Conductors Guild

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The Conductors Guild is a non-union organization intended for professional conductors based in the USA. The Guild offers services to enhance the training and development of conductors and promises to represent the views of conductors to the larger community of music professionals.

The Conductors Guild publishes the Journal of the Conductors Guild and a quarterly newsletter, Podium Notes. It also sponsors an annual conference that provides a means of bringing new compositions to the attention of conductors. The Guild's training activities include a mentor-apprentice program and annual workshops for conductors lasting from three days to two weeks.

Since 1988, the Conductors Guild has honored outstanding achievement in the conducting profession with the Theodore Thomas Award. Recipients of the award include Claudio Abbado, Sir Georg Solti, Maurice Abravanel, Marin Alsop, Kurt Masur, Robert Shaw, Frederick Fennell, Pierre Boulez, David Zinman, Michael Tilson Thomas and Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Guild's Max Rudolf Award, given since 1997, recognizes outstanding achievement as a scholar and mentor. Recipients have included Gustav Meier, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Lewis, and Paul Vermel.


The Conductors Guild had its beginnings in June 1974 at a national conference of the American Symphony Orchestra League (now the League of American Orchestras) in Memphis, Tennessee. An informal meeting of conductors to discuss challenges facing the profession led to plans to form a professional organisation. The Conductors Guild was officially born in 1975 at the League's San Diego conference. It continued as a subsidiary of the League until becoming a separate organisation in 1985. The first European conference of the Conductors Guild took place in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2010.

Guild events have featured leading figures in the world of concert music, including Pierre Boulez, Catherine Comet, David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, Chen Yi, Frederick Fennell, Norman Dello Joio, Gunther Schuller, James Levine and Ulysses Kay.


  • Harold Farberman (1975–1979)
  • Charles A. Ansbacher (1979–1981, 1986)
  • Maurice Peress (1981–1983)
  • Donald Portnoy (1983–1986)
  • Samuel Jones (1987–1988)
  • Evan Whallon (1989–1990)
  • Michael Charry (1991–1992)
  • Larry Newland (1993–1994)
  • Adrian Gnam (1995–1996)
  • Barbara Schubert (1997–1998)
  • Wes Kenney (1999–2000)
  • Harlan Parker (2001–2002)
  • Emily Freeman Brown (2003–2004)
  • Tonu Kalam (2005–2006)
  • Sandra Dackow (2007–2008)
  • Michael Griffith (2009–2010)

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