Institute for Women Conductors

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About the Program

The Linda and Mitch Hart

Institute for Women Conductors

Women conductors from around the world are invited to apply to the second residency of the Linda and Mitch Hart Institute of Women Conductors (IWC) at The Dallas Opera, a unique program designed to further the careers of distinctively talented female conductors.  Accomplished female singers, opera coaches, composers, accompanists and instrumentalists with established careers looking to move into conducting are also encouraged to apply.  While successful applicants will generally be 40 and under years old, there is no strict age cutoff. This year residency will take place from November 26 to December 11, 2016.

This unique and internationally well-publicized program includes hands-on conducting opportunities with the full Dallas Opera Orchestra; master classes with music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and music director of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra Marin Alsop, TDO’s Principal Guest Conductor, Nicole Paiement, renowned Italian maestro Carlo Montanaro and established English conductors Alice Farnham and Renato Balsodonna; seminars on leadership and personal branding with General Director & CEO Keith Cerny and Alec Treuhaft, retired Senior Vice President of IMG Artists; as well as seminars and sessions with other prominent leaders in classical music and opera.  The intensive working sessions include selecting the right artist manager, best practice in working with executive recruiters, opera management and fund-raising, and other topics. At the end of the program, each conductor will have access to high resolution video material of her conducting full-length overtures and arias / ensembles with The Dallas Opera Orchestra.  This material will be hosted on the TDO website, and may be used with prospective artist managers, opera General Directors and symphony CEOs, Artistic Directors and Administrators, and the media.  A sample of this video material from one of last year’s conductors can be found here.

Six conductors will be selected for the program, and all participants will conduct a cast of exceptional young singers and The Dallas Opera Orchestra in two public concerts on December 4th and 10th, 2016.  In addition, four additional American citizens or legal residents’ observers will be invited to participate in the program, but will not have the opportunity to conduct.  The Dallas Opera will cover the travel, housing, visa costs and honorarium of the selected participants to the Institute.

Program participants are also eligible for an annual 2-day networking event in the summer of 2017, and potential invitations to serve as Assistant Conductors or Guest Conductors on future TDO productions and concerts. While The Dallas Opera is not able to make a firm commitment that program participants will be hired in the future, TDO’s 2016-2017 season will welcome back several members of the inaugural class of the Hart Institute in a variety of Assistant Conductor and Guest Conductor roles. 



Media Links:

Jessica Gethin wins Brian Stacey Emerging Conductor Award
Culture Map Dallas
Slipped Disc
WQXR New York
D Magazine Frontrow
Pizzicato Magazine
The Dallas Morning News

Key support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation

Make a donation to the IWC:


Participants of the Institute of Women Conductors


Elizabeth Askren


Mihaela Cesa-Goje


Alexandra Cravero


Tianyi Lu


Chaowen Ting


Zoe Zeniodi



Ching-Chun Lai


Michelle Rofrano


Carolyn Watson


Parisa Zaeri



Jennifer Condon


Jessica Gethin


Natalie Murray Beale


Stephanie Rhodes


Anna Skryleva


Lidiya Yankovskaya



Arianne Abela


Alexandra Grabarchuk


Avlana Eisenberg


Co Boi Nguyen