RBC Canadian Conductor Showcase

September 23 – 24, 2021

The biennial RBC Canadian Conductor Showcase provides a unique professional training opportunity to four emerging Canadian conductors, who will be immersed in the orchestral world through mentorship with the WSO by Music Director Daniel Raiskin and the WSO artistic team.


2019 RBC Emerging Canadian Conductor Showcase participants (L-R) Marie-France Mathieu, Daniel Black, Alana Chan, Jaelem Bhate with Naomi Woo, WSO Assistant Conductor; Daniel Raiskin, WSO Music Director; RBC representative & Julian Pellicano, WSO Associate Conductor. (Credit: Chronic Creative)

2021 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. As well, one finalist 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’s Showcase.


Brahms, Symphony no. 2 in D Major, Opus 73
Violin Concerto TBA


On day one, each candidate will participate in a one-hour masterclass with music director Daniel Raiskin. The following day, the candidates will conduct a dress rehearsal and short performance in front of a live audience as part of the WSO participation in the Culture Days weekend events. The candidates will be told which movement(s) of the Symphony and/or Concerto they will conduct in performance after the masterclass. Instrumentation will comprise the WSO nucleus.

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.

For the short performance the following day, each candidate will be required to prepare a short introduction for each selections they will be conducting.


Day 1

Masterclass: Each candidate works individually with the orchestra in a masterclass format, followed by musician feedback.

10:00-11:00am: Candidate #1
11:30-12:30pm: Candidate #2
1:30-2:30pm: Candidate #3
3:00-4:00pm: Candidate #4

Post-masterclass events: Dinner break (4:30-6:00pm) followed by a two-hour Masterclass session (6:00-8:00pm) for all candidates with Daniel Raiskin, Julian Pellicano and Naomi Woo and a pianist on Brahms’s Second Symphony. Participants will also receive their assignments for the performance on Day 2.

Day 2

Dress rehearsal:
10-12:30pm: Each candidate will have 30 minutes with the orchestra to rehearse their assigned movements.

2:00-3:00pm: Complete performance of the assigned repertoire before a live audience including short introductions to the audience from each candidate.

Travel & Accommodations
Return air travel reimbursement up to $700, two nights’ hotel accommodation and two days per diem will be provided to each finalist for the two-day period.

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

Canadian citizens and permanent residents, whose talents and vision comprise all aspects of concert preparation, presentation and performance to a wide variety of audiences, are invited to apply.

Application requirements

— Link(s) to an online video of a performance or rehearsal of one or two contrasting works. Combined, the material provided should be no more than ten minutes.
— A video consisting of a brief spoken introduction about yourself and the music on the video.
— A one-page biography.

Application Deadline: August 10, 2021 (5:00pm CDT)

Finalists will be announced on August 20, 2021. All applicants will be notified of results by August 19, 2021.

Covid 19 protocol

The WSO follows all public health directives issued by the Government of Manitoba. Should it be necessary, adherence to distancing requirements will be strictly enforced at all events of the Conductor Showcase. Finalists may be required to show proof of vaccinations or a negative Covid test taken no more than 72 hours prior to being accepted. Conditions are subject to change and finalists will be advised as soon as possible of any changes to Manitoba’s Covid 19 entry requirements or public gathering conditions.

Send all applications to:

James Manishen, artistic operations associate
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra


Funded By:
funded by