Final Auditions Take Place in Chicago on March 17, 2019

CHICAGO — The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announces that applications are now being accepted for the Fourth International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship.

The two-year conducting apprenticeship, which begins in September 2019 and continues through June 2021, includes approximately 10 weeks of study and mentorship each year in Chicago with Music Director Riccardo Muti, and opportunities to work with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the CSO’s training orchestra for pre-professional musicians. The apprentice receives a $30,000 annual stipend to support their work and residencies in Chicago.

To apply, candidates should be under the age of 35 at the time of audition and able to demonstrate an advanced skill level in both conducting and rehearsing with professional orchestras and preparing and coaching singers in operatic repertoire from the piano. The application deadline is Monday, December 18, 2018. A $30 non-refundable application fee applies.

Final auditions, which will require conducting and rehearsing the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and working with singers from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center from the piano, take place in Chicago on Sunday, March 17, 2019, before a panel that includes Riccardo Muti and musicians of the CSO.

Application information and further details about the CSO’s International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship are available at

The creation of the CSO’s International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship was announced by Riccardo Muti in October 2009 as part of his vision for the CSOA while serving as its music director. This vision includes building on the CSO’s tradition of training young musicians through the creation of a program that would be a vital investment in the future generation of conductors. The program is named for Sir Georg Solti, who served as music director of the CSO from 1969 to 1991, not only because of the deep and long connection he had with the CSO, but also in honor of his commitment to connecting with young musicians.

Both Solti and Muti developed as conductors through their work in the opera house, and Muti remains passionate about the importance of a conductor’s ability to rehearse with an artist at the piano. Muti’s expressed hope in establishing this apprenticeship was to identify young conductors who will benefit most from the unique opportunity of having access to his tutelage and rehearsals with the CSO.

The first two Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentices were Sean Kubota (2011-2013) and Matthew Aucoin (2013-2015). Erina Yashima is the current Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice and was appointed to the position in 2015 for a two-year term covering the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons. Yashima’s contract was recently extended through the 2018/19 season by Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) in recognition of her accomplishments in the role.

The International Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition and Apprenticeship is a program of the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO.


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