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Orchestral Conducting

Bruce Hangen, Director of Orchestral Activities

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Master of Music

Your Training

The Boston Conservatory offers the Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting under Maestro Bruce Hangen. Founded on the concept that today’s conductor must be familiar with a complete range of orchestral music—from conducted ensembles to opera, choral, dance, musical theater and pops repertoire—the program is for students seriously interested in pursuing a professional conducting career. In addition, coursework in score-reading skills, analysis and music history will provide students with solid technical skills and a musical foundation for young conductors.
"I learned the raw mechanics of ensemble and how to methodically build a piece with the musicians as collaborators. This practical aspect was complemented by classes in orchestration, score reading and musicology, which rounded out my development so that I emerged as a fully professional musician."
—Russell Gerr (M.M. '10, Conducting)

Applied Lessons and Recitals

The student receives weekly one-hour private lessons with Hangen, and s/he prepares an annual individual conducting recital under the guidance of Hangen. Normally, the recital will consist of a variety of repertoire and can include both Boston Conservatory students and others outside the Conservatory in the ensemble.

All conducting students are expected to continue private studies on their applied instrument. Depending upon the specific instrument (or voice) and the availability of appropriate faculty, the student will take weekly half-hour private lessons.

Major Ensemble: Instrumental

Students are expected to be present at all instrumental ensemble rehearsals conducted by Hangen (or guest conductor when assigned). Students will be prepared to assist in these rehearsals, as determined and directed by Hangen. These assisting duties may sometimes take the form of sectional rehearsals with various instrumentalists from the Orchestra or Wind Ensemble. Attendance at other Conservatory large ensembles is also expected, under the guidance of Hangen.

Language Proficiency

It is expected that entering students will have done at least a year of college-level study in two of the following languages: Italian, German or French. Competency in a language may also be demonstrated through examination and personal interviews. Students lacking one or both languages in their previous preparations will achieve the needed competency through language study in the first year of residency. There are specific tuition charges associated with each language course taken to correct a deficiency if that enrollment take a student beyond his or her credit limit.


  • Seminar in Conducting
  • Advanced Theory and Analysis
  • Introduction to Graduate Study
  • Seminars in Music History and Literature (Subject matter and content vary from year to year.)
  • Concert and Recital Attendance

For a more detailed curriculum, please click on the degrees listed at the top.

Your Teachers

Students enrolled in the program study privately with Hangen and benefit from their observations of his professional activities in the Boston area. There also will be other opportunities to work with, and sometimes assist other Boston Conservatory conducting faculty and guest conductors in various productions.

Orchestral Conducting Faculty

Bruce Hangen

Your Department

Average number of graduate Orchestral Conducting students: 2

Your Performance Opportunities

Conducting students will be expected to produce, contract, program and conduct their own conducting recital of small ensembles. Opportunities for conducting large ensembles include the Conservatory’s Orchestra Repertoire class, rehearsals with The Boston Conservatory Orchestra and occasionally with other Conservatory ensembles.

Qualified students also have the opportunity to apprentice with Hangen, assisting him with The Boston Conservatory Orchestra and other professional ensembles.

Second year students also have the opportunity to conduct the Conservatory Orchestra in performance.

Your Future

Alumni of our conducting programs have earned coveted positions with esteemed choruses, orchestras and music ensembles all over the world.

Orchestral Conducting Alumni

  • Russell Ger
    Conductor, Itzhak Perlman Klezmer Tour
    Music Director, Park East Synagogue (NY) 
  • Vladimir Kulenovic
    Associate Conductor, Utah Symphony Orchestra
    Music Director, Lake Forest Symphony (IL)
    Resident Conductor, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra 
  • Matthew Marsit
    Wind Ensemble Music Director, Dartmouth College
    Artist-In-Residence, Williams College 
  • Gabriela Mora-Fallas
    Assistant Conductor, Costa Rica Youth Symphony
  • Michael Sakir
    Chorus Master, Santa Fe Opera
  • Yohei Sato
    Music Director, Boston Chamber Orchestra
    Conductor, Video Game Orchestra 
  • Timothy Verville
    Music Director and Conductor, Arizona Pro Arte
    Associate Conductor, Boston Chamber Orchestra
    Orchestra Director, Idyllwild Arts (CA) 
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