculty and observing your colleagues struggle through the same challenges in an intensive and immersive, yet non-competitive, professional, and supportive atmosphere. For practical experience, all participants conduct both full orchestra and piano sextet. Subjects studied include conducting technique, interpretation, score study, analysis, rehearsal technique, stage deportment, and musician interaction. All participants receive equal opportunity in a completely transparent organization.

Kalena Bovell


General Dates - August 26 - September 4, 2024
Concert 1 - August 28, 2024 (Beethoven Coriolan and Egmont Overtures; 4-6 concerto movements)
Concert 3 - August 30, 2024 (Brahms Symphony #4; 3-4 Concerto movement movements)
Concert 2 - September 4, 2024 (Smetana Moldau; Tchaikovsky Symphony #5; 2-4 Concerto movements)
Repertoire subject to change

Location: Ústí nad Labem, Czech

Host Orchestra: Orchestra of the North Bohemian Theater

Basic details for this workshop:

  • Ten 3-hour full orchestra sessions
  • Three 2-hour full orchestra dress rehearsals
  • Three Public Performances
  • Each conductor will get approximately 170 minutes with full orchestra not including the performance.
  • Two scores study sessions
  • 90 minutes individual sessions for video review and rehearsal planning
  • Conducting participants will not conduct Concerto Movements
  • Hotel accommodation is not included in the tuition, but participants may select the comfortable, affordable, and convenient hotel option arranged by ICWF at reduced rates which includes breakfast.
  • Convenient and inexpensive destination (fly to Prague or Dresden then bus or train to Ústí nad Labem)
  • Farewell dinner
  • Professional concert and rehearsal hall setting for all sessions
  • All sessions will be Digitally Recorded in High Definition and concert quality audio, and conductors will have ample opportunity to view session recordings. At the end of each conducting session or day, participants will receive a digital file of that session. Participants must provide his or her own storage media (1Tb USB 3.0 hard drive is most recommended).
  • Conductors and Concerto performers will also receive multi-camera produced concert video of both performances.

Julian Gau

Levels of Participation

  • One level of participation 
  • Workshop is limited to 4 conductors
  • Each conductor will approximately 160 minutes with full orchestra in rehearsal
  • Each conductor will conduct a total of two symphonic movements and an overture on the concerts.
  • See more under Concerto/Aria Opportunities for more

    Geoff Loff



  • Concert 1: Beethoven Egmont and Coriolan Overtures; 5 or 6 Concerto movements
  • Concert 2: Brahms Symphony #4; 3 to 5 Concerto movements
  • Concert 3: Smetana Ma Vlast, Tchaikovsky Symphony #5, 3 Concerto movements

Repertoire is subject to change

Joe Wilkins

Orchestra Sessions

  • Conductors will have approximately 180 minutes to prepare their assigned performance repertoire.
  • All orchestra sessions will take place in the historical Opera Ballet concert stage.Hannah Schendel

Sextet Sessions

  • There will be no Sextet sessions at this workshop.


Sam Pang in ConcertAt this workshop, we will have three public performances with live audience presenting the repertoire from the workshop including the Concerto participants. The orchestral music in these concerts will be led by the conducting participants, and the concertos will be accompanied by ICWF Artistic Director Benjamin Loeb.

Based on the participants' preferences and the advice of the ICWF faculty and advisors, each conductor will be assigned in advance a pair of movements and overture for performance with the host orchestra (Orchestra of the North Bohemian Theater). Each conductor will have approximately 180 minutes of podium time for rehearsal in addition to the time conducting two selections in concert. Each concert will have three rehearsals and a dress rehearsal. The other four orchestra sessions will be free choice so participants can try out repertoire they will not conduct on the concert. The exact rehearsal schedule may be created based on the difficulty of preparation of the individual movements, but conductors will have basically equitable time. In the first four sessions, conductors will have approximately 55 minutes to conduct whatever repertoire they choose from the concert repertoire, even if not assigned to them for performance, which will be another great opportunity to capture great video footage. Depending on the repertoire they choose for these sessions, their time may be broken up to help create a more productive schedule for the orchestra; the time will not necessarily be one block.

Each concert will be recorded by a professional video crew with live production and a three-camera setup as well as a dedicated conductor camera. The concerts will be livestreamed. Conductors will receive video of the full concert as well as the conductor camera footage for their individual performance and will have full rights for use for study, applications and auditions, and non-commercial rebroadcast and streaming.

See the detailed schedule for the Concert week schedules.

Concert 1: August 28, 2024 - Beethoven Egmont and Coriolan Overtures; 5 or 6 Concerto movements

Concert 2: August 30, 2024 - Brahms Symphony #4; 3 to 5 Concerto movements

Concert 3: September 4, 2024 - Smetana Ma Vlast, Tchaikovsky Symphony #5, 3 Concerto movements

Conductor Participation - $3800
Concerto Participation (one movement or two/three arias) - $1900

Discussion Sessions

  • Generally at the end of each day, the faculty will hold a half hour discussion session to recap the issues discovered in that day's sessions.
  • Participants will have scheduled one-on-one sessions for video review and rehearsal strategy.
  • Some discussion sessions will be scheduled around topics such as rehearsal technique, score study, career paths, and more.
  • Faculty are quite available for ad hoc individual and group discussions.

Chamber Concerts

There will be no Chamber Concerts at this workshop.

Concerto/Aria opportunities

Along with the conducting workshop portion of ICWF 2024 NBOBO August, we are offering opportunities to up to 14 musicians to perform concerto movements or arias on one of the three Festival concerts. All performances will be recorded in professional quality audio and multi-camera video and performers will have full use of the media for applications and non-commercial purposes. The performances would be conducted by ICWF Artistic Director, Benjamin Loeb. Each performer would have approximately 45 minutes of rehearsal time as appropriate to the movement. Each performer will have at least one session with Benjamin Loeb in advance of the first rehearsal to review tempos and interpretation.

Participants will receive an official invitation from ICWF and the North Bohemian Opera Ballet Orchestra. 

There are three different concerts they could choose to play on. The dates for each concert from arrival date to departure date are: 
• August 24 depart-August 29 return (concert August 28)
• August 26 depart - August 31 return (concert August 30)
• August 31 depart - September 5 return (concert September 4)

Applicants will submit repertoire choices (as many or few as you like) on the application form. Repertoire must be approved, but generally all standard repertoire will be allowed. All rentals will be arranged by ICWF, but any music rental cost must be covered by the participant. 

The performance fee is $1900 and is due within 15 days of acceptance.

Participants must cover their own travel and hotel. (ICWF has arranged optional discounted hotel rooms.) All participants under age 16 must travel with an adult chaperone. 

Applications will be reviewed until June 3 and acceptances will be sent out that day. After that, applications will be consdiered on a space-available basis.

Apply now for ICWF 2024 NBOBO August CONCERTO

Colleagues and Network

One of the great benefits of the workshop is the opportunity to grow and develop a supportive network of conductor colleagues. These relationships can very often lead to professional and academic opportunities as well as lifelong friendships. While we can't claim credit for every success of our ICWF alumni, we are proud of their accomplishments and know that their experience at the workshops provided some positive learning that they used to further their career and love for music. 

Here is what some of our past participants have said about their ICWF experience.

Some of our past participants now hold or have held positions such as Fresno Symphony Music DirectorEl Paso Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia OrchestraCharleston Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, London PhilharmonicDallas Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota OrchestraDetroit Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville SymphonyUtah Symphony Associate ConductorNorwalk Symphony Music Director, San Diego SymphonyAmarillo Symphony Music Director, National Symphony Assistant Conductor,  Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Memphis Symphony Assistant ConductorBuffalo Philharmonic Associate Conductor, Kansas Symphony Assistant ConductorSymphony Orchestra Northwest Arkansas Assistant Conductor, and many more.  Our past participants have also been accepted into the most prestigious conducting programs in the world including at The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Peabody Institute, Rice University, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, New England Conservatory, and many more.
ICWF 2020 Conductors


Na Rychte Hotel and BreweryThis year, hotel accommodations are not included in the tuition fee, but we have made excellent and convenient arrangements with at the Hotel and Brewery Na Rychte. If you would prefer to find other accommodations, you are free to do so. ICWF will still provide a group lunch (or one meal). 

Hotel and Brewery Na Rychte

  • Modern, Single rooms
  • Air-conditioning
  • Breakfast included
  • 46 minute walk from the North Bohemia Opera and Ballet Theatre
  • Free Wifi
  • Restaurant on site
  • $77/night for single occupancy (special rate). Double occupancy is approximately 50% more. 
  • Double room occupancy is possible.
  • Additional single room nights are $75/night which include breakfast only.

Guests accompanying participants will also be provided lunch and free access to all public ICWF events.

Detailed schedule

24-Aug   C1 Soloists depart US
25-Aug   C1 soloists and conductors arrive
26-Aug 9:00-12:00 Piano Rehearsal For Concerto Soloists
  14:00-17:00 Piano Rehearsal For Concerto Soloists and/or for Conductors
  18:00-21:00 C1.R1  
27-Aug 9:00-12:00 Piano Rehearsal C2 soloists arrive
  14:00-17:00 Piano Rehearsal  For Conductor and/or C1 soloists
  18:00-21:00 C1.R2  
28-Aug 9:00-12:00 C1.Dress  
  14:00-17:00 Piano Rehearsal For C2 soloists
  19:00 Concert 1 Program: Beethoven Coriolan and Egmont Overtures; 4-6 Concerto movements
29-Aug 9:00-12:00 C2.R1 C1 Soloists would depart (unless they play on C2)
  14:00-17:00 Piano Rehearsal For Conductors and/or C2 Soloists
  18:00-21:00 C2.R2  
30-Aug 10:00-12:00 C2.D  
   19:00 Concert 2 Program: Brahms Symphony #4; 4 concerto movements.
31-Aug   C1/2 Conductors and C2 soloists would depart
    C3 Conductor and soloists arrive
1-Sep 17:00-20:00 Piano Rehearsal For C3 Soloists and/or conductor
2-Sep 9:00-12:00 C3.1  
  14:00-17:00 Piano Rehearsal For C3 Soloists and/or conductor
  18:00-21:00 C3.2  
3-Sep 9:00-12:00 C3.3  
  18:00-21:00 C3.4  
4-Sep 10:00-12:00 C3.D  
  19:00 Concert 3 Program: Overture, Tchaikovsky Sym.#5; 2-4 concerto movements 
5-Sep  C3 Conductor and Soloists depart

Fees and deadlines

  • Application fee $50
  • Performance Participation $4195
  • Hotel (optional): $79/night (~50% for double occupancy)
  • Applications accepted now.
  • No application deadline. Applications will be processed within 24 hours and acceptances will be based on space available with priority given to past ICWF participants.
  • Two weeks after notification $500 non-refundable tuition deposit due. Generally, applications are processed within two weeks of receipt.
  • Tuition remainder is due six weeks after acceptember or by July 1, 2024, whichever is earliest.
  • Late payment of tuition deposit or tuition payment may result in loss of spot.
  • If a conductor must cancel his or her spot, the tuition deposit and/or tuition will be refunded according to the schedule below:
    • Application fees and tuition deposits are non-refundable.
    • 100% refundable if requested before June 15, 2024
    • 50% refundable if requested before July 15, 2024
    • non-refundable after July 15, 2024 unless a suitable replacement is found for your spot.

Fees must be paid according to schedule in US$.


APPLY NOW for the CONCERTO Program

All tuition fees paid by credit card will have a 3.5% service fee added.

Online payments preferred, but US checks (free) and bank transfer ($45 fee) will be accepted. The application is not complete and will not be processed until the payment is received. 

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Arts Education and Performance Management Service

The International Conducting Workshop and Festival is a project of Arts Education and Performance Management Service (www.AEPMS.org). This means that the ICWF can accept grants, accept tax-deductible donations, and carry on other activities under the tax-exempt status of their sponsor. To help you raise money for yourself, AEPMS will create a "Project" which is your participation at ICWF. As a Project of AEPMS, we may accept donations that support the project which would help you cover your cost. This will allow you to offer your patrons (including parents or other family members) the opportunity to get a tax deduction for their support. In the last twenty years the ICWF granted over $150,000 in tuition scholarships through the generous help of the Joel Fan Foundation ArtMatch and now we will be doing essentiallt the same thing with Arts Education and Performance Management Service.

Technically, you can act as a fundraising agent for AEPMS and raise money from your own network of support for your tuition scholarship. Anyone you know who would like to help you would then send their support to Arts Education and Performance Management Service and direct it to the project we create for your participation. You would be responsilbe for covering whatever costs were not raised through donations (which might be everything or nothing depending on how much you raise.) 

AEPMS Process:

  1. Make all checks to "Arts Education and Performance Management Services" or "AEPMS" and in the memo line, write in the project name or the conductor's name.
  2. To enable the correct accounting of the donation, the sponsor should say exactly the following in a cover letter:
    To Arts Education and Performance Management Services:
    I am making this donation to the Arts Education and Performance Management Services in support of the International Conducting Workshop and Festival Project [CONDUCTOR NAME].
    [Name of Sponsor]
    [Address of Sponsor]
    [Email Address of Sponsor]
  3. Mail checks and letters to:
    Arts Education and Performance Management Services
    3513 Cabriolet Ct
    Plano TX 75023
  4. The receipt of the donation will be acknowledged by AEPMS and the amount of the donation will be applied toward the project of your participation.

The Arts Education and Performance Management Services is a registered 501(3)(c) non-profit corporation and qualifies for tax-deductible contributions.
Sophie Mok

Orchestra of the North Bohemian Theater

North Bohemian Opera and Ballet OrchestraThe Orchestra of the North Bohemian Theater performs in all productions that are in the theater's repertoire. The cast of 41 members interprets even the most demanding works of Czech and world opera, operetta and ballet literature. His regular concert activity is also significant. The orchestra's repertoire includes, among others, Smetana's My Homeland, Dvořák's New World Symphony and Slavic Dances, Tchaikovsky's Pathetic Symphony and Festive Overture 1812, Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 4, Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition and Franz Liszt's Les Préludes. Every year we also prepare a traditional Christmas concert for you, the obligatory part of which is always the Czech Christmas Mass by Jan Jakub Ryba, concerts of operetta melodies and new opera talents are also popular.

The NBOB orchestra invites top soloists to collaborate. He accompanied Ivan Ženáty in Dvořák's Violin Concerto in A minor, Igor Ardashev in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto in B minor, and studied Janáček's Taras Bulba with the organist Aleš Bárta. Together with an opera choir and soloists, he performs vocal-instrumental works such as Dvořák's Stabat Mater and Mozart's, Verdi's and Dvořák's Requiem.


Regarding COVID-19, we will be required to adhere to all European and Czech restrictions. We will also try to follow CDC guidelines.  All ICWF participants must be vaccinated and proof of vaccination may be required. 

If the workshop must be canceled due to the continue pandemic, all tuition fees will be returned. However, we cannot reimburse for any travel expenses or to return the application fee. We strongly suggest that all participants purchase travel insurance that specifically covers COVID-related cancellations.


Applications are accepted now and will continue until all spots are filled. 

Apply Now for CONDUCTING Program



  • Dates August 26th thru September 4th
  • Location Usti nad Labem, Czech
  • Orchestra North Bohemia Opera Ballet Orchestra