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2023 RBC Canadian Conductor Showcase

Conducting a professional orchestra is one of the great accomplishments of a conductor’s career. There are, however, few opportunities for Canadians in the early stages of their careers to engage with professional orchestras in a practical, hands-on environment. The symphony orchestra presents many challenges, including effectively balancing the orchestra’s many instruments and communicating clearly with the musicians and audience. 

The goal of the showcase is to both acquaint the WSO with talented Canadian conductors for potential future engagements, as well as to provide the selected conductors the opportunity to work with a major Canadian orchestra under the guidance and mentorship of music director Daniel Raiskin. Finalist(s) will be selected to conduct the WSO at a concert program in a future season. 

The RBC Emerging Artists Project supports organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, performance, literature and film. Every year the RBC Foundation donates millions of dollars to hundreds of arts organizations globally to help emerging artists become established. The WSO gratefully acknowledges RBC’s support of the RBC Canadian Conductor Showcase. 


February 14 & 15, 2023



Dvorak, Symphony no. 7 in D minor, Opus 70
Mendelssohn, Concerto No.1 in G minor for Piano & Orchestra, Opus 25
Mendelssohn, I. Molto allegro con fuoco



Émilie Strain, piano



Each candidate will participate in a one-hour masterclass session with music director Daniel Raiskin and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. WSO music director Daniel Raiskin will introduce each finalist to the orchestra and will invite you to say a few words before your session begins. A 15-minute debrief with Daniel Raiskin, selected WSO musicians and WSO’s conducting team will take place following your session.

On the final session in Day 2, the candidates will conduct in a Concert format in front of a live audience. The candidates will be told which movement(s) of the Symphony and/or Concerto they will conduct for this Concert after the masterclass. Each candidate will be required to prepare a short introduction for each selection they will be conducting. Instrumentation will comprise the WSO nucleus (2222/4331/Timp+p/hp/ strings)



DAY 1: Masterclass
A 2-hour Masterclass session (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) for all candidates with Daniel Raiskin, Julian Pellicano and Naomi Woo and a pianist on Dvorak’s 7th Symphony. 

Orchestra session #1: Each candidate works individually with the orchestra in a masterclass format, followed by musician feedback.

1:30 – 2:30 pm: Candidate #1
3:00 – 4:00 pm: Candidate #2

Post-session events:
Dinner with Daniel Raiskin, Julian Pellicano and Naomi Woo

DAY 2:

Orchestra session #2: Each candidate works individually with the orchestra in a masterclass format, followed by musician feedback.

10:00 – 11:00 am: Candidate #3
11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Candidate #4

1:30 – 4:00 pm: Complete performance of the assigned repertoire before a live audience including short introductions to the audience from each candidate and feedback from music director Daniel Raiskin.



Daniel Raiskin, music director
Julian Pellicano, associate conductor
Naomi Woo, assistant conductor


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