London Conducting Academy
 
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The year-long part-time course providing comprehensive training in the art and technique of conducting.

 
It has been most wonderful studying with Denise over the year and on such a fantastically organised course. It was everything that I hoped for!
The structure and delivery of the course was perfectly suited to my needs musically and practically with work commitments. I have learnt a huge amount over the year and really feel that I’ve developed as a conductor with the insight and guidance from Denise.
— Benjamin James, founder & artistic director of Illyrian Ensemble, principal conductor of Barnet Youth Orchestra, associate conductor of Lewisham Concert Band.
 
 

Up to eight students are accepted each year, and places are also available to observe most sessions - book a free taster to discover the course!

 

Watch the course
on any of the dates below

Application deadline 1st March 2019
Late applications considered as space allows.

Next session: Schubert Symphony no 8 in B minor “Unfinished” - Sat 21st Sept Participate or observeRegister interest

The teaching has been superb, the pianists faultless, and a tour de force of professional players to work with has been invaluable. This has been such a success.
— Participants 16/17

Year course: Repertoire & tutors

September 2019 - July 2020

Denise Ham (course director) • John Longstaff • Colin Metters
Toby Purser •
Mark Shanahan • Alexander Janiczek (soloist)

Published 2/9/19

Autumn 2019

Thu 19 Sep (closed to observers)
Symphony no 1 in C - Beethoven
Denise Ham

Thu 3 Oct (closed to observers)
Symphony no 1 in C - Beethoven
Denise Ham

Thu 17 Oct
Symphony no 1 in C - Beethoven
Denise Ham; ensemble session


Thu 14 Nov
Enigma Variations - Elgar
Colin Metters

Thu 28 Nov
Appalachian Spring - Copland
Denise Ham

Thu 12 Dec
Appalachian Spring - Copland
Denise Ham; ensemble session

Spring 2020

Thu 9 Jan       
Score preparation day:
Symphonic Dances - Rachmaninov
John Longstaff

Thu 23 Jan
Symphonic Dances - Rachmaninov
Toby Purser

Thu 6 Feb     
Recitatives from “The Marriage of Figaro” - Mozart
Denise Ham


Thu 27 Feb
Symphony no 3 in E Flat “Rhenish” - Schumann     
Denise Ham

Thu 12 Mar
Symphony no 3 in E Flat “Rhenish” - Schumann     
Denise Ham

Thu 26 Mar
Symphony no 3 in E Flat “Rhenish” - Schumann     
Denise Ham; ensemble session

Summer 2020 

Thu 23 Apr     
Violin Concerto in D - Tchaikovsky
Denise Ham

Thu 7 May
Violin Concerto in D - Tchaikovsky
Denise Ham; ensemble session
Soloist: Alexander Janiczek

Thu 21 May    
Suite “Pelleas et Melisande” - Faure
Overture “Roman Carnival” – Berlioz
Mark Shanahan


Thu 11 Jun     
Symphony no 3 in F - Brahms
Denise Ham

Thu 25 Jun
Symphony no 3 in F - Brahms
Denise Ham

Thu 9 Jul
Symphony no 3 in F - Brahms
Denise Ham; ensemble session

 
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OBSERVE

Watch how conducting skills are developed and refined over the year. For anyone interested, whether a trained musician or not.

Available as gifts.

 

Single session

Year pass

 

Where and when does it happen? 

The course takes place one day (normally a Thursday) each fortnight during term time, from 11:15am to 5:15pm (with a break at 1:15).

The venue is Charlton House, a 400 year old Jacobean manor house and concert venue in Greenwich, London. See map & directions

 
Charlton House, London

Charlton House, London

 

 

Who studies on the course?

The course is open to any musician wishing to develop their conducting, for working with professional, amateur or student orchestras or choirs. 

Students are generally accomplished musicians with at least some conducting experience and a level of familiarity with core orchestral repertoire, who are wishing to develop and refine their conducting technique. Since the course provides comprehensive technical training, previous conducting experience is not essential - good musicianship is much more important.

Past students of Denise include many professional conductors, film and concert composers, music college professors, ensemble and band leaders, and orchestral musicians.

 

Who observes the course? 

"Having limited experience and wanting to expand my knowledge of conducting, I signed up to observe Denise Ham's classes at the London Conducting Academy. I have learnt so much already after the first term, benefitting from Denise's technical expertise and experience and being able to take part in technique sessions. The fantastic teaching combined with a friendly atmosphere have made the course enjoyable and worthwhile."
- Felicity, observer

Anyone interested in learning more about the art and technique of conducting can observe the course. Observers include music students, those interested in classical music, conductors, teachers and performing musicians.

Observing the course is a great way to learn how a conductor communicates aspects of music like phrasing, emotion, timing, character, density, structure, counterpoint and melody; the conductor's responsibilities and methods, from their own practise to rehearsal to concert; score-reading and learning technique; managing a rehearsal

Observers are welcome to join in with the group technique work at the start of each session, or simply to watch.

 

What happens in each session? 

Sessions begin with group technique work, which observers are welcome to join in with. The focus then usually moves onto a specific piece, and the eight enrolled students work in turn with the pianists or ensemble through sections of the work, with feedback from the teacher and players.

 

What should observers bring?

We recommend bringing a score of the music. To find these, you could try a library, search imslp.org or buy from prestoclassical.co.uk or musicroom.com, or from your local music shop such as Chimes

 
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"After doing a number of weekend conducting workshops and week long masterclasses both in London and Budapest, I decided that I needed a conducting course that lasted much longer and was more progressive if i was to really improve my conducting technique. I could not have made a better decision than to put myself in the hands of Denise Ham and the other excellent tutors at the London Conducting Academy - within a matter of weeks my conducting had changed radically and I realised that by the end of the course I would emerge a much better conductor indeed.

Catching the early morning flights back and forth from Belfast to London has been absolutely worth it, as the marvellous repertoire has been varied and the tuition extremely informative. The atmosphere and class setting, not to mention the friendships made has made for a very memorable experience. My only regret is that a course like this didn’t exist when I first started conducting."
- Gary Shields M.A (Mus) - Ormeau Concert Band, Aughnaskeagh Silver Band, Lisburn Young Defenders and Roses Lane Ends temperance Flute Bands

 
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LONDON CONDUCTING ACADEMY is the professional conducting course from Greenwich Music School, led by Denise Ham.