Launched in 2023, our flagship LPO Conducting Fellowship programme seeks to support the development of the world-class conductors of the future, through offering an intensive opportunity to work closely with the Orchestra over a period of 6-8 (non-consecutive) weeks, to two outstanding early-career conductors from backgrounds currently under-represented in conductors of professional, world-class orchestras.
We believe that talent is indiscriminate, yet people from certain backgrounds and communities continue to be under-represented in the orchestral sector. The LPO Conducting Fellowship aims to promote diversity and inclusivity in classical music as a whole, to lead eventually to a sector that is more reflective of the wider population. We invite applications from conductors from historically under-represented communities in terms of gender identity, race, socio-economic backgrounds, neurodiversity, disability or other under-represented group. Providing artistic and professional development experiences at the highest level of excellence to early-career conductors from under-represented backgrounds is an important goal of the programme.
We are delighted to welcome our Fellow Conductors for the 2023/24 season: Luis Castillo-Briceño and Charlotte Politi.
What’s included in the Fellowship?
Guided by the LPO’s Principal Conductor, Edward Gardner, Fellow Conductors will become fully immersed in the life of the Orchestra, getting to know players, artists and staff, developing skills and knowledge, and broadening their professional network. The LPO prides itself as being a welcoming and supportive orchestra and sets out to ensure Fellow Conductors become fully embedded in the LPO community. They will be invited to attend rehearsals and concerts conducted by the Principal Conductor and other conductors, and will also be offered conducting opportunities with the LPO and its Rising Talent ensembles.
The LPO Conducting Fellowship includes:
- Opportunities to conduct the Orchestra in regional and offsite performances, in educational programmes, and ensembles of its Rising Talent programmes
- Assisting opportunities and mentorship sessions with Edward Gardner
- Full immersion into the life of the Orchestra during the period of the Fellowship, with the aim of forming the basis of a longer-term professional relationship
In addition, and considering the individual needs of Fellow Conductors, the Fellowship may also include:
- Assisting opportunities and 1-1 sessions with other LPO titled and guest conductors
- Feedback from LPO musicians
- Meetings with LPO’s Resident and featured composers
- Professional development opportunities through sessions with LPO personnel, visiting artists and access to the LPO’s wide network of industry professionals
- Opportunities to participate in wider LPO promotional activity such as pre-concert talks and social media activity
- Additional tailored support around navigating the barriers specific to the Fellow Conductors
Fees will be paid at the LPO prevailing rates for early career conductors.
Who can apply?
The LPO is committed to advancing equality and inclusive practice in all areas: recruitment, artistic programme, and working environment. The Conducting Fellowship is open to applicants from backgrounds currently under-represented in conductors of professional, world-class orchestras. We are not presenting a fixed set of criteria, and instead ask applicants to self-identify their eligibility in this area. Eligible criteria may include, but are not limited to, under-represented gender, racial, ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds, and may also include neurodiversity, disability and special educational needs.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate extensive background and training in orchestral conducting, and be able to demonstrate ability in developing and conducting programmes, excellent musicianship and communication skills.
Applicants must be over 18 and not in full-time undergraduate education. UK-based conductors are strongly encouraged to apply and will be prioritised.
When and how to apply
Applications for 2024/25 are now closed. Thank you to all those who have applied for the scheme.
Candidates who are selected to audition will be contacted by Monday 18 December. Auditions and interviews take place in London on Sunday 4 February 2024.
Information about 2025/26 will be announced in due course.
LPO Fellow Conductors 2023/24
Meet the LPO Fellow Conductors
An Equilibrium Young Artist since the 20/21 season, mentored by conductor Barbara Hannigan, Costa Rican-born conductor Luis Castillo-Briceño has acted as her assistant with orchestras such as: Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra. Future engagements include the Münchner Philharmoniker and the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne in the 2022/23 season.
He served as the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Junges Kammerorchester Zürich from 2019-21. As part of his studies, he has worked with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and MÁV Symphony Orchestra. In masterclasses he has worked with conductors such as Cristian Măcelaru, Marin Alsop, Nicolas Pasquet, Johannes Schlaefli and Jorma Panula. Castillo-Briceño started his musical studies at the age of five on the violin, at the National Conservatory of Music of Costa Rica. Aged eleven, he started to study flute at the same institution, becoming the Principal Flutist of the Orquesta Sinfonica Infantil de Costa Rica.
Castillo-Briceño holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano from the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Switzerland), where he studied with Prof. Eckart Heiligers. He is currently finishing his studies under the guidance of Prof. Mark Stringer (conducting) and Prof. Andreas Henning (opera coaching) at the Universtität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.
Charlotte Politi is currently the Constant Lambert Conducting Fellow with The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet. For the 2022/23 season, she is one of the assistant conductors of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In 2020 she was selected by Riccardo Muti for the Italian Opera Academy and in 2021 she was one of the participants at the Conductors’ Academy of the Tonhalle Zürich, under the guidance of Paavo Järvi.
Politi was born in Paris and grew up in Italy, where she studied conducting with Piero Bellugi and was selected as a conducting fellow at the Accademia Chigiana in 2015. She later studied at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe (Germany), and she graduated with a Master degree from the University of Michigan (USA) under the guidance of Kenneth Kiesler.
She has conducted orchestras including the Baden-Baden Philharmonie, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Philharmonisches Kammerorchester Dresden and Orchestra da Camera del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.
Most recently she has regularly conducted the Royal Ballet Sinfonia and covered for the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In March 2022 she made her debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, stepping in for Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
The LPO Conducting Fellowship is generously supported by Patricia Haitink with additional support from Gini and Richard Gabbertas.